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As with all pavements, maintenance is necessary to protect your investment. This guide will help you get the most value from your concrete paver installation. Regular maintenance keeps your outdoor paver area looking nice while preventing damage, like cracking and shifting of the individual pavers. Cleaning, sealing and weed control are the main components of a paver maintenance plan. The upfront work of maintaining the pavers saves you the hard work of replacing the bricks down the road.
Removing nature's debris from the bricks keeps them clean and reduces the risk of staining to the brick surface. You also reduce the chance of slipping on wet leaves. Dark stains under leaves are tannin stains. These stains will dissipate quickly with our average rains, there is no need to remove them.
Weeds can germinate between pavers from windblown seeds lodged in the joints. They don't grow from the bedding, sand, base or soil. Weeds can be removed by hand or with herbicides. Take care in using herbicides so that adjacent vegetated areas are not damaged. Besides stabilizing the joint sand, sealers can prevent seeds from germinating, and prevent ants from entering if it contains a polymer agent.
Sweep debris and dirt from the pavers. Wash away grime by spraying the pavers with a hose. Avoid directing the water spray straight into the joints, as it can disrupt the sand. Fill the cracks between pavers with dry sand if necessary, this prevents weeds from growing between the bricks and keeps the pavers in place. Scrub stains using a mild detergent mixed with water. You may need to use a gentle hand and wire brush to remove certain stains. Test out the wire brush and detergent in a hidden area to test for damage to the pavers before using it in a highly visible area. Wash away the detergent completely after cleaning
Seal the pavers every two or three years using a sealant designed for pavers. Apply the sealant evenly according to the product's directions. Sealing protects the pavers from environmental factors and prevents stains from setting into them. Make sure if you decide to seal the pavers, that they are not wet and it will not rain the day of installation. Cleaning and sealing concrete pavers early in their life can make removing stains easier since sealers prevent stains from soaking into the surface. However, the sealers may need to be reapplied from time to time due to wear and weather. Concrete pavers should be cleaned prior to applying a sealer to obtain the best performance and appearance. Your paver installer can provide information on cleaners and sealers specifically made for concrete pavers
The paving stone color desired is achieved by conditioning various pigments in specific recipes. The color is included in the manufacturing process and your paving stone will have your selected color through the entire stone not just on top and not just a tinting of color in the base. You may also notice slight color variations within your project. Most pavers installed are blended colors. A color blend is a combination of two (2) or more colors to achieve a random color effect. It is IMPORTANT to note that selecting a color blend is NOT like selecting ceramic tile. With ceramic tile you choose a pattern and a color and all tiles are identical. With paving stones, a color blend simply put, means the colors comprising the blend.
Efflorescence is a natural and common occurrence in most concrete and clay brick products. Efflorescence is the result of naturally occurring mineral salts found in the material used in the production of pavers. Curb Appeal Pavers LLC accepts no liability for its occurrence. When pavers become wet and absorb moisture the mineral salts are dissolved and are drawn to the surface of the paver with the moisture as it evaporates. This is not a product defect or harmful to the pavers and will usually weather away with time. We recommend that you wait 6 months to a year for it to dissipate. Efflorescence can be removed with cleaners specifically made for concrete pavers. Use care when applying them because many contain detergents and diluted acid. Do not seal if there is a presence of efflorescence, remove it first.
Use liquid bleach diluted in water(10 parts water to one part bleach). Do not use higher amounts of bleach as it it abrasive and can remove the top layer of concrete and show aggregate. Be careful not to get it on other plant material. Keep in mind that there is nothing that will keep it from growing back if it's in a shady, damp area. For a more permanent solution, you will need to correct the moisture and shade problems that are encouraging the moss or mold. Joint sand during the course of normal use, the sand-filled joints receive dirt from traffic on the pavement. Dirt settles into the top of the joints, helping to hold the sand in place. Installations exposed to driving winds or runoff, however, may lose some joint sand that can be simply replenished with dry sand. If the problem recurs, sealers will help hold the sand in the joints. These are applied over the entire paver surface as a liquid and allowed to soak and cure in the joints.
Minor chips and cracks are part of the paving stones. Paving stones are not designed to be perfect. They are designed to be rustic in appearance. Fortunately, Florida offers the ability to create pastel colors so sometimes this rustic appearance can be modernized through color.
Chips and cracks do not mean your paving stones are "bad". Due to the manufacturing process, a chip can be the result of a piece of rock breaking or the brick during packaging, shipping, installation or final compacting. Minor chips and cracks incidental to the usual and customary method of handling and installation are totally acceptable. Please do not look at a paving stone installation one stone at the time. Paving stones are meant to be looked at as a group, since they are not designed to be perfect. Stand back, survey your paving stones bearing in mind the color is what passersby, neighbors friends and relatives will see, not individual bricks.
Concrete pavers on driveways stained by oil leaking from cars aren't damaged by petroleum products, but the stains can be difficult to remove. Stains should be treated as soon as possible since the longer they remain on the surface, the deeper they penetrate and the harder they are to remove. Wipe excess oil from the surface as soon as possible and apply liquid detergent. Allow it to soak for several minutes. Then wash the pavers with hot water. Several treatments may be necessary for particularly stubborn stains. Cleaners specially made for removing oil stains from concrete pavers are recommended since they yield good results. In some cases, it may be simpler to replace the stained pavers with new ones.
Sinking pavers will very seldom happen within a few weeks to a month from the date of installation, if this occurs please contact the builder or paver installer immediately for repair. If it occurs much later it is almost always caused from water. Large amounts of water washing over the pavers from gutters or eves of the home can cause the joint sand to wash out, which eventually starts washing out the base causing cavitation. Please make sure that gutters are installed if heavy amount of rain are boring onto a specific area, and divert gutters away from pavers. Many times the homeowner or handyman can fix this issue. Simply pry the paver or pavers out with two flat-head screwdrivers. It may help to take a picture before so you place the pavers back correctly. Add a small amount of paver base (sold in major hardware stores in small bags), slightly tamp with a paver to bring up to level, then replace the pavers. Lightly tap with a rubber mallet and apply play sand to joints (also available at hardware store) and rinse with water.
Separation of pavers only occur when the band holding the pavers in has been compromised. Please make sure you do not drive vehicles off the edge of the driveway, or the your lawn maintenance company ride their mower over the edge of your pavers. If you notice it early, you can simply mix a small amount of concrete to put on the outside edge of the pavers as a replacement restraint band. Adding dirt and sod to the outside border will help maintain a strong border.
The only way pavers can lift is if something is pushing them from underneath. You may have to call someone in to remove roots and replace pavers.