Block paving is a popular choice for driveways, patios, and paths due to its durability and aesthetic appeal. However, over time, dirt, moss, weeds and loose debris can accumulate, leading to a less than desirable appearance and potential damage. This is where pressure washing block paving comes into play.
Regular maintenance, such as pressure washing, can help keep your block paving looking its best and extend its lifespan.
Understanding Block Paving
Block paving, also known as brick paving, is a commonly used decorative method of creating a pavement or hardstanding. The main types of block paving are concrete and clay, each with its own set of advantages.
Block paving is not only used for its aesthetic appeal but also for its durability and versatility. It can be used anywhere from driveways and patios to airport taxiways and freight yards. However, like any other surface, block paving requires regular maintenance to keep it in top condition.
The Need for Pressure Washing Block Paving
Over time, block paving can become dirty and discoloured. Moss growth, oil stains, and loose debris can lead to permanent damage and colour loss if not properly addressed. Regular cleaning and maintenance, including pressure washing, can help prevent these issues and keep your block paving looking as good as new. Pressure washing is a cost-effective and efficient way to clean block paving, removing all the dirt and grime that has built up over time to keep it looking like new.
The Pressure Washing Process
Pressure washing block paving is a straightforward process, but it does require the right equipment and some protective clothing a.k.a PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). A high pressure water jet from a pressure washer is used to dislodge and remove dirt and grime from the surface of the paving blocks. Specific cleaning products may also be used to help break down stubborn stains and dirt for better cleaning results.
Precautions When Pressure Washing Block Paving
While pressure washing is an effective way to clean block paving, it's important to take precautions to prevent damage to the surface. Too much pressure can cause damage to the face of the blocks and lead to excessive loss of sand from the paving joints. Using the wrong type of nozzle/tip can also cause irreversible damage. It's always a good idea to perform a test on a small discrete area first to determine the correct amount of pressure to use and the correct tip/nozzle.
Post Pressure Washing Care
After pressure washing, the block paving should be allowed to dry thoroughly. This may involve dispersing excess water with a stiff broom or other tool. Once dry, it may be necessary to re-sand the joints using jointing sand such as kiln-dried sand. This helps to stabilize the paving and prevent movement. A weed killer may also be applied to prevent weed growth in the joints.
Additional Tips for Maintaining Block Paving
Regular cleaning can help prevent the build-up of dirt and grime on block paving. This includes removing any weeds that may have taken root. Any oil stains should be treated as soon as possible to prevent permanent staining. A sealant can also be applied to the block paving to provide additional protection and enhance its appearance.
How to Pressure Wash Block Paving
Pressure washing block paving is a task that can be done by anyone with the right equipment and a bit of time. Here's a step by step guide to help you through the cleaning process:
Prepare the Area
Before you start pressure washing, it's important to prepare the area. Remove any plant pots, furniture, or other items from the area. Sweep the area with a stiff broom to remove loose debris. This will make the cleaning process more efficient and effective.
Wear Protective Clothing (PPE)
Safety is paramount when using a pressure washer. Wear PPE, including gloves, safety glasses, and sturdy footwear to protect yourself from any flying debris.
Set Up Your Pressure Washer
Connect your pressure washer to a water source and power supply if required. Make sure all connections are secure before you start. If you're using a specific cleaning product, add it to the pressure washer according to the manufacturer's instructions or apply via the use of a watering can or bucket and broom.
Begin Pressure Washing
Start at one end of the block paving and work your way across, moving in a consistent pattern to ensure all areas are cleaned evenly. Be careful not to use too much pressure as this can cause damage to the paving blocks.
Rinse and Repeat
After pressure washing a section of the block paving, rinse the area with clean water to remove any dislodged dirt and cleaning product residue. If necessary, repeat the process until all areas of the block paving have been cleaned.
Deal with Stubborn Stains
If you come across any stubborn stains, such as oil stains, you may need to use a specific cleaning product to remove them. Apply the product according to the manufacturer's instructions and then rinse with clean water.
Let the Block Paving Dry
Once you've finished pressure washing, let the block paving dry thoroughly. This may take a few hours or even a day, depending on the weather conditions. It is important the joints of the pavers are completely dry and not just the paving surface before proceeding to the next step.
Re-sand the Joints
After the block paving is completely dry, you may need to re-sand the joints. This involves spreading kiln-dried sand over the block paving and sweeping it into the joints using a soft broom. This helps to stabilize the paving blocks and prevent them from moving. Re-sanding should not be attempted even if joints are slightly damp as the sand will clump together and will not fall into the joints as designed to do so.
Apply Weed Killer
To prevent weed growth in the joints, you can apply a weed killer. Make sure to choose a product that is safe for use on block paving.
Seal the Block Paving (Optional)
For added protection, you can seal the block paving with a suitable sealant. This helps to protect the paving from stains and enhances its appearance. Bear in mind that if you apply sealer over the top of any stains these will be very difficult to remove at a later date. So it is important any stains are removed prior to applying a sealant.
Remember, regular pressure washing is an essential part of maintaining your block paving. By following these steps, you can keep your block paving looking its best and prolong its lifespan.
Pressure washing block paving is a crucial part of maintaining its appearance and durability. With the right equipment and approach, it's a task that can be done relatively quickly, providing immediate results. Regular maintenance, including pressure washing, can help ensure your block paving remains a feature you can be proud of in the long term for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I pressure wash block paving myself?
Yes, with the right equipment and safety precautions, pressure washing block paving is a task that can be done by yourself. However, large areas can be very time consuming and challenging without professional equipment.
How often should I pressure wash my block paving?
This depends on the amount of dirt and grime build-up. However, as a general rule, pressure washing should be done at least once a year.
Can pressure washing damage block paving?
If done incorrectly, pressure washing can potentially damage block paving. Too much pressure can dislodge the sand in the joints and cause the blocks to become unstable. Always ensure to use the correct pressure settings and techniques to avoid damage.
Elite Jetting - Professional Block Paving Cleaners Serving Kent
If you don't fancy having a go yourself or purchasing a power washer, live in Kent and would rather leave it to professional block paving cleaners we can help. Our block paving cleaning services are available throughout Kent, so get in touch and we will be happy to jet wash your block paved surface for you.
Remember, maintaining your block paving is a worthwhile investment that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your property but also contributes to its value. Regular pressure washing is a key part of this maintenance and helps to keep your paving bricks in the best possible condition.