Regardless of the materials used, weather conditions it has to endure or how well your paving might be laid, in order to keep your block paving in tip-top condition, good maintenance and timely restoration is essential. After all, you spend time vacuuming your carpets and mopping your bathroom tiles - why would you treat your outdoor paving any differently?
Knowing the best ways to restore your block paving will ensure it stands the test of time and remains looking fresh in the process. In this post, we’ve outlined some key methods of looking after your block paving, all of which you can do yourself at minimal cost.
What is block paving?
A popular choice across the UK, block paving is a common form of outdoor flooring used for constructing driveways, footpaths, steps and patio areas. Similar to the methods used to tile kitchen and bathroom floors, block paving involves creating a strong and aesthetically pleasing floor by laying bricks side by side to form a sturdy interlocking pattern.
The easy installation process associated with block paving, alongside its often decorative aesthetic and structural strength, makes it ideal for both domestic and commercial use. These simple installation methods also makes block paving relatively easy to repair and preserve, particularly when it comes to removing, restoring and replacing damaged bricks.
How to clean block paving
Whether you use a powerful jet washer or just good old fashioned soap and a bit of elbow grease, cleaning your block paving doesn’t have to be a chore.
If you are lucky enjoy to have access to a jet washer, removing any moss, dirt or oil stains on your paving is as easy as pie. All you have to remember is that excessive power washing can dislodge a large amount of the sand that fills the joints between bricks. As a rule, it is recommended that when using a jet washer, an angle of 45 degrees should be adopted at all times to reduce the amount of sand you wash away. Once you finish your jet wash, it is also important to replace the sand lost gradually over the following few weeks. All you need to do is gently brush fresh sand into the joints, ensuring every block is still held firmly in place.
If jet washing is not an option, don’t panic. All you need to inject some sparkle back into your block paving is water, soap and a brush. Using a mixture of warm water and any mild domestic soap - laundry detergent or washing-up liquid will do just fine - gently scrub your soapy solution into your block paving using a sweeping brush. Make sure you don’t use any cleaning products that contain acid, and always test your soapy solution on a small patch of your paving before starting. Once the entire pavement has been scrubbed, simply hose it down with cold water. As with the jet washing method, re-sanding over the following few weeks may be required to replace any dislodged sand. After this, your block paving should be looking as good as the day it was laid.
How to get weeds out of block paving
Before you start the process of cleaning your block paving, it’s important to remove all weeds first. Weeds emerging through the joints between two bricks is one of the most common maintenance issues when it comes to block paving. If not dealt with early, weeds can disturb the sand between the blocks, knocking the blocks loose and creating potential trip hazards.
The good news is, removing weeds is quick and easy. When you spot a weed starting to poke its head through a seam in your paving, simply pull gently with your hand or use a small trowel to dislodge the plant. Then lift the weed up and away from the bricks, ensuring you remove the roots as well as the stem. Regular cleaning and, if needed, occasional use of a domestic weed killer, will prevent weeds from reemerging and keep your block paving spick and span.
Refill the joints between the blocks with a high quality block paving sand such as Dansand No Grow