In estate alleys, town squares, driveways at homes – the paving stone is quite popular in our landscape! It is durable and resistant and, to top it off, easy to lay and remove, making it the simplest solution often preferred by property managers. Yet, what can you do if your paving stone is old and doesn’t look like its former glamorous self? Learn the best methods of cleaning paving stone!
What determines the method of cleaning paving stones?
There are many solutions available to deal with soiled paving stones. The type of dirt to be removed is decisive for the choice of a suitable cleaning method. What kind of dirt can be removed from paving stone?
- greasy, oily stains (e.g. in communal car parks);
- mosses and lichens growing in cracks;
- sand or fertiliser stains;
- repair or construction work residues: glue, paint, plaster, cement.
Washing paving stones is also a good solution for the general restoration of their aesthetic appearance. According to the types of dirt present on the surface, a few different approaches may be required to clean the stone effectively.
- Wire bristle brush
The paving stone cleaning brush has tempered metal (steel) bristles, making it perfect for cleaning the gaps between the paving stones. Use it to precisely remove moss and mud and other dried-up dirt. For biological dirt (mosses and lichens), this method is less invasive compared to using chemicals – this applies mainly to the paving stones in your garden. However, its main disadvantage is that it requires hand cleaning that is not suitable for large areas.
- Paving slab cleaner fluids and sprays
When the paver is covered with more difficult dirt, such as rust or oil or grease stains, water alone is not enough. For the right effect, you should also use a professional cleaning agent, e.g. a fluid for cleaning paving stones – when the surface is equally dirty; or a special spray – when you want to remove a specific stain and you only need to apply the agent on a spot. We recommend you choose agents designed for cleaning paving stones as their formula is composed in such a way as to effectively dissolve dirt on this type of surface.
- Pressure cleaning
The pressure water jet cleaning solution is a much more efficient alternative for cleaning paving stones. This method works well for the standard maintenance cleaning of surfaces. Minor dirt (sand, dust) is efficiently cleaned even with water only if it is directed at the paving stones under high pressure. Hand-held pressure washers are most often relied upon for this purpose, although portable pressure-washing devices can also be used to clean larger areas. For more convenience and efficiency, we recommend choosing the pressure washer accessories according to the type of surface to be cleaned: for larger outdoor surfaces (such as paving stones), we advise using the rotating nozzle with a large range of water jet reach.
The typical house cleaning pressure washer works under a pressure of ~100-130 bar. However, if you plan to clean large areas, we recommend a 150-180-bar pressure washer. For the most practical cleaning, choose a power-adjustable washer so that you can also use it for other surfaces, for example when you fancy refreshing delicate plasterwork, to be cleaned with a ~100-bar pressure jet. Cleaning performance also depends on the machine output – for household tasks, choose washers with a flow of at least 350-500 l/h. Look for pressure heaters with a water heating option – the high temperature (approx. 60-90°C) reduces the time required for cleaning and makes even difficult dirt (oil and grease) easier to remove.
Remember to choose the right cleaning angle and the optimal water jet strength for your paving stones. Use a strong, narrow jet to clean cracks and spot dirt; a flat jet will help you remove ordinary dirt from a large area of your paving stones; a strong rotating jet will tackle stubborn dirt.
How often should I clean my paving stones?
Clean your paving stones regularly to ensure they stay in good condition for years to come. What does it mean to clean them regularly? For the most lasting effects, we recommend you clean your paving stones twice a year – before and after the winter season. You can also impregnate the paving stones once the washed surface dries up. But if you don’t have time to handle it on your own – contact professionals working with paving stone cleaning every day.
At sfb, we have been providing professional machine-cleaning services for years and we have restored many a paving stone to its former glory! We can take care of your paving stones, too – not only when you are short on time, but mostly when you simply feel that the right types of equipment, pressure and cleaning method for the desired result should not be your business to deal with. With our know-how and professional equipment, we will restore your pavement and make it come back to life anew!