You’ve invested thousands of dollars enhancing the appearance of your home by installing a paver walkway or driveway, and now years later, they are discolored, stained, lifting, covered with moss or have weeds grown through the cracks. You may have thought the investment would last longer, but just like any other part of your home, your pavers just need a maintenance and a little TLC.
More and more homeowners are choosing to install pavers, rather than concrete, to finish outdoor surfaces like patios, porches, pool decks, sidewalks and driveways. Pavers enhance the beauty of your property and can increase your home’s value. Because they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, homeowners can create a unique design or pattern, making the outdoor hardscaping unique to their home.
To get your pavers looking like new again, you need to know the right process, purchase the right materials and have the proper tools, so hiring a professional may be your best bet. Utilizing the right chemicals, cleaning solutions and sealant is vital to the restoration of your pavers. In addition, assessing the existing condition of your pavers and understanding how temperature, humidity and moisture will play a role in the process, is equally important.
If your pavers were sealed previously, you must strip away any old sealant that may be left on the surface. If you do not complete this first process, it will leave your pavers in worse condition than before. Sealant can dull your pavers, or cause them to flake and crack if done incorrectly. Sometimes it can even change the color of your pavers.
Once all sealant has been removed, it’s time to pressure wash the pavers with an environmentally safe cleaning solution. Over time, salts and minerals in the pavers can rise to the surface and leave a chalky appearance. Pressure washing removes the chalky residue, moss and stains, and leaves your pavers looking new again.
Once your pavers have been cleaned, it is a good idea to check the condition of your pavers. Make sure they are level and intact, as any repairs should be done prior to moving to the next step. The pressure washing process will remove some of the joint sand between the pavers, so this is the optimal time to either replace or level the pavers that need some attention.
Once your pavers have completely dried and have been repaired, the next step is to fill in the gaps between them with polymeric sand. This will hold your pavers in place and help keep insects and weeds from infiltrating the surface of your paver system.
The last step in the process is resealing the pavers. Paver sealants are intended to set the polymeric sand in place and give your pavers protection. When considering sealing options, there is a choice of brands and finishes, such as a natural look, a matte look and a wet look. These sealers are lacquer based and applied with a commercial roller. When speaking to your contractor or paint supplier, ask them which brand sealant works best and ask to see a sample of the finishes, as each type can alter the appearance of your pavers, and ultimately the exterior look of your home.
Sealed pavers resist oil and dirt penetration; inhibit the growth of weeds, moss, and mold; resist UV rays and the cycle of freezing and thawing; and helps to prevent insect intrusion. In the end, the process rejuvenates, strengthens, protects, and enhances the beauty of the pavers.
Pavers should be resealed every three to four years on average. You will know when your pavers need to be resealed because water will stop beading on the surface and the sheen will diminish. In addition, you may notice weeds starting to grow in between joints and pavers may start to lose their color. The investment in proper maintenance of your pavers has a great rate of return as your pavers can last a lifetime with the right care.
To maintain your newly rejuvenated pavers, regularly sweep dirt and debris off the surface, as grit can deteriorate the finish over time. When liquids or oils spill onto pavers, address it immediately by placing a little cat litter over the affected area – do not wash it down as that will just spread the potentially discoloring liquid even further.
When considering sealing your pavers, it is always recommended that you consult with a licensed and insured professional. Whether you hire a contractor or do it yourself, it is important that the correct process is followed to ensure the job gets done right the first time.
John Amabile, Owner – A&J Powerwashing and More
(917) 939-9195 aj_powerwashing.com