The Process Of Cleaning Pavers
Five years ago, when you moved into your adorable two-bedroom bungalow, you went ahead and spent the extra money to have a nice stone patio and walkway installed. The pavers were made of beautiful golden stone and really seemed to tie together the outside look you had created. For a while, the patio was your favorite place in the house to escape for a quiet reprieve and a cup of coffee, but that was then. Now, as you look out across the front lawn, all you notice is the dingy stonework, speckled with moss and other debris. Even though the years flew by smoothly for you, it looks like your pavers didn’t fare as well. But before taking the drastic step of determining if there’s room in the budget for a full patio and walkway replacement, it might be time to consider a deep cleaning of your pavers.
Why Clean Your Pavers?
Pavers are the stones used to create beautiful driveways, patios, walkways, and pool decks, and if you have them on your property, they should be cleaned regularly. The most obvious reason for this is for aesthetic purposes, to keep the stone looking like new for as long as possible and your general curb-appeal fresh. But there are more reasons beyond appearances to keep those stones cleaned including safety and longevity of your pavers. In damp regions like Northwestern Oregon, there is a constant risk of moss, fungi and lichen build-up that could occur in between and across pavers, making for slick walking surfaces. Not to mention, fungi and mold growth can drastically shorten the lifespan of your stone pavers and its corresponding joint material, which means need for replacement or renovation sooner than intended.
Sanded-In vs Grouted-In Pavers
Before starting the cleaning process of your pavers, first you need to take stalk of which joint compound material was used when your stonework was installed. The typical material used for exterior flooring is joint sand, but grout (though less typical) can also be used. Depending on which material you see, your cleaning process will vary.
Sanded-in pavers have the luxury of being pressure washed to remove stubborn stains efficiently and quickly, from oil to gum to efflorescence (that annoying crystalline deposit that appears on pavers over time). For smaller spot work, the correct cleaning product, a plastic scrub brush and a garden hose should do the trick. When cleaning natural stone, never use a metal scrub brush in case it scratches the stone and leaves behind small metal deposits that can rust later, resulting in permanent marks. For extremely thorough cleaning jobs, especially when a pressure washer is involved, you may need to replenish your joint sand afterwards.
Grouted-in pavers are a bit more difficult to clean and, unfortunately, require more hands-on labor due to the sensitive nature of the grout. Consequently, this means grouted pavers should never be pressure washed in order to prevent dissolving or chipping of the material. Along those same lines, make sure to avoid any kind of acid cleaners when determining which cleanser to get for the job. Dish soap is a perfectly suitable cleaner for mild stains and doesn’t have the corrosive qualities of acid-based chemicals, which eat away at mortar and grout. For larger scaled jobs the recommended method of cleaning grouted-in pavers is steam, though gathering the necessary equipment can be daunting and costly.
A Professional Clean
Regardless of whether your pavers are sanded-in or grouted-in, by hiring a professional service, like Snugs Services, to take care of the cleaning process, you can rest easy knowing the best methods and equipment are being used. For your sanded-in pavers, our experienced crew will use our professional grade pressure washers and other tools to ensure the deepest clean possible as well as properly replacing any joint sand that is lost during the process. For those peskier grouted-in pavers, we’ll utilized the power of steam as well as good old fashion elbow grease to leave that grout sparkling clean. Save your back and your knees and let our crew do the scrubbing for you.
After your pavers have received the deepest clean possible, they are ready for a fresh layer of sealant. Sealant can prolong the life of your stonework and make general maintenance so much easier but be warned, sealing pavers is better left to the professionals. At Snugs, we take care of the confusing, even potentially dangerous, process of determining which chemicals are right for your paver type and mixing the solution correctly so you don’t have to. Our crew, with their superior training and knowledge, will expertly apply sealant to your freshly cleaned pavers, locking in that sharp fresh look for as long as possible. So if you’re tired of looking out the front window at a dingy patio, then it’s time to call Snugs Services for a the best paver cleaning out there.
Snugs Pro Wash, Inc, dba SNUGS Services, has been providing high quality Pressure Washing Services in Portland, OR since 1995. Started as a residential pressure washing and roof cleaning service, SNUGS is now one of the leading exterior cleaning companies in the Northwest. From our humble beginnings as a man with a truck and a trailer we have grown to become a multi-million dollar company serving corporate customers, name brands, and mom and pop companies alike.