Bay Area Concrete Paver Maintenance
Serving East Bay, North Bay, South Bay and San Francisco Community since 2009.
CONCRETE PAVER MAINTENANCE – TAKING CARE OF PATIOS, WALKWAYS AND MORE
Concrete paver hardscaping is an affordable option for creating the perfect outdoor entertaining space for you and your family to enjoy. Concrete pavers are durable, aesthetically beautiful, and with proper maintenance, they can provide you with literally a lifetime of enjoyment!
While Mother Nature can be cruel, with her temperature extremes, freezing cold, rain, and in the Bay area, even the occasional earthquake. If you’ve installed a high-quality paver product like the ones we carry here at Bayside Pavers, you’ve already taken the first steps to increase resistance to weathering and corrosion.
PAVER MAINTENANCE MADE SIMPLE
One of the most significant benefits of interlocking concrete pavers is the fact that they are a low-maintenance product. With a minimum of seasonal maintenance, you can preserve the beauty and integrity of your patio, walkways, or driveway.
Here are some tips to keep your concrete pavers looking great!
GENERAL MAINTENANCE TIPS
To keep your pavers looking new, clean them every spring with a coarse bristle broom and a paver cleaner.
If not addressed, some weeds can cause pavers to shift apart over time. Periodically (a few times a year) apply a granular weed preventative between the joints as part of your routine paver maintenance.
Be mindful when cleaning hardscape with a power washer. They can remove any finish and sealant and expose the aggregate on the paver’s surface.
Most of the time, you can clean your hardscape using a broom to remove debris, and a garden hose or power washer to remove dirt. However, sometimes to may need to use a more potent chemical to get your hardscape areas extra clean. In these instances:
- Before applying any chemical cleaner to your hardscape, test it first in an inconspicuous area to make sure it’s safe to use.
- Always read and follow the directions printed on the solution’s label doe use, application, and first aid. Always make sure to rinse the area and any areas where it may run off thoroughly.
- For tough stains, use a specialized cleaner. Several manufacturers offer specialty cleaners for organic stains, grease or oil stains, rust, and paint, tar or rubber. Each is specially formulated to clean pavers and masonry without affecting the color. However, it’s still a good practice to test it in an inconspicuous area before applying.
- Always wait about 90 days after cleaning, before sealing your pavers. This allows enough time for you to remove efflorescence that may appear after installation.
PROTECTING YOUR PAVERS
To keep your pavers looking spectacular, and extend their useful lifespan almost indefinitely, along with cleaning and maintaining the surface, you’ll want to protect them. Unlike cleaning, which should happen at least annually or seasonally, this is a process you can do every few years.
The joints between stones are the most vulnerable area of your hardscape. Along with removing and preventing weed growth between the pavers, you’ll want to keep them, “topped off” with jointing sand to prevent the sand layer below from deteriorating and causing shifting. If you used polymer sand at the time of installation, this step might not be necessary. This type of sand includes a hardener, usually activated with water. It causes the sand to harden and helps to prevent erosion.
If you use deicing chemicals in the wintertime. Make sure you follow instructions on the package. When used in proper amounts, they should not damage the pavers. However, they can sometimes accelerate surface wear on some brands or styles of pavers. Always use them in moderation, and only use manufacturer-approved chemicals.
To keep your paver surfaces protected and looking their best, you’ll want to seal them every three years or so. You have several options available, including a natural matte finish, a color-boosted matte finish, a clear semi-gloss, and a wet-look gloss finish. Sealers should not be applied more than once every three years, or they can create a film on the paver’s surface, which could discolor when exposed to sunlight. If you’re not sure if you need to reseal your pavers, try the water test. Drip some water on the surface. If it initially beads up, your pavers are fine. If it’s immediately absorbed, it’s time to reseal.
Finally, bring older pavers that are weathered or have suffered neglect back to life or give them new color with a product called NuLook Tinted Sealant. This is a semi-transparent, semi-gloss sealer explicitly designed to rejuvenate faded pavers.
Applying Sealer To Protect Your Bay Area Paver Installation Investment
Concrete pavers are an excellent choice for beautifying your outdoor living space. Whether you use them to create a fabulous outdoor kitchen, a patio where friends and family gather, walkways through your garden, or a classic and elegant driveway, concrete pavers can enhance your home’s curb appeal, and increase it’s value.
Their popularity stems from their durability, low-maintenance and the nearly unlimited variety of sizes, styles, colors, textures and patterns available. When properly installed, pavers can last a lifetime, however you will need to perform periodic maintenance to keep them stain free and prevent fading over time.
Extending the beauty and lifespan of your concrete pavers may require periodic resealing of the surface. If you have or are planning to add concrete paver hardscaping to your property, here’s some helpful information on why, how, and when you should seal your concrete pavers.
WHY YOU SHOULD SEAL YOUR PAVERS
While pavers look great in almost any application, it’s important to properly seal them to keep them looking their best for the long-term. Some of the benefits of periodically sealing your concrete pavers include:
PROTECTION FROM FADING
While many pavers are fade-resistant, sealing them can protect them from damaging UV rays which can make pavers fade over many years of exposure. Periodically sealing your pavers can keep the color vibrant, even in bright sun.
STABILIZE INTERLOCKING JOINT SAND
Joint stabilizer sealers not only seal the pavers but also harden the joint sand in between the pavers, which can help prevent displacement or shifting from wind, rain, and insects. This is especially important and effective for sealing pool decks and keeping the joint sand out of the pool. Joint stabilizing sealers can also help reduce weed growth between paver joints.
ENHANCE THE COLOR OF YOUR PAVERS
Much like varnish on wood, paver sealer can draw out the colors, contrasts, and texture of your pavers to create more visual interest. Some sealers offer a “wet” look that can enhance your patio or walkways. Your contractor can help you to choose the best sealer for your unique needs.
EASIER STAIN REMOVAL
Sealing reduces paver’s porosity which can keep materials like dirt, oil or grease from soaking into your pavers. Sealing pavers makes cleaning up spills easier when they happen and keep your paver surface looking like new.
HOW TO SEAL YOUR PAVERS
Proper preparation before sealing will ensure a solid bond. Professional installation of your paver surface typically includes sealing as the last step of the installation process. Here are some tips for preparing your paver surface for re-sealing.
- Make sure that there is no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours. Make sure the surface is dry before you start.
- Clean the surface and remove debris and stains. Sweep with a firm bristle brush, or us a leaf blower to remove dirt. Just be careful not to blow the sand out of the paver joints.
- Pull weeds or grass from between the pavers.
SEALING YOUR PAVERS
- Apply sealer using a low-pressure sprayer.
- Cover the entire surface.
- Use a squeegee to make sure the material penetrates the joints and then remove excess sealer from the surface.
- Stay entirely off the surface for at least two or three hours until the surface is dry.
- Allow 24 hours for the sealer to fully dry before using your hardscape.
The sealer you choose depends on several factors including your personal preference and what you’re looking for in terms of appearance. There are two varieties of “film-forming” sealers; water-based and solvent-based. Each has different performance and aesthetic qualities.
- are low gloss
- provide minimal darkening of the surface
- offer increased chemical resistance
- are high gloss
- Darken the surface they’re applied to
- Increase color development
The best solution is to speak with your hardscaping contractor. They can help you to choose the finish to best meet your needs.
WHEN AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU SEAL YOUR CONCRETE PAVERS
Some manufacturers require that you wait one year after installation before applying a sealer to allow the natural process of efflorescence to occur. Efflorescence is the natural release of salts from your pavers. It appears as a white, dusty-looking build-up. It does not harm your pavers and can be removed by sweeping. Some pavers do not require any waiting period and can be sealed immediately after installation. Your contractor will know the requirements for the paver you choose.
After the first year, you can seal your pavers. Generally, once you’ve applied a sealer, you’re covered for 3 to 5 years before you’ll need to reapply them. Again. Consult with your contractor. If your pavers were sealed upon installation, they will know which product you should use for subsequent 3 to 5-year sealing
If you have any questions about maintaining your paver surfaces, or if you’re planning a hardscaping project for your Sonoma County home, give the experts at Bayside Pavers a call at 1-866-366-1772. We can help you design the perfect outdoor space to meet your family’s unique needs.
If you’re in the San Francisco Bay area, our location in Concord, CA at 2455 Bates Ave, Ste K, services East Bay and South Bay homeowners. Our Santa Rosa, CA location at 1619 4th Street Ste 12 can help you with your North Bay hardscaping projects.