We’ve talked about patio pavers here on the blog before. Durable, beautiful, and versatile, concrete pavers are great for patios, driveways, pathways, and more. And while they are incredibly durable and usually low maintenance, they are not completely invincible. There will come a time when you will need to know how to clean concrete patio pavers. When that time comes, this guide can help you do it right.
While many homeowners’ first instinct might be to reach for the hose or even a pressure washer, there are safer ways to clean and maintain concrete patio pavers. Making sure you take the right steps to clean and seal your pavers helps them to look great and extends their lifespan.
How to Clean Concrete Patio Pavers
If you’ve never had concrete pavers before, you might not know where to start when it comes to upkeep. Luckily, the process is simpler than you think. Exterior concrete paver patios don’t require much from day to day.
Homeowners should feel comfortable sweeping excess dirt and debris away from their patio every few weeks. In fall, more regular cleanings may be needed depending on the extent of yard waste your outdoor living space produces. Every once in a while, though, a deep cleaning will be needed.
Spring is a great time to deep clean concrete patio pavers. Make sure that there are no more freezes in the forecast. Once winter has said its last goodbyes, take the following simple steps to deep clean your concrete patio pavers.
1. Remove Any Furniture
If your paver patio is home to a set of outdoor furniture, it’s time to remove it. Trying to clean around patio furniture will result in an uneven cleaning of the surface, and may damage your furniture. Move outdoor furniture into the lawn or garage.
At the same time, make sure your patio is clear of any additional potted plants, hoses, storage, or other decor.
2. Remove Weeds
Most concrete paver patios are resistant to weeds and other unwanted vegetation. But that doesn’t mean some unwanted greenery won’t sneak through the cracks from time to time. Moss and lichen is more prone to grow in grout or in the joints of pavers. To remove, use a stiff-bristle brush to loosen and remove unwanted vegetation.
Take care not to use a wire brush or other material that could scratch or damage the finish of your concrete patio pavers.
3. Hose It Down
Grab your hoses, everyone. The first step in deep cleaning any concrete pavers is to fully saturate them. If you don’t have a garden hose, fill large buckets of water and use them to saturate the pavement. Make sure that the entire surface of your paver patio is soaked before moving on to the next step.
4. Choose a Cleaning Solution
There are many professional cleaning solutions on the market. However, there’s no reason to dish out a huge chunk of change on a professional cleaner. Good options can be found online, at Home Depot, or your local home improvement store. Be sure that whatever option you do pick is mild and non-acidic. Cleaners with high acid levels can eat away the seal on your pavers and cause damage.
If you’d like an even gentler, DIY cleaner, mix equal parts warm water and vinegar with a little bit of dishwashing soap. Stir your purchased or homemade cleaner thoroughly, and then pour evenly over your patio pavers.
5. Get Scrubbing
Once you evenly distribute the cleaner, it’s time to scrub. Luckily, you don’t have to do this next step on your hands and knees if you don’t want to. While most of us have scrub brushes on hand from cleaning bathrooms or indoor tile, outdoor projects have outdoor solutions.
For a scrubbing solution that’s easier on your body, try using a push broom to lather and clean your pavers. Pay special attention to joints and edges.
6. Remove Stains
If the most diligent homeowners will deal with concrete staining every now and then. When this happens, you’re going to need to take extra care to remove these stains before they get worse. Oil, rust, mildew, and even a spilled cup or wine or coffee can break the seal of your concrete patio pavers and leave a stain.
When this happens, you’ll need to move to spot cleaning. Ditch the bush broom and choose a firm-bristle brush. Scrub the stain until it is removed. For this purpose, designated concrete cleaners will likely be more effective than DIY cleaning solutions.
7. Rinse Clean
Once the patio has been scrubbed and spot cleaning has been completed, it’s time to rinse. To do this, take your hose or bucket of water and thoroughly flush the pavers with clean water. It can be tempting to use a pressure washer for this final step. However, try to resist. Pressure washers are too powerful for most concrete patio pavers and may damage the surface or the seal of your pavers.
Additional Notes on Cleaning Concrete Patio Pavers
While the process of cleaning your patio pavers is quite simple, there are some simple things to keep in mind before you clean. Namely, there are a few things you should avoid at all costs when cleaning your hardscaping.
Avoid using wire bristle brushes, pressure washers, acid-based cleaners, and bleach in your cleaning process. All of these materials are too harsh and may damage the seal and surface of your concrete pavers. As tempting as it may be to blast hard stains with harsh chemicals, you’re likely doing more harm than good.
While spring is likely the easiest time to clean your concrete paver patio, some homeowners may find a benefit to executing two deep cleans a year. At any rate, making sure that you keep up with cleaning will help pavers stay looking brand-new for years to come.