You’ve invested in a beautiful brick paver hardscape. It’s a thing of beauty, and likely your favorite spot to enjoy the great outdoors. Although brick pavers look like they don’t need any maintenance at all, you will extend their life and beauty with a bit of ongoing care. Here are four tips to proper maintenance of brick pavers in Rochester Hills, MI.
Quality hardscapes are meant to withstand a lot—consider the many elements working against your pavers. Daily onslaughts can include the blazing sun, snow and ice, the freeze/thaw cycle, de-icing salt, food, beverages, household chemicals, oil drips from your car, fallen leaves, moss, mildew, and of course traffic (even on a patio, furniture being dragged around can damage the pavers).
Prioritize Regular Cleaning
Besides investing in durable, quality pavers, regularly cleaning your brick pavers is the simplest way to keep them looking good. Give cleaning the same level of importance as you do routinely changing the oil in your car, as the least expensive and most effective way to ensure long-lasting enjoyment.
Cleaning also helps spills from becoming stains. Use only a scrub brush with mild detergent or cleaners specifically meant for brick pavers, and gently rinse the hardscape with a hose to remove any cleaner residue. Always avoid using harsh chemicals, which can strip away the protective sealant and leach onto adjacent landscaping where they can damage or kill plants and turf grasses.
Also avoid power-washing your hardscape at full pressure. While tempting, power-washing can sweep away the jointing sand between pavers. This not only gives weeds a great place to take root, but it could also create too much movement between pavers, which could result in an uneven and unstable surface. If you do power-wash, do it at the lowest effective PSI, and then carefully inspect the hardscape surface for any jointing compound that has come loose.
The best time to clean your hardscape could be to spot-clean it immediately after you notice a spill. This is the best way to prevent a spill from hardening into a stain. Cleaning also gives you an opportunity to check for cracks, chips, or any issues that need to be addressed. Depending on individual conditions—falling leaves, precipitation, sun exposure, and use, your brick pavers may need monthly cleaning, or just once or twice a year.
Reapply Jointing Sand
Once your brick pavers have been cleaned, examine the entire hardscape for any signs of erosion. If there are gaps between pavers or jointing sand on the surface of the hardscape, more could be added, depending on the manufacturer’s directions.
Sealant is not always necessary for paver surfaces, but for some pavers you may find that a good penetrating sealant will make your brick pavers more resistant to stains from leaves, oil, dirt, and salt. It can also help prevent fading from UV light and lessen the movement of jointing compound. You could have sealant reapplied once every two to five years, after a thorough cleaning. Always be consistent with the type of sealant that is used—penetrating sealants are different than surface sealants.
Repair As Needed
The beauty of interlocking brick pavers is that if one is damaged, you can replace just the one paver. If there are any structural issues such as areas of a patio “heaving” or sinking, this is something that should be addressed by a professional who can take care of the issue and prevent further need for repairs.