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You have just created a beautiful interlock driveway, patio, walkway, or even backyard living space and your customer can now enjoy it. Unfortunately, oil spills or patio furniture leaves rust stains and your customer calls you back to help them clean it.
There are two ways in which you can handle this situation. You can provide them with the solutions available to clean the stains or you can clean it yourself. We prefer the later as it shows good service to our customers for something that does not take long to do. However, we do take this opportunity to talk to them about sealing their pavers in order to provide more protection from these stains.
Sealing pavers is an added service that your business can provide in order to expand your business operations. You do not need to be spending money and time to find new customers, rather you can use your existing customers to earn more revenue for your business.
This article is specifically about cleaning pavers, but you should consider adding sealing as a service that your business can offer existing customers. Regardless, cleaning the pavers is the first step before sealing anything.
This is not a sponsored post. We have used Techni Seal products in the past and recommend them for you to use in your projects. All of the photos in this post are provided by Techni Seal.
Best Way to Clean Pavers
Cleaning pavers begins with identifying what has stained the pavers. After that, it is simply choosing the right method in order to clean the stain. If the pavers are sealed, it is much easier to clean the stain and likely you would not be receiving a call from your customer to clean these stones as long as the sealer is still present.
Typical stains on pavers include black mold, leaf or other organic stains, rust, oil, grease, rubber from vehicle tires, polymeric sand haze, or efflorescence. Each of these stains have different ways of removing them and we will continue to explain how to progress through each stain.
Note that before committing to a major area to clean, test the cleaning product or procedure in a small and inconspicuous area to ensure that it is not going to damage or have adverse effects on your project.
Power Washing Pavers
How to Remove Oil Stains from Pavers
How to Remove Leaf Stains from Concrete
Remove Rust Stains from Concrete
Remove Paint, Tar, or Rubber from Pavers
Removing Slurry and Polymeric Haze
Remove Efflorescence from Pavers
Knowing how to pressure wash pavers is important for any cleaning services. It is important that you have the right tools so that you do not destroy or etch the stones. This can cause you more problems.
Pressure washing pavers involves having the right tools in order to complete the task. A lot of stains can be removed from stones using a pressure washer, but for the most part the other stains on this list require a special solution in order to remove the stains.
A pressure washer is used more for spraying the polymeric sand out of the joints in order to replace it or to remove the dirt or mold that has grown over top of the stones over time. This requires a hot water pressure washer with a rotating pressure washer head or even this pressure washing tool.
Attaching this tool to your pressure washer will protect you from getting sprayed as this becomes an extremely messy job and it will also ensure the spinning of the pressure washing nozzles to clean the surface without etching the concrete.
As this tool will keep you from etching your concrete, it is important that you do not spend too much time in one area while you are cleaning to ensure that you are destroying your interlock. If you are just spraying the sand from the joints you will not need this tool and you should ensure that you are only focusing on spraying the joints without over-spraying and compromising the base underneath.
Having a hot water pressure washer will make it easier to break down the polymeric sand if this is your intent of using the pressure washer. The hot water re-activates the polymeric sand and makes it easier to wash out. The hot water pressure washer will also clean the surface of the stones much easier than a normal pressure washer and allow you to not spend too much time in one area which will cause you to etch and destroy the surface of the stones.
If pressure washing the surface of the stones does not remove the stains or discoloring of the stones, then it is time to move on to choosing the right solution to remove the stains. Below we continue to walk through different stains and ways in which you can remove them.
Choosing the right hot water pressure washer is important, but if this is just a one-off job and you do not plan on doing too many pressure washing jobs then it is best that you rent a pressure washer. However, if you have use for a pressure washer for more than just cleaning stone on the odd-job and you intend to use it to clean equipment and more, then it is best to invest in the right tool for the job.
The same as grease stains, oil stains can be removed with Techni Seal’s Professional Grade Oil and Grease remover. Depending on how long the grease or oil has been present on the surface of the stones, it may require more than oen use to remove the stain. With the oil sitting on the surface of the stones, it will penetrate deeper into the porous concrete. What this liquid remover does is it draws out that oil from the stone and becomes a powder that gets wiped away.
The directions are very clear and on the bottle. Simply shake and apply the liquid in temperatures above 15 degrees Celsius and wait five to eight hours for the liquid to absorb the oil or grease and turn into a powder. The powder can then be swept away. What will remain is a citrus based darker mark on your stones which will evaporate. Once this has evaporated, if the stain still exists then you can repeat with the same solution. Make sure that you follow the safety instructions on the bottle when using it.
Techni Seal offers an organic stain remover product which will clean your stones of mildew, moss, leaf stains, wine, blood, and many other organic stains. It is what you are going to want to use on an area if you have some organic stains and the pressure washer did not work. If you have a large area, try using the hot pressure washer first on a small area of it to see if that works. If not, you will need to upgrade to this product. If you have a small stained area, proceed immediately to this product.
With this product, you will need to dilute it in a plastic container with water depending on the amount required (see product for more details on the dilution rate). Apply it on the area that is stained and let it work for five to ten minutes before scrubbing it with a nylon scrub brush and wetting it generously to wash away. Follow further safety and precautions that is labeled on the product.
If you want to remove rust stains from pavers, you will want to wet the area first before using this product on it. Apply this product and scrub with a nylon brush before rinsing away once the stain is dissolved. Refer to the product for safety instructions.
This product will dissolve paint, tar, and rubber from pavers. Directions are clearly printed on the product. This involves applying to the affected areas and waiting 5 to 10 minutes before reapplying and scrubbing with a nylon brush. It is important that this product does not have the chance to dry. It will also remove sealer, so if the stones are sealed they will need to be re-sealed. Follow the safety instructions on the container when using it.
There are solutions available to remove slurry or polymeric haze from the surfaces of stone. Similar to other solutions, they are applied to the surface of the stone, scrubbed, and rinsed off. Slurry is the hardening of cut dust on the surface of stones. This occurs when you cut wet and do not rinse the surface of the stones off, if the surface of the stones are wet when you are cutting dry, or if you cut dry and do not blow the surface of the stones off to remove the dust. Polymeric haze occurs when the surface of the stones are not blown off after the polymeric sand has been swept into the joints and the sand has been consolidated by running a tamper over the stones. Once the sand has been activated by watering it, the haze remains on the surface of the stones and must be cleaned off using a solution.
Efflorescence is the white stains on the surface of concrete. It is a salt that makes its way to the surface from the moisture within the concrete. It is easy to remove, but if it is a major problem throughout your project it is best to contact your manufacturer to discuss possible solutions.
If it continues to reappear, you may have a water problem underneath your stones. For example, stone dust or limestone screenings used as a bedding layer will not allow water to penetrate through your base and will keep water underneath your pavers. This water will have no where to go but up through your stones to the surface and leaving behind with it the efflorescence residue. As long as you have a properly installed bedding layer, you should not have this problem.
To clean it is simple. Begin by wetting the surface of your project to saturate the joints and wait for the pavers to dry. With Techni Seal’s Efflorescence cleaner, you can attach a sprayer to your garden hose and attach the bottle directly to ensure the cleaner is properly diluted as you spray the solution onto the surface of the stones.
There are specific instructions to follow on the product involving the temperature range (10 – 30 degrees Celsius) and the stones needing to be warm to the touch before applying. Make sure that you refer to these instructions as well as the safety instructions including wetting vegetation around the area that the product will be applied. Apply in no more than 200 square feet areas at a time beginning at the bottom of the slope and working your way to the top. Gently scrub with a street broom before washing the solution away ensuring that it is never able to dry.
Along with removing any stains, this is also the first step in preparing a concrete project for sealing. This will remove any other hazing and efflorescence stains while also preparing the surface for the sealer to properly adhere to the stones.
It never hurts to be able to serve your customers if they are in need of cleaning a stain. It happens more often than you can imagine and to be able to offer a solution to your customers on the spot is incredibly important in being the best choice for your customers and for them to continue to pass your name along.
It also allows you to pitch yourself further with sealing services. It never hurts to offer a solution to your customers to prevent any further staining of their investment. Not only is it the best way to protect your customer’s investment, but it also provides more value to their investment.