Sealing and Maintaining Block Paving

Posted byadmin Posted onJuly 26, 2023 Comments0

Block Paving driveways can look great and an asset to any home if the paving that has been properly laid and regularly maintained. However, most people who have this surface at home don’t realise the upkeep that’s required to keep it looking at least presentable, or preferably in it’s best possible condition. Homeowners pay a lot of money to have these types of pavers laid, so it is not wise to leave the paving until it is covered in grime and weeds before routine maintenance is carried out.

Before cleaning the driveway or patio pre-treating the area with a weed killer will take care of weeds, and treating with a fungicidal wash will take care of moss, algae, lichen and so on. If these are present then it’s important that they are pre-treated otherwise when you use a power washer or you will be just taking the heads of these growths and leaving the roots behind, this generally means that a couple of weeks later they will be growing back stronger than ever.

Cleaning it with a high pressure water jet can work wonders in getting rid of all of the above and leaving the paving looking like new again. A note of caution, Block Paving driveways should only be very occasionally be pressure cleaned as this can undermine the sand bed that the block paving is laid on causing it to sink.This is why I would always advocate sealing the block paving once it is cleaned so that any future cleaning requires only a hosing down and not a vigorous pressure washing.

I will now take you through a very simple DIY procedure for sealing and maintaining block paving.

Step 1 Preparation

NEW PAVING Before applying sealer ensure paving is clean, dust free and that no efflorescence (surface whiteness) is present. If efflorescence is visible ensure it is treated with efflorescence remover, then wash down thoroughly with clean water. Allow 4-6 weeks after treatment to ensure efflorescence does not re-appear.

EXISTING PAVING Before applying sealer to existing paving it must be clean, free of stains, dust, algae, weeds and efflorescence. For optimum results, treat paving with fungicidal wash prior to cleaning with a pressure washer. Check that the paving is dry by scraping out the sand between the blocks to a depth of 5-10mm. If the sand is dry, the paving is now ready for sealing. With a sanding broom sweep additional kiln dry sand into all joints. Ensure there is no surplus sand on the face or beveled edges of the blocks. Protect areas such as flower beds, ponds and adjacent areas from splashing. Ensure temperature is between 7-23 degrees and that no rain is forecast for at least 4 hours.

Step 2 Application It is advised to wear gloves, mask, goggles, boots and suitable clothing at all times when applying block paving sealer.Most manufacturers recommend applying two coats of paving sealer for optimum results, leaving at least 2 hours between applications. Use 4″ paint brush to apply block paving sealer to borders. Block paving sealer can be applied using a sprayer unit, roller or brush. To fully harden the jointing sand apply at a rate of 2m2 per litre first coat and 3.5 m2 per litre second coat. Two-coats are best applied for optimum protection. The majority of block paving sealers will be tack free within 2 hours at 20C and foot traffic may be permitted after 4 hours. Vehicles should be kept off the sealed area for a minimum of 24 hours at 20C. PLEASE NOTE: The times above may be increased or reduced depending on the ambient temperature.

Step 3 Maintenance Good quality paving sealer will offer many years of protection to the surface, but it is recommended to apply a single top up coat of block paving sealer every few years. Block paving sealer will minimise maintenance for the homeowner. But as with all external paving products, some degree of routine maintenance is required. An annual gentle wash down to remove dirt, plus the occasional application of fungicidal wash is necessary to keep the block paving in pristine condition.This will prevent build up of moss, weeds, stains or algae. Acrylic block paving sealer is designed to be re-applied as and when required. To keep in optimum condition a top up coat of block paving sealer is generally advisable approximate every 2-4 years. Paving sealers can only be re-applied at anytime if the paving is clean and dry,this allows areas of high wear or vulnerable areas to be re-treated as required.


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