Pavers are an incredibly versatile building material thanks to their durability and aesthetic appeal. They can be used to build driveways, walkways, patios, and other outdoor living spaces, or they can accentuate existing designs and create a unique look for your property. The only downside is that they can slowly fade and become discolored over time. Luckily, though, there are ways to keep your pavers looking their best.
One of the most effective ways to restore discolored pavers is to use a power washer. This will remove any dirt, grime, or other built-up that has accumulated on the surface of the pavers. Just be sure to use a lower power setting to avoid damaging the surface. Then, you can reapply a sealant to better protect your pavers in the future.
Understandably, it will take a little bit of work to restore your pavers but rest assured that it’s a simple and straightforward job that you can knock out within a single afternoon. If this is your first time restoring pavers, continue reading to learn how to clean them, how to apply a fresh coat of sealant, and a few steps you can take to prevent discoloration in the future.
What Causes Pavers to Become Discolored?
While it’s true that not all pavers will age at the same rate, some pavers made from certain materials will age faster than others. For example, cement is surprisingly porous and readily absorbs dirt, oils, and other dark-colored substances. This means that it can easily absorb stains which will lead to discoloration over time.
Other materials, such as porcelain, are denser and better able to withstand stains. However, in time, they too can absorb dark spots from dirt, grime, and other build-ups, causing them to look dirty and stained.
Generally, though, discoloration happens when pavers are not properly sealed. This allows dirt, pollen, and other debris to penetrate the surface of the pavers and cause stains. In some cases, it can also allow water to seep in and cause the pavers to crack or chip. That’s why it’s so important to regularly clean and reseal your pavers to keep them looking their best.
How to Remove Discoloration from Pavers?
Before you start restoring your paver driveway, patio, pool deck, or walkway, take a moment to assess the severity of the discoloration. If the pavers are only mildly discolored, you may be able to clean them with a power washer.
However, if the pavers are severely discolored or if they have any cracks or chips, you’ll need to repair them before you can proceed. Once the pavers are in good condition, you can start the cleaning process.
- Start by sweeping the affected area to remove any loose dirt, pollen, or leaves.
- Next, use a garden hose to wet down the pavers.
- Then, mix together a solution of mild dish soap and water.
- Apply the solution to the pavers with a soft-bristled brush.
- Rinse the pavers with clean water.
- Repeat steps 2-5 until the pavers are clean.
- Once the pavers are clean, allow them to air dry completely.
Once you’re satisfied with how clean the pavers are, you can then consider reapplying a fresh coat of sealant.
How to Apply a Fresh Coat of Sealant?
Freshly cleaned pavers may look new but they’ll soon lose their luster if you don’t protect them with a sealant. A sealant will create a barrier on the surface of the pavers that will repel water, dirt, and other debris.
It will also help to prevent the pavers from absorbing stains. Just be sure to choose a sealant that’s specifically designed for outdoor use and that’s compatible with the type of pavers you have.
- Start by sweeping the pavers to remove any loose dirt or debris.
- Next, use a garden hose to wet down the pavers.
- Then, apply the sealant to the pavers with a paint roller, brush, or sealant sprayer. You should be able to rent a sprayer from your local hardware store and recommend doing so if you’re sealing a large area.
- Allow the sealant to dry completely.
- Once the sealant is dry, you can apply a second coat if desired.
Avoid walking on the pavers until the sealant has completely dried. For this reason, it’s usually best to work from the edge of your property toward your home. This way, you don’t block yourself in.
How to Prevent Discoloration in the Future?
Now that you’ve successfully restored and resealed your pavers, it’s important to take steps to prevent future discoloration. The best way to do this is to regularly clean your pavers and reapply a fresh coat of sealant every one to two years.
In addition, you should avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners on your pavers as they can damage the surface. Instead, simply use water and a mild soap if it’s absolutely necessary. If you must use a chemical cleaner, be sure to rinse the pavers thoroughly with clean water afterward to prevent the chemical from damaging the stone or brick.
You should also avoid walking on your pavers when they’re wet as this can cause mud to become lodged within the crevices of the stone or brick. If you have a pool, you may want to consider installing a paver deck or patio to create a dry area for lounging.
Finally, you should always sweep or blow leaves and other debris off your pavers to prevent staining. This is especially important in the summer and autumn months when you’re actively mowing the grass and raking leaves. By taking these simple steps, you can keep your pavers looking new for years to come.
Our Final Thoughts
Pavers are a wonderful way to add beauty to your property. However, they can become discolored over time if they’re not properly sealed and maintained. If your pavers are looking a little worse for wear, don’t despair. With a little elbow grease and the right products, you can easily restore them to their former glory. Just be sure to regularly clean and reseal your pavers to prevent future discoloration.