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drewp
How to clean large area of Pavers

Hi, I have a property/home where just about the WHOLE property is comprised of paver stones (roughly 100' x 35' with a home). Over the years, these originally "red" colored pavers have become dingy, dirty and more grey looking and from a distance, it's difficult to distinguish the paver from the seams. I wanted to try to clean these up. I'm not crazy about powerwashing for it would only do a very small area at a time and I don't want to gouge out the sand in the seams. I was thinking or wondering if there is some sort of orbital sander/polisher that could be used with a scouring pad, etc. I'd rather not get into any real caustic chemicals. Any ideas? Thanks

HoustonRemodeler
Re: How to clean large area of Pavers

There is an attachment for a power washer called a "hydroscrubber"

MLBSF
Re: How to clean large area of Pavers

they make a power broom which resembles a weedwacker. maybe wetting the pavers, some muriatic acid and the power broom might work.

dj1
Re: How to clean large area of Pavers

A. Spruce is an expert in steam washing/cleaning. Wait for him to offer his 2 cents of advice.

A. Spruce
Re: How to clean large area of Pavers
dj1 wrote:

A. Spruce is an expert in steam washing/cleaning. Wait for him to offer his 2 cents of advice.

LOL :D what are you saying, that I'm full of hot air? :D:D

I would agree that steam might be a good option, but this would be a rental because there is no affordable homeowner version that could handle that kind of surface area. I mean, you could, but being on your hands and knees with a 1" nylon scrubber tip on the steamer is going to get old REALLY quick! :D

I'm not familiar enough with commercial/trailer mounted rental steamers if it's a pressure washer type set up or not, a little research should tell you. If it's a pressure washer type system, then you'll have a similar issue with it blowing the sand from between the pavers.

What you may be relegated doing would be to use something like a deck wash or TSP solution and a scrub brush on a broom handle to scrub the solution into the surface of the pavers, then rinse it down.

dj1
Re: How to clean large area of Pavers

I know pavers and what I'm afraid of is that all treatments will damage them.

The thing is that pavers 'weather' thru the years, so it's something that most homeowners learn to accept.

A. Spruce
Re: How to clean large area of Pavers

As long as the cleaning method isn't overly caustic, there shouldn't be a problem with color degradation.

I would recommend looking at a few paver manufacturer's websites for cleaning and care instructions. That will be the best place to start.

ordjen
Re: How to clean large area of Pavers

There are a couple products I would probably try:

Jomax is an old line cleaner which is mixed with bleach to make a very effective cleaning solution. A quart is mixed with four gallons of water and 3 quarts of household bleach to produce 5 gallons of solution. Jomax contains a chemical which further activates the bleach, a detergent and additional mildecides. I use this product on my concrete exposed aggragate patio every year to get rid of the algae and mildew from the long , damp Portland winters. Its application followed by a vigorous rinse with the power washer is very effective.

Another product which is a great concrete cleaner is Behr's All In One Deck Cleaner. This is basically oxalic acid with the addition of some enzymes for cleaning. I discover by accident how good a concrete cleaner it is. I was using this product to bleach out my cedar fences. While mixing it on my driveway, I was splashing some of the solution on the driveway. Low and behold, that area of the driveway looked like new! After that, I treated the whole driveway.

It also did a good job of getting the rust stains out of the sidewalk where I stupidly had left some of the 5% iron containing grass fertilizer had made stains.

I see no reason why these faded pavers good not be stained with a transparent concrete stain after cleaning to reinstate some of the color.

drewp
Re: How to clean large area of Pavers

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm going to have to think this thing through a bit and I'm going to check out my local equipment rental shop to see if they have any ideas. It is a large area. I'm not really trying to get the pavers to look like new..with their original color. I just want to get the top surface of grime off and hopefully have the pavers look separated again (seams). I was thinking that there would be some type of a machine/steamer/buffer similar to what you see them using on a roof to clean shingles/remove moss, etc.

dj1
Re: How to clean large area of Pavers

One last suggestion:
I've cleaned mold and mildew off roofs with 100% bleach, using a regular garden sprayer. I got results in 20 minutes.
Do you want to try it on your pavers?

ordjen
Re: How to clean large area of Pavers

A product that I have used for literally 30 years is JOMAX. A quart of Jomax is combined with 3 quarts of bleach and 4 gallons of water to make 5 gallons of solution. It is a detergent, a bleach activator and mildicide. When used, black mildew and green algae will disappear before your eyes. It is relatively mild. It has never damaged surrounding plants etc. when I have used it. I use this product evey spring to clean the gunk off my exposed aggragate patio here in Portland where algae is the State Plant :) I simply flush the solution away with a brisk power washing.

Another product which might be useful is Behr's All In One Deck Cleaner. This is basically oxalic acid with enzymes as cleaners. It is an excellant concrete cleaner. I discovered this by accident, having spilled the solution on my driveway while using it to clean my cedar fencing. The spilled on area looked like new! So I just did the rest of the driveway. It also did a great job of removing the rust spots from the sidewalk where I stupidly did not get the iron containing fertilizer pellets off the walkway.

After a thorough cleaning, I don't know why the pavers could not be treated with concrete stain to return some of the color.

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