How to Care for Natural Stone Pavers
Natural stone pavers can add beauty to your yard, providing you with stunning walkways or solid patios. Once installed, you should take care of your investment to ensure your pavers continue to provide the luxury and aesthetic for which you originally sought them. Fortunately, stones like slate, granite and travertine are highly resistant to damage, so your maintenance requirements are few. With that in mind, here’s how to keep your stone pavers in excellent shape:
Seal your stone
Since different types of natural stone have different properties, they offer a range of looks and sustain various amounts of wear. Depending on the stone you use and the manufacturer recommendations, you may need to seal your stone pavers after installation. Along with enhancing the look of your pavers, this process helps protect against discoloration, water absorption and harsh environmental conditions. What’s more, sealing pavers generally makes maintenance tasks easier.
It’s especially important to seal travertine pavers because if left untreated, they are susceptible to corrosion damage from acidic materials like acid rain, lemon juice and wine. Many experts suggest you seal travertine with a water-repellent impregnating sealer to extend the life of your outdoor surface.
Sealing stone pavers is also highly recommended in cold climates.
Simple cleaning may reduce the frequency with which you must complete more challenging maintenance routines. For this reason, sweeping and washing your stone is important. How often you do these tasks depends on a number of variables, including season and frequency of use.
For instance, during fall, you should sweep your pavers often to prevent fallen leaves from staining them. If you eat meals on a patio made from your stone pavers, you may encounter spills. Basically, keep an eye on your pavers, and if you see something, clean it up right away.
Before cleaning the pavers with a pH-balanced neutral cleaner and warm water, sweep or dry mop them. This gets dirt and debris out of the way, making scrubbing an easier task. When you wash the pavers, use soap and warm water. Scrub the surface with a sponge or sponge mop. You may have to use a hand cloth to work tougher areas. Rinse the pavers and let them dry.
Clean spills immediately
The sun can bake spills onto your stone, so the sooner you pick them up, the better. Whenever you spot a spill, wipe it up immediately and use a cleaner if need be.
Watch the pH
“Neutral cleaners are ideal for natural stone.”
Neutral cleaners are ideal for natural stone, as acidic and strong alkaline agents can cause damage to your pavers. Whether you’re washing the entire surface or spot cleaning, use a pH-neutral product.
This also means that foods and drinks with high acid or base content may damage your tile. Be extra wary of spilt orange juice, tomatoes, etc., always cleaning them right away.
When you first buy a product, test it on a piece of paver leftover from your installation. Doing so will show you if the cleaner causes erosion or discoloration.
Pavers installed in large areas may benefit from the use of commercial cleaners. Ride-on cleaning machines and tough cleaning products are ideal for areas that get high traffic, such as malls or community parks. Personal properties likely don’t get enough traffic or wear to warrant the use of commercial cleaning tools.
Whether your pavers are travertine, slate or granite, you can improve their longevity and look by sweeping and washing regularly. Additionally, always beware of acidic substances.
How do you keep your outdoor space in tip top shape?
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