How to Maintain a Block Paving Driveway
Estimated reading time 6 minutes
If you have recently had a new driveway laid, you will be keen to ensure it looks as good in the months and years to come as it did the moment it was first laid.
Depending on the type of driveway you have though will determine what type of maintenance you need to do in order to keep your driveway in peak condition.
In this month’s blog, we look at block paving driveways and show you the best way to look after them after the installation.
What is block paving?
If you haven’t yet had a new driveway or patio installed and are weighing up the options, there is a good chance that block paving has become a consideration. Block paving is sometimes known as brick paving and provides you with a decorative, durable surface. Where paving slabs are large squares, block paving is made up of smaller, thicker parts that can be laid with a pattern or colour in mind. A huge benefit of block paving is that should any part need replacing, you can simply remove the relevant brick and replace rather than having to pull up the entire driveway.
Maintaining a block paving driveway
The maintenance of a block paving driveway, path or patio is relatively simple when compared to some other surfaces, leading it to be a popular choice for many residential surfacing projects. At the same time, this low level of maintenance leads to many larger areas installing block paving too as it becomes more cost-effective to look after than other surface types. In fact, speaking from experience, many commercial surfacing jobs that we take on feature block paving for this very reason.
Maintenance for a newly installed block paving driveway
When you first have a block paving driveway or pathway installed it is recommended that for the first month, no major maintenance is carried out on it. Instead, you just base your cleaning on a basic level of spot cleaning. This could include sweeping leaves and other debris for example. During this time, you should refrain from using a power washer as you could dislodge brickwork or cause issues beneath the surface. You can though, top up the gaps between the block paving with filler sand. You should only consider this though once the driveway has been swept of any debris.
General maintenance of a block paving driveway
When the paving is dry, use a stiff bristle brush to sweep away any debris. If possible, pull out or scrape any weeds away and then with hot soapy water (washing up liquid is fine) and a stiff bristle yard brush, clean the block paving. You can then hose down with clean water to remove any loose dirt.
This is just your standard maintenance though and there may be the odd occasions where you may need to do a little more to keep your block paving driveway looking good.
You can also apply sealants that can go some way to stopping many of the common issues we show below. These sealants act as a barrier and can stop stains from setting or weeds from growing. You would just need a surfacing specialist to carry out the job for you.
How to remove weeds from a block paving driveway
Weeds can be a common site on block paving if the driveway is left uncared for. Weeds, for the most part, will appear in the joints but can easily be stopped in their path as part of your general maintenance. There is every chance that, upon removal of the weeds, the filler gets displaced. If so, refill to have the driveway back to its best. In the cases where weeds have taken too much control. You can apply weed killer but check the instructions on the bottle, some products may contain chemicals that could stain your block paving.
How to remove tyre marks from a block paving driveway
Tyre marks can become prominent on driveways and can really transform what was a beautiful drive into one that looks quite messy. Luckily on block paving, you should be able to remove these very easily. Warm soapy water will remove them but if it is raining, Mother Nature can also help get rid of them for you.
How to remove oil and grease stains from block paving
Oil stains can be a nightmare to deal with regardless of the surface they make contact with. As a result, they are best dealt with quickly. Oil has the ability to penetrate a block paving driveway so as soon as you spot any, you need to be trying to soak up as much as possible. Use some dry cloth or paper towels.
There is every chance some of the oil or other product may have stained the bricks. If so, scrub the affected surface with warm soapy water and a brush then rinse with hot water. Depending on the amount, or what was spilt, this may need to be done a few times.
Where the stains may be much tougher you could consider a degreaser but just be aware that they can occasionally cause discolouration to your block paving.
How can I treat efflorescence on block paving?
Unfortunately, any product containing cement may exhibit a small level of discolouration which can alter the look of your block paving driveway. Luckily it should disappear over a short period thanks to weather and general use. However, you can simply brush it away on a dry driveway or apply a citric acid-based cleaner to help remove it. Over time you should notice it disappear altogether as the salts from the paving blocks disappear.
How can I remove rust stains from block paving?
Rust requires special products to ensure its safe removal. When using them it is important you follow the instructions as set out by the product guide. Hydrochloric acid-based products are available but these do not come recommended. They can cause significant damage to your paving.
Can I use a pressure washer on a block paving driveway?
Pressure washers are often seen as the perfect solution for an outside cleaning job however they can also be extremely detrimental. The force they use can damage your paving blocks and as a result, limit their lifespan. Not only this but the filler in between the blocks can be removed by the application of a power washer. This then gives you extra work to do as you will have to refill it again.
If you have or are considering a block paving driveway, speak to the Sussex surfacing specialists at Tidey & Webb. With many years of experience in completing surfacing projects across Sussex, Surrey and Kent, our expert team can help with driveway repair as well as installation and, patios, paths, playgrounds or car parks.
Reach out to us today to find out more.