Before we dive into the best way of how to clean a block paving driveway, it helps to first have a thorough understanding of what block paving looks like and which areas you need to be wary of as you undergo a thorough clean.
Block paving consists of porous bricks (or blocks), set in jointing sand with more sand poured around the edges to really hold each block in place. You can create all manner of different patterns and finishes with your block paving surface, with driveways and patios ranging from small blocks to much larger sturdier blocks depending on your preference.
But what happens when, over time, your blocks start to discolour, and algae and lichens, weed growth and moss start to appear in the gaps between each block? The fact is that the bricks and blocks used for block paving tend to be very porous and so hold a lot of moisture – meaning that over time, algae starts to form on the surface which can be a real pain to remove if you don’t follow the optimum steps.
What you will need
We often see DIY and even professional cleaners swearing on the power and effectiveness of pressure or jet washers above all else. And while the high-pressure water flow of a power washer can indeed be effective at blasting away surface-level algae and moss, one thing that clean water cannot do is completely kill off and remove those weeds which are causing you problems.
If you do decide to progress with a pressure washer, we recommend familiarising yourself with how to use the washer on the much stronger surface before jumping right onto your block paving – as one wrong move can quickly dislodge your blocks, cause cracks, or leave the surface uneven and hazardous to walk on.
To perform a well-rounded and effectively clean, you will need:
- A weed killer
- Driveway or outdoor cleaning product
- A pressure washer or hose
- A stiff broom
- Kiln-dried sand
- A block paving sealant
Prior to the clean, you first need to prepare your area – removing all loose items and objects, so that have a completely blank canvas to work with. From there, you can get started with step one…
The cleaning processes
The first step is to brush away all the debris and dirt you can using the stiff broom. From there, it is time to apply your weed killer which will really get to the heart of the weeds and moss plaguing your driveway and get rid of them at their source.
The next step, once the debris from the weed killer has been brushed away, is to apply your driveway cleaner. This can be done in a couple of different ways, depending on whether you are using a pressure washer.
If you are, spread the solution over your driveway and brush it into all the cracks and all over the surface using your stiff broom. The more coverage you get and the better your brushing technique, the longer-term your results will be.
Once that’s done, you can clean your paving using your pressure washer to blast away any residual cleaning solution – taking care to ensure there is proper drainage around the edge of the driveway to prevent your plants from becoming waterlogged and to prevent water from collecting and cutting into the porous drive paving slabs.
If you are not using a pressure washer, spread the solution, in the same way, using a broom and then spend time using your garden hose to wash away all trace of the solution.
Once your block paving is in tip-top condition, it is time to reseal the setting edges with your kiln-dried sand. This shouldn’t be done until the weather is good enough that you can complete the process without rain – and you need to be absolutely sure that the paving has completely dried through from its clean before you consider laying new sand.
When you are sure the time is right, simply spread the sand over your block paving driveway and brush it around into every little corner, crevice, and gap for a thorough and complete finish.
The final step is sealing your block paving driveway – something that we recommend you speak with your local professional about in order to ensure you are left with a high-quality finish which is both safe and which looks great. Alternatively, you can find driveway block paving sealants in your local outdoor and DIY store.
Our top tips on How to clean a block paving driveway
No matter how thoroughly you clean your block paving, the results will not last forever. However, you can give them a long-term lifespan by indulging in a couple of aftercare and maintenance tasks – such as regularly brushing your driveway to loosen any weeds that are starting to grow.
If you’re uncertain about using cleaning products or power washers on your block paving, or you want to achieve a perfect finish that is safe and effective, you can always get a free quote from your local cleaning service company for an all-round driveway clean and touch up.