Natural stone pavers are a go-to building material option for many Aussies looking to enhance the appeal of their homes as they are durable, cost-effective and look great, but like most things, if they are not taken care of, they won’t last as long as they potentially could. The easiest way you can keep your pavers looking like new for decades to come is with regular cleaning and sealing. Here’s how to protect your natural stone pavers.
Shift spills as soon as you can
A great way to prevent stains that are troublesome to shift is by cleaning up any spills or mess as soon as you can. This will prevent the liquid from seeping into the pavers. Some natural materials tend to be more porous than others which makes them more susceptible to staining. After the spill has been cleaned up, it’s best to use a suitable stain remover on the area, even if it appears to be gone. This will reduce the chances of a stain appearing once the liquid has dried.
Examine your pavers often
Usually, it takes time for organic matter to build up on your pavers and just leaving it to its own devices and dealing with it later can see it damage your pavers, and it may be difficult to remove. It’s a good idea to brush your pavers regularly to lift off any loose dirt and debris, and this is the perfect opportunity to check out the condition of your pavers and see to any areas of concern if necessary.
Make sure you use the correct products
There are endless paver products on the market today, but they are not all made equal. You’ll find that many are designed for use on certain materials. Using the wrong paving product can irreversibly damage your pavers so, it pays to read the labels and if your still unsure, ask a paving professional for advice. Some products to avoid at all costs for your natural stone paving are acidic based-products and abrasive soap cleaners. These products can affect the appearance of your natural pavers and can give them a cloudy hue. pH neutral paver cleaners are a good choice as they don’t affect the integrity or appearance of the stone. Make sure you always follow the instructions on the label correctly for the best results.
Thoroughly clean your pavers
Before you can seal your pavers, they need to be clean and free of contaminants otherwise this will mix in with the sealer and give you a poor looking finish. Depending on how dirty your pavers are, you may be able to clean them with a hose only or, if this doesn’t clean them enough, you may need to use your natural stone paver cleaner and work in sections until the whole surface is clean. If you have grout, this should be cleaned with a small soft brush.
Make sure your pavers are completely dry before sealing
If there has been a lot of rain or you’ve recently washed your pavers, you will need to wait until they have dried completely before you can seal them. It can be hard to tell if natural stone is entirely dry due to its porosity. A quick and simple way you can check if your pavers are dry enough or not is by taping a piece of plastic over a paver. If there are signs of moisture under the plastic after 2 to 3 hours, it’s not dry enough to seal. If rain is imminent, it’s best to hold off on your sealing until the weather is fine and there is no bad weather predicted, as it can affect the quality of your finish.
Make sure you have the correct equipment when sealing
It’s one thing to have the correct products, but if you don’t have the correct equipment to apply the sealer, you may end up with an inferior finish. Again, it is best to follow the instructions on the sealers packaging as sealers can have different methods of application.
Wait before walking on your pavers
The drying time can vary but, to be sure your pavers have dried fully, it’s best to wait a full 24 hours before walking on them and replacing furniture and other objects after sealing.
Knowing when it’s time to reseal your pavers
Your natural stone pavers may be showing obvious signs that they need resealing such as a thin film appearing on the surface. If there are no signs but, it’s been the standard 3 to 5 years since you’ve sealed your pavers, you can check if they need redoing by sprinkling water over them. If the water sinks into the paver, it’s time to reseal them. Taking the time to clean and seal your pavers regularly with the correct products and techniques will ensure they maintain their beautiful appearance and are going to stand the test of time. Here at Bonita Stone, we have a stunning collection of pavers and cladding that can help to improve the appearance of your home. All our materials are sourced from Western Australia to bring our customers quality products that are designed to withstand the harsh Aussie climate. If you have any questions about cleaning or sealing your natural stone pavers, just ask! Our friendly team is happy to help if we can.