How to maintain paving stones?

Paving stone is a material particularly exposed to adverse effects of the environment - changes in weather and temperature, intensive usage and harmful microbial action. Here are a few practical tips pertaining to paving stone maintenance:

Cleaning of paving stone
For the removal of contaminations in the form of dust penetrating hollows of the material and lichens covering the paving stone in shady and humid places, it is best to use a pressure washer with a special adapter. For a lasting effect, it is also recommended to use chemicals to destroy green coverings, which at the same time delay their return and restore the anti-slip properties of paving stone. It is not recommended to scrape moss and lichens, as it may affect the structure of the material.

Stain removing from paving stone
Stains of grease or engine oil, which penetrated into the material, should be removed using special agents for cleaning paving slabs and paving stone. Their selection should be well-thought-out and consulted with an expert, because too strong agents may cause discoloration of the surface being cleaned.

Impregnation of paving stone
It is recommended especially in locations, which are exposed to hard dirt, such as a place for barbecue or driveways and parking places. It consists in covering the paving stone with preparation that protects against absorption of water and liquid contaminants (oil, gasoline etc.). Impregnation has a positive effect on durability of the material and increases its resistance to scratches and abrasion.

Weed control of slots
Removing weeds growing into slots between elements is not a simple task. It is not recommended to do it mechanically (by plucking plants). Removing weeds using herbicidal agents, which are applied by spray or a suitable pen is definitely easier and does not do any harm to the structure of the garden path.

Filling slots
When the slots between the elements are filled with sand, it is necessary to refill it. Particles of the material blown out and its transport by insects can cause instability of the elements. Therefore, once in a while you should sweep the surface with fine sand.

Efflorescence on concrete paving stone
The occurrence of white coverings on the precast concrete is normal and is not subject to complaint. Calcium hydroxide formed during classical bonding and hardening of the concrete has direct influence on efflorescence. A portion of this calcium compound not permanently bound to the other components of concrete is drawn to the outside due to the evaporation of water, thus forming a white covering on the surface of the paving stones - calcium carbonate.

Under the influence of weather, especially carbon dioxide from the air, the calcium carbonate, initially insoluble in water, gradually changes into the aqueous soluble calcium acid carbonate. As a result of this reaction and due to rainfalls the efflorescences are washed off and disappear after some time. Multiple studies and observations have shown that this period can last from 1 to 2 years. To quickly remove efflorescences, the surface of paving stone should be scrubbed with diluted hydrochloric acid ( 1 part acid and 5 parts water). The surface of paving stone will become rougher and the color tone will slightly change. After washing, the paving stone should be thoroughly rinsed with water.

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