Paving tile driveways are a popular choice not only because of their stylish appearance but also because they require less further maintenance compared to asphalt or concrete.
Even if you decide to hire a paving tile company or contractor, there may come a time when unwanted stains may appear on your driveway. Sidewalk stain removal will be successful in most cases if you follow these helpful tips.
How do I remove stains on paving tiles?
Paving tiles made by vibro pressing are similar to many other driveways, patios,s or pathway materials in one respect. Their surface is porous and can easily absorb stains. Even if protective measures are taken and sealants are applied to their surface, stains and sedimentation of dirt can occur even with the best care.
Individual blocks of paving can be removed and replaced as a last resort, making paving much more effective than asphalt or concrete. However, before you consider replacing, try removing tile stains with these general guidelines and specific strategies.
General guidelines for removing sidewalk tile stains
- Producers will be able to provide the best recommendations for cleaning sidewalk tile stains. Ask your contractor if they have any resources they can direct you to about how to remove stains.
- Before you try any particular method, try to find the most inconspicuous area of your area to test the end result of the cleaner.
- Always read the instructions for cleaning materials. Follow the instructions for mixing, application, and use of personal protective equipment precisely.
- Rinse the areas thoroughly after applying the materials to the pavement stains. Try to get rid of plants in the interstitial joints if possible.
- If you are trying to remove oil stains on sidewalk tiles, use a granular absorbent material.
- Use soft brushes with nylon bristles that won’t scratch the paving tiles. If you use a high-pressure washer, be aware that this can dislodge the polymer sand in the paving tile joints.
- Fill the joints with new sand when the surface is completely dry.
Removing Oil Stains on Paving Tiles
Oils from many sources can stain your yard or sidewalk. The most common source can be oil dripping from a car parked in your driveway or yard. Also, grease stains can appear near a grill or in an outdoor kitchen.
Keep paper towels, rags, and a bucket of granular oil-absorbent material handy.
If oil or grease has just been deposited, lightly blot (not wipe) the areas with a clean rag or paper towel. Liquid dish soap or laundry detergent will remove most oil stains on paving tiles.
Directly apply the soap to the stain and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. Then scrub with a nylon brush and rinse with hot water. Repeat this step as needed.
Removing salt stains from hard water
Most of what people call salt stains on sidewalk tiles are actually a natural process called efflorescence. They begin to appear most often in the first couple of years after paving and disappear on their own over time.
The efflorescence occurs when the soluble salts in the pavers react with downpours, humidity, and temperature fluctuations. When the water evaporates, the salts come to the surface, creating a whitish appearance.
If you want to speed up the process of cleaning up salt stains you can purchase a special cleaner. This cleaner can be somewhat abrasive, so be sure to test an inconspicuous area first and then clean the entire surface of the paving tiles.
Removing Rust Stains
If steel or iron objects have been on or over areas of the paving tiles for some time, rust stains may appear. Removing rust stains from the pavement requires a material that can damage sealants that may have been applied previously. This material can also cause etching of the surface on the paving, so you may want to apply the material to the entire surface of the paver for an even look. Test a small area first and consult with your paving contractor if necessary.
The best defense against sidewalk tile stains is regular inspection. The longer the contaminant stays on your paving stones, the more likely you are to get stains. Make weekly inspections of the entire paving surface part of your landscaping maintenance job.
Thoroughly clean the areas several times a year before the usual dirt gets in. Talk to a reputable paving stone installer to discuss any options for adding sealants to these areas for extra protection against paver stains.
Remember, one of the best things about pavers compared to other surface materials is that if you can still remove the stained area and replace it with new paving stones. It’s less noticeable the newer your surface.
How to Care for Paving Tiles
Paving slabs are the most popular type of paving, both for private houses and public areas (parks, sidewalks, etc.). And thanks to the development of technologies for the production of shaped paving elements, anyone can choose a variety of colors and textures of paving stones. But like any other thing, paving slabs can lose their attractiveness over time, get dirty and become almost unusable. To avoid such situations and to maintain the appeal of paving stones, they, like everything in this world, must be cared for appropriately. The care and maintenance of paving stones are basically nothing complicated.
The most common type of paving tile maintenance is stain removal. Depending on the type of dirt, stains are removed in different ways. The most important thing to remember when removing stains on paving slabs – quality paving slabs are not afraid of moderate mechanical action. But here you should have a measure and understand that scratches after scrubbing paving stone with a brush or scraper may still remain for some time.
Traces of food, cooking fats, and drinks, as well as tire and soot marks, can be removed with professional detergents.
Machine oil can be removed with chemicals that will corrode such stains. Paint stains, on the other hand, are mostly removed with brushes or special scrapers and the small spots that are left are cleaned off with chemicals.
It should be remembered that the main adsorbent that will help to remove dirt, especially fresh ones, is sand. At the same time, it acts as a gentle abrasive. Sometimes it is enough to sand the place of contamination for a few days and continue to operate this area as usual (walk on the paving sand), and then sweep the area. As a result, most of the dirt, after such a “sand” cleaning, go away on its own – without any extra effort.
But dirt from cement and lime, or cement-containing mixtures, as well as stains from rust are almost impossible to remove. If this is the case, only special solutions should be used.
Useful tip: If the construction works are still in progress, and the paving stones have already been laid, simply cover the entire paving stone area with an even layer of sand. And after completing the work sweep away all the sand. Of course, it will not save from scattered cement or spilled concrete, but it still, keeps an attractive appearance of paving, and will not let enter construction dust or soil, be scattered by builders.
Grass marks are one of the most common types of dirt that are very difficult to fight. They come from plant sap from mowing the lawn, removing weeds that have accidentally sprouted between the tiles, or stacking plants on the paving stones. Such stains are removed with detergent brushes, but often not completely. The most correct method of dealing with such stains is to prevent plant sap from getting on the paving – do not stack the removed grass on the paving, use special lawn mowers with storage tanks when mowing the lawn, or use protective guards on trimmers.
Traces of water can appear when paving tiles are frequently watered with hard water – nothing less than a “scale” is formed on paving stones. Such efflorescence makes paving slabs faded, and whitish and can escape only with the help of special agents designed to remove efflorescence.
In conclusion, it should be noted that any paving slabs, as well as any coating, will inevitably get dirty, but simple prevention and regular cleaning will maintain their appearance for many years.