How to keep your outdoor pavers looking good

Concrete pavers are a fantastic choice for your outdoor area – they’re durable, hard-wearing, safe, easily repairable, come in a huge variety of colours, styles, finishes and textures, and quite simply make your outdoor area look very appealing. To make it even better, they’re quite low maintenance as well.

However, that doesn’t mean you can afford to completely ignore them. To keep your concrete pavers looking and performing their best, there are some maintenance tasks you’ll have to take care of. But rest assured – they’re not too onerous and can be completed quite simply and easily, especially if you perform them regularly. Here’s what you need to do to ensure your concrete pavers keep their good looks over the years.

Keep them clean

Outdoor pavers can be subject to dirt, stains, marks or efflorescence (a white, powdery mineral deposit caused by moisture in the pavers). If your pavers are looking a little grubby, dry brush them with a soft-bristled broom to remove any deposits or solidified material. Then scrub the pavers with clean water and a brush. In most cases, this method will be all it takes to keep your pavers looking good, and it’s very safe with little risk of damage to the pavers.

If your paved area is very dirty or stained, you can use a high-pressure water cleaner, an acid wash or bleach to return it to its former glory – although these methods can be a little riskier to the pavers. You’ll need to take some safety precautions – find out more about the do’s and don’ts of cleaning your concrete pavers here.

Keep the greenery away

Weeds can be a perennial problem in paved areas, as a paved surface naturally leaves lines or gaps between each paver. This provides a weak spot for weeds to rear their ugly heads. Weed seeds can be carried in by the wind or dropped by birds into paver crevices – meaning you’re likely to get weeds popping up in your paving, even if you keep your garden free from weeds. And a messy, weedy pavement is not a good look.

But while you can’t prevent weeds from spreading into your pavers, you can prevent them from becoming a real problem. If weeds start to sprout in your paving, get rid of them as soon as you notice them – they’ll be far easier to remove before they become established. You can simply remove them by hand, or use a chemical treatment if they are prolific or hard to remove.

Once your area is weed-free, prevent weed seeds from re-sprouting by sweeping your pavement regularly to disrupt the establishment of the seeds. The occasional pressure wash will have the same effect – although be careful not to use a jet nozzle, as this can remove the jointing sand between the pavers. As well, try using a pre-emergent weed removal product to prevent weeds from germinating in the first place. If you prefer a more natural

remedy, try white vinegar, baking soda or boiling water to remove existing weeds and prevent new weeds from taking their place.

As well, tree roots growing underneath the paved surface and lifting your pavers can also become a problem. If you notice your pavers starting to lift or become unstable, check for tree roots. You may need to remove the offending tree as well as the problematic tree roots. If you want to plant trees or shrubs around your paved area, check what type of root growth the tree will have, and don’t choose trees or plants with aggressive growth.

Keep them in place

If pavers are not correctly installed, they might become loose, uneven, wobbly, sunken or lifted over time, or even drift out of place. This can cause your paved area to look unsightly and unattractive – not to mention it’s likely to provide a tripping hazard. If you’ve noticed problems developing, you may need to remove the problem pavers, re-install the base correctly and replace them with new ones.

Click here to read more about how to fix a wobbly paver:

  • Replace them if necessary

Don’t put up with your concrete pavers looking a little worse for wear. The great thing about concrete pavers, is that’s it’s super easy to replace a broken, damaged, worn or badly stained paver. Simply lift the damaged paver, add some more bedding material, and re-install a new one. It’s a quick and simple process that will restore your paved area to its former glory easily and without fuss.

Concrete pavers are certainly easy to replace – but only if you have spare ones to replace them with! Keep this in mind when ordering your pavers, and make sure to order some extras to use over the years, otherwise you may end up having to replace damaged pavers with a different style or colour of paver if the one you originally chose has been discontinued.