Block Paving


Block paving maintenance. The maintenance of interlocking concrete pavers is very low. Occasionally you may be required to replace a chipped or cracked Block Paving which is very rare due to their durability. 

The darker coloured types are ideal for driveways where oil stains may occur because they will hide the stain. There are special types of cleaning solutions that can be used to remove heavy stains such as:-

  • Oil
  • Petrol
  • Dust and Debris
  • Grease and Grime
  • Food

Block paving Maintenance & Taking care of your Surfaces:

No matter how well a pavement might be laid, and no matter how much was spent on quality materials, all paving, from the very best top-of-the-range to the not-quite-so-good, require some basic maintenance to keep them looking their best. 

Those salesmen who promise “Block paving maintenancefree” paving of one form or another are just not telling the whole truth. Maintenance keeps paving in prime condition and lack of maintenance allows paving to deteriorate.

Even if it’s just a basic wash-down with soapy water, all types and forms of paving will look so much better for it, while certain types of paving tend to need a bit more care and attention to ensure they always look as smart as possible. 

The good news is that cleaning is usually easy and evens the most decrepit, neglected or abused pavement can often be given a new lease of life with just a little effort.

Dealing with weeds:

Weeds are simply plants that are growing in an inconvenient place, and there are few places more inconvenient that you’re new paving that’s just cost a lot of money. There are two common myths regarding weeds and paving, so let’s deal with them now.

1 – Myth Conception – some types of paving/surfacing are “weed-free”

2 – Myth Behaviour – weeds can grow up through block paving

Firstly, is there no such thing as a weed-free surface. If detritus is allowed to accumulate on a surface, it will only be a matter of time before some weed or other decides to set up base camp in said detritus. Secondly, when properly constructed, weeds do NOT grow through block paving, and all that nonsense about putting a “weed barrier” beneath the paving is stated by people who do know nothing about how paving works.

Weeds will grow into paving, through colonising the sand-stuffed joints or settling onto accrued detritus, but it can be very uncommon for weeds to develop via 200mm or so of pavement structure (the best exceptions being the notorious japanese Knotweed).

There’s no need blaming the paving for scenes which include those shown above. There’s not anything intrinsically wrong with the paving or within the manner it’s been layed. It’s the bone-idle people liable for the paving that want a kick up the rear!!

whilst a vehicle gets grimy and covered in traffic dirt, is it the fault of the car? No: we keep in mind that the owner should have cleaned the car every so often. And it’s precisely the same with paving! It needs care and attention to maintain it looking and performing at its as is new.

Getting weeds rid of for good:
Weeds can generally be pulled off the floor of most paving, or scraped off using a hoe or comparable tool. in which roots have been sent down into the jointing, removal of the weed frequently brings away some of the sand, and this must get replaced as soon as possible because the surface is clean.

partly-filled or empty joints are negative to pavement overall performance.

Keeping the weeds at bay:

as soon as a paved floor has been cleared of weeds, it makes sense to maintain it weed-free for the future. usually talking, regular trafficking, via foot or via wheels, will restrict the potential of weeds to re-colonise an area, however for these regions experiencing very little traffic 3 easy anti-weed techniques are helpful:

fairly regular brushing – this disturbs newly rising weeds and gets them earlier than they are able to fully establish themselves

Weed Killer – although this is probably a few people’s first preference as a deterrent method, I opt for pro-active to re-active treatment, which means that stopping the weeds before they settle in rather than killing them when they’ve established.

however, Weed Killers have their uses and, whilst used with care, can be very powerful at killing off existing weeds and deterring re-colonisation for a duration of weeks or maybe months.

There also are a growing range of so-referred to as “Weed Preventers” which might be chemical substances which are applied to a paved floor after cleansing. these work by way of killing off any seed or weed that dares express an interest in rising from the treated floor.

The effective duration for these products varies, and it might appear that the effectiveness is also quite variable.

search for a product which has been specially manufactured for use with paving or in gardens, instead of popular herbicides, which kill everything.

those chemical substances offered as appropriate for paving or lawn use have a tendency to be slightly more selective and target the weeds with out discolouring the paving or killing off adjoining lawns or bedding plant life.

direct contact Weed Killers work, because the name suggests, by way of getting into contact with the weed and is appropriate for speedy killing of simple surface weeds. For the extra determined weed, a systemic Weed Killer might be a another & better alternative. these have a tendency to take longer (through a couple of days or so) to kill off the weed, but achieve this through being absorbed and brought into the entire plant, and no longer simply the above-ground leaves and stems.

always comply with the manufacturer’s instructions and try and keep away from washing-off onto planted regions.


a great first-rate sealant will prevent weeds settling into the pavement structure. but, even the very first-rate sealant can’t save you the build-up of detritus, and if that is allowed to accumulate on above of a surface, the weeds will pretty thankfully take up residence, irrespective of the sealant.

Basic cleaning:

The best and safest manner to clean paving is to scrub it with soapy water. a few people will swear that hot soapy water is more effective than cold water, however in fact, ANY soapy water will do. Use wash-up liquid or an acid-free cleaning soap-primarily based ground cleansing product. 

If there’s any trace of a warning about the use of the specific product with limestone or marble flooring, return it back below the sink

Acids and acid-based cleaners could have a deleterious and bad impact on certain sorts of concrete and natural stone paving, as will be explained later.

other than a bucket or pail which to maintain the soapy water, the best equipment wanted is a stiff brush, this is, one with hard, tough, thick bristles as opposed to the finer bristled sorts which we refer to as ‘soft brushes’ ensure the hard brush used has stiff, rugged bristles

The soapy water may be swilled onto the surface of the paving after which, with brush in hand, it’s clearly a matter of scrub, scrub, scrub, using the mechanical actions of the hard brush in mixture with the chemical motion of the cleaning soap to loosen any floor detritus.

Wash off the loosened dirt with clean water, again the use of a bucket or pail to swill it throughout the pavement, taking all of the muck with it. A hose can be used if desired, but, as could be repeated on few more occasions in what follows, care ought to be taken to ensure the jointing, in whatever shape it could be , isn’t loosened or eliminated.

Acid warning

As referred to above, acid-primarily based cleansing products ought to be averted wherever feasible: for many forms of paving, they do greater damage than good. especially, watch out for “Brick cleansing Acid” or any “patio cleanser” that has hydrochloric acid indexed in its ingredients. they’ll clean your paving, however there is also a considerable chance that they’ll spoil it.

Stone paving

Most granites, basalts, porphyry, slates and stone appear to be unaffected by acid or acid-based cleaners, however proceed with caution and check small discreet area 1st.

York Stone, Pennant Stone are variable: some parts will exhibit no reaction to acid or acid-based cleaners, whereas others can turn orange. It’s associated with the iron content, and as this varies from stone to stone, it is best to do a test before committing larger areas to acid cleansing

Indian sandstones, Lime Stones, Marble and Travertine: avoid just like the plague. several of the paler Indian sandstones exhibit a violent rusty reaction to acid, though the extent of the reaction will vary from stone to stone and from quarry to quarry. limestone is dissolved by acid – one among the definitive tests employed by geologists to substantiate a specific rock as a limestone is that the effervescent reaction to acid. Marble and travertine are metamorphic lime stones, so they, too, are best kept well away from acids.

Concrete paving

Plain, un-coloured concrete is ‘etched’ by scrubbing it with acid. The acid ‘eats away’ at the highest few microns of the concrete surface to reveal a pristine surface below. whereas this might be nice for cleansing up dirty or stained concrete, it’s less productive when used on colored concrete, that uses dyes supported iron chemical compound to form varied colours inside the concrete. The acid reacts with the iron chemical compound and may have a dramatic result on the shade, turning buffs, soft reds and browns into robust orange or tan hues.

Clay Paving

Generally immune to acid, but test first to make 100% sure

Some clay pavers are prone to algae

Shifting and removing algae, mosses and lichens:


As additional and a lot of patio owners have come to realise, a number of the foreign sandstones (and, to a rather lesser degree, some of the imported lime stones) appear to become coated in a very green growth nearly as soon because the cheque has cleared. Sadly, way too many contractors and plenty of of the importers/distributors are less than forthcoming with info on what it’s, why it’s happening, and the way it may be removed. There is, as is to be expected with a natural material, significant variation in wherever, when and how badly it can seem, however it’s safe to mention that it’s more prevalent in wetter area’s of the country.

The green colour is AN algae. it’s omnipresent within the atmosphere, floating around as spores and searching for a moist and pervious surface wherever it will establish camp, invites some of the relatives to move in locally, and set about and breeding. algae are colonies of very simple plants. They existence by finding a home wherever the fresh water could dissolve a smattering of basic minerals from the substrate, that they then absorb and use promoting their growth. As long as they continue to be as simple algae colonies, they’re fairly simple to shift, and one among the most effective ways in which of evicting them from the surface of any paving material is to use bleach.

Algae on sandstone

Off-the-shelf, home bleach is good. It does not need to be thick and gloopy; it does not need to be able to kill all better-known life-forms; it simply has to be bleach, plain and easy bleaching agent, in solution. In fact, the thick, gelatinous, gloopy, bowl-clinging bleaches area unit best avoided as they’re less fluid and have a tendency to remain in one spot, over-bleaching very little} section of paving on that they lie whereas having little or no result on adjacent areas. If a bleach boasts of getting anionic surfactants, that is all well and good, however is not truly necessary

There’s some variation within the strength of house bleaches, though most have a tendency to be 3-8%. it is vital to remember that the flexibility to kill algae means bleach additionally has the power to kill different plants, possibly as well as your bedding display or AN adjacent garden, thus invariably dilute with equal volumes of fresh water before applying and ensure there’s lots of clean water readily accessible to dilute and neutralise any accidental spillages furthermore as for cleansing off the treated pavement.

When the mixing water and also the bleaching agent (bleach) one ought to add the sodium to the water, not water to Na. this fashion there’s less danger to the user from splashing.

What typically|is usually|is commonly} mistaken for ‘dirt’ is often AN algae the diluted bleach may be applied via a container, or just by making ready the liquid in a bucket and pouring it over the surface. Leave it to work its magic on the algae for some minutes, then wash with lots of clean water. The bleach are effectively neutralized by dilution and by contact with soils and alternative surfaces.

It may take 2, 3 or additional ‘treatments’ to eliminate the a lot of stubborn algae colonies, and, within the long term, it is a sensible plan to repeat the treatment each 2 or 3 months as a ‘pre-emptive’ strike to discourage any re-colonisation.


When pavements are left uncleaned for AN extended amount of time, circular or near-circular ‘spots’ that are mistaken for a stain are usually discovered to develop. typically these spots are going to be dark or nearly black, however they’ll even be creamy white, and they may be on the face of it not possible to shift.

These spots are typically lichen, that is an unholy alliance between an algae and a plant life. The algae will the chlorophyl stuff while the fungi has penetrating root-like character noted as ‘hyphae’ that are ready to force their means into the substrate, enabling increased levels of mineral processing along side an outstanding fixing. The plant life swaps a number of its mineral wealth with the algae reciprocally for some of the chlorophyll-derived sugars. that is all well and sensible for the botanists out there, however it does not half make them bloody arduous to shift once they are disfiguring your paving with all their symbiotic goings-on.

As with the less complicated alga, a agent wash or bleach is that the answer, however it’s probably that perennial, localised treatments victimization are going to be needed, beside a awfully stiff scrub brush, or, in extreme cases, a wire brush. there is a smart probability that the surface are going to be altered in a way on a permanent basis. this will result to over-energetic cleaning, that inevitably scratches the surface to some extent, however it is also probably that the lichen can have with chemicals altered the artefact by removing minerals that contributed to the pigmentation.

The answer is small and sometimes instead of large doses of antimycotic agent or super-strong bleach and full-scale wire brush warfare. a decent strategy would possibly involve treating the damned spot each different day, permitting the liquid to penetrate for 30-60 minutes then laundry off with boiling, cleansing agent water and a decent scrub with a nail brush or similar. it would take half-a-dozen treatments or a lot of to get rid of all trace: do not expect miracles on the primary application. it is also a decent plan to treat the encompassing space within the same approach, thus on avoid making a super-clean spot at intervals a rather stained pavement in situ of Associate in Nursing unpleasant lichen blob. If the lichen(s) area unit on one paving part, say one block or one flag, treat the total part instead of simply the spot.

Lichen colonies as massive as that shown here area unit moderately rare, however the limited sods do appear to own a keenness for Indian arenaceous rock and therefore the final result will completely deface a pavement. ought to they ever get as dangerous as this, it’s in all probability higher to interchange the affected units instead of pay hours a-dousing and a-scrubbing, then offer serious thought to protective the paving with a decent quality sealing material.


Moss may be a additional advanced plant than alga or lichens and, typically speaking, it’s found on pavements wherever detritus and rubble has been allowed to accumulate. one amongst its additional common haunts is that the joints of block or flag paving, wherever the chamfered profile of the blocks (or flags) produce a perfect location for the gathering of smaller organic material whereas the sand jointing offers a wonderful reservoir of wetness.

Shady, north-facing paths are more in danger Worryingly, there are commercially on the market “Moss Killers” on the market from garden centres and also the DIY Sheds that, whereas doing what it says on the packet, may also re-colour the paving to a but attractive shade of orange, no matter what color it should have been originally. The deadly part of the many moss Killers is metallic element sulphate, and it’s that metallic element bit (chemist’s name for iron) that causes the color modification by, effectively, making a rust-like deposit on the surface of the paving that becomes a medium-long term stain, whereas the sulfate bit provides the moss the organic chemistry equivalent of a decent kicking.

Rust staining on silver-grey granite block caused by nonvascular plant killer spillage

There square measure nonvascular plant killers that don’t have faith in metallic element salt. Armillotox is one such product that’s fashionable gardeners because it has chemical properties that got it into hassle with the EU for a amount, however it’s currently sold as a cleaner, instead of a chemical. Jeyes’ Fluid is another, similar product which will be additional without delay on the market. As so much as is understood, neither of those product contains a harmful result on the paving itself.

Moss tends to determine itself in recessed joints wherever nutrients square measure easier to search out

Most nonvascular plant is removed by sweeping and/or scraping. not like the alga and lichens, it tends to not penetrate the surface of the paving however to sit down atop the crud that has been allowed to accumulate on and round the paving. If warfare is deemed necessary, then a typical Weed Killer like PathClear or Glyphosate can do the task even as effectively as nonvascular plant Killers while not re-colouring the paving.

Yet again, bleach is your friend if you’re searching for a deterrent to re-colonisation, except for nonvascular plant, preventing the buildup of crud and detritus on that the plant will thrive is even more practical. Regular brushing, hosing down or, with appropriate care and a focus, a bi-monthly power laundry can take away any collected crap and this combined with a bleach wash-down is enough to stay the nonvascular plant trapped for good.

Power washers:

Power washers have currently achieved the status of ordinary home appliance, a “must-have” at the time however currently spend most of its life increasing its cobweb assortment Hiding in corner of the shed.

Used properly, they’ll help keep paving in tip-top condition, however within the wrong hands, or used to excess, they’ll ruin a pavement and significantly shorten its service life, particularly if the hard-hitting water jet is allowed to get rid of that crucial jointing material.

Power washing can create a dramatic improvement

So prevailing is that the use of power washers, so crucial is their correct use, that a separate page has been created to examines their function and use.

Jointing stabilisers:

Several styles of paving trust having sand-filled joints to attain the required bearing ability. whereas the silicon zone two dry sand will an exquisite job at creating extraordinary vertical interlock between adjacent paving units, the very fact that it’s, as stated, a loose material, may result in it being removed only too easily by recurrent cleansing, we tend toll|also|additionally|further|furthermore|in addition|likewise|moreover|similarly|still|yet} as by natural phenomena like wind and surface water (which we lump together as agents accountable for ‘scour’). If an excessive amount of of the jointing material is lost, the structural integrity of the pavement is severely compromised

It ought to be fairly obvious that it is a sensible idea to keep the maximum amount of that crucial jointing material in situ as is feasible. perhaps there is some way we might ‘glue together’ all those individual grains and facilitate them to remain put. indeed there is: and therefore the simplest sort of ‘glue’ is known as a jointing stabilizer or joint stabilizing compound from Crystal Seal

These product are typically water-dispersed ‘glues’ that are applied to the full pavement. whereas the water evaporates, the glue binds along the loose grains of jointing material. Now, this glue doesn’t have the wonderful strength of epoxy resins or “Super Glues”. In fact, if you raise a block out of a pavement that has been treated with a jointing stabilizer, you ought to be able to crumble the sand jointing off from the perimeters of the block. The key factor is that the stabiliser binds the sand sufficiently to resist scour and therefore the occasional wetting with jet washer. they’ll not provide loose jointing the flexibility to resist direct jet impact from Jet washer, and there’s some indication that they deteriorate with age, however they work merely enough and for long enough to permit the jointing to self-stabilise with the assistance of washed-in crud and detritus. they’ll be notably useful for paving that has slightly wider than traditional joints, like a number of the decorative block pavers that have rounded corners or edges, and for tumbled blocks with distressed arises. they’re not the solution for jointing loss in pavements wherever the joint dimension is bigger than 6mm, like sett paving, cobbles, riven flagstones, etc. These paving sorts would like specific jointing materials that are, virtually without exception, permanently and firmly bound in some way or another by means that of cement, a resin or bitumen.


For pavements that require regular cleaning, or for pavements that need to be protected from accidental staining, a sealant of some description is likely to be the answer. A properly applied quality sealant can keep a pavement in near pristine condition, and can extend its service life by ensuring jointing stays in place while water ingress is kept to a minimum, However, there are sealants, and there are sealants.

Pathwise Paving is a We Hire Limited Company
Company Number 09921879

Areas we cover

  • Bristol
  • Cheltenham
  • Gloucester
  • Bath
  • Stroud
  • Tewkesbury
  • Ross on Wye
  • Lydney

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  • Newport
  • Cardiff
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  • Monmouth
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  • Carmarthen
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