- How often: When necessary as determined by visual observation.
- What to use: Use professional products or properly diluted household products.
- What to avoid: Avoid wire brushes and strong acids (sulfuric and muriatic).
- Pressure washers: If a pressure washer is used make sure it is a low-pressure unit (1700-2000 psi) and use a #40 Tip spraying at least 1’ away from the surface at a shallow angle.
Not a DYIer ? Contact a local professional. There are many companies that specialize in maintenance of segmental concrete pavements and retaining walls that can be referred by your local distributor.
We recommend that you sweep away dead leaves regularly in the fall. Concrete is a porous material that can potentially absorb pigments from leaves, petals and buds from trees/shrubs. Leaf stains can be tougher to remove if they stay on the pavers beneath the snow through the winter. A mixture of 1 part household bleach to 5 parts water can be used to remove these organic stains.
- Damp, shaded areas are prone to moss growth. You can try using 5 parts water to 1 part chlorine bleach to remove the moss. This mixture is applied with a watering can or siphon sprayer, lightly scrub with a deck brush and rinse well. To resolve the problem permanently, consider professional advice to correct the moisture that encourages the growth of moss.
- Commercial products exist that can help remove moss, mold and mildew such as Alliance Gator M3 Cleaner. This product also inhibits new growth
- Food or beverage spilled on the pavement should be removed quickly and the area should be rinsed with water. A general dish detergent or Simple Green® can remove these stains.
- Rust stains from steel, fertilizer or high iron content water can be removed using professional products such as Gator Rust Remover. After spreading lawn or plant fertilizer be sure to sweep or blow the surface of your pavement to prevent rust spots. Some fertilizers contain iron that can leave stains on the surface of your patio. http://www.alliancegator.com/products/cleaners/gator-rust-remover/
- Light oil and grease stains can generally be removed with an application of dish detergent or degreaser safe for pigmented concrete. If an area is heavily soiled, a professional product such as Gator Oil and Grease Removal may be used.
- Whitish residue that appears on the surface of concrete products is often referred to as efflorescence. It is not always the case.
- It is both normal and common in concrete and other masonry products that contain cement. Occasionally, the salts from the cement and aggregates that are embedded in the product are dislodged by absorbed water and transported to the surface; it is not a product defect nor is it harmful to Techo-Bloc pavers or walls.
- A good way to test for efflorescence is to wet the surface. If the white residue disappears but reappears when dry, it is probably efflorescence. If it the deposit is still visible when wet, it may a mineral deposit like lime or calcium.
- Efflorescence will weather off with time as exposure to the elements will eventually wash away (within 6 months to a year). Concrete product manufacturers are unable to warrant against the presence of efflorescence. Specialized cleaners also exist. Recommended efflorescence cleaners: FlexLock flex-lock.comAlliance Gator www.alliancegator.com
- Mineral deposits should be cleaned by professional cleaners.
- Use homemade or commercial products. Both can be used with a deck cleaning brush with plastic bristles (acid brush).
- Techo-Bloc pavements can be plowed and shoveled, much like concrete and asphalt pavements. If using a contractor for snow removal, it is recommended to verify that their equipment uses Teflon-coated blades or guides to avoid scratching or scuffing the pavers.
- Using de-icing salts or other agents (sodium chloride, calcium chloride or magnesium chloride) to melt snow and ice will not damage the pavers. In fact, the edges and joints around the stones assist in melting snow and ice.
- For permeable pavements, it is not recommended to use traction aid grit (for slip/skid resistance) as they can scratch the surface of the stones.
- How often: Sealing pavers, slabs and walls can help improve the beauty and longevity of your products much like waxing a car. Sealing them can enhance the color and make the product more stain resistant and easier to keep clean. The sealer also helps keep the joint sand in place. It deters weeds and ants as well.
- Sealers are highly recommended for areas around swimming pools.
Not interested in a DIY project? Contact a local professional. Local contractors or referrals from a local dealer are recommended. There are many companies that specialize in maintenance of interlocking concrete pavements and retaining walls.
There are a variety of sealers available that range in appearance: completely natural, color enhancing or glossy wet look. Application frequency varies depending on the type of sealer that you chose.
- Film forming sealers can develop wear patterns over time. This can be avoided by using a water-based, penetrating-type sealer.
- The surface must be clean and free of white deposit. Consult your sealer manufacturer’s guidelines for site prep.