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How to clean block paving

Updated April 17, 2017

Block paving is easily neglected as people usually pay more attention to the inside of their homes and their lawns. It is easy to keep block paving looking clean and fresh, however, by washing it once or twice per year. If you keep your block paving clean yourself, there should be no need to hire the services of a professional, which can end up being a costly exercise.

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  1. Brush the block paving with a stiff outdoor broom to remove all debris. It is important to do this thoroughly because any remaining stones and old cement could have an abrasive effect on the paving during the cleaning process.

  2. Wash the area with soapy water using a scrub brush to gently remove any stubborn dirt. Rinse the area with clean water. An alternative to washing by hand is to use a power washer. This is not required unless the block paving has been seriously neglected. However, it is easier than hand washing, particularly if there is a large area to be cleaned. Hold the lance of the power washer at an angle that will disturb as little of the sand between the paving joints as possible, and at a minimum distance of 8 inches from the surface of the ground.

  3. Start washing in a corner higher than the spot where the water will run off to (typically a drain). You don't want to have dirty water spreading onto your freshly cleaned area. Work across the paving. If using a power washer, keeping a tight hold of it, taking care not to splash dirt onto any windows or doors.

  4. Fill between the paving blocks with sand to replace any that was lost during the cleaning process, once the paving blocks are completely dry. Sand can be bought from your local garden centre.

  5. Use cement to re-point any sections that have loosened during the cleaning process. This is more likely to happen during power washing rather than hand washing.

  6. Apply a weed killer periodically during the warmer months of the year. An organic and nontoxic solution is safe to use around children and pets. Apply it on a dry day for maximum effect; on a rainy day, you run the risk of washing the weed killer off and spreading it to your lawn, other plants and flowers. If there is already extensive weed growth between the paving joints, remove as many of them as you can before applying the treatment.

  7. Warning

    Always follow instructions carefully when using weed killer and take suitable precautions.

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Things You'll Need

  • Stiff outdoor broom
  • Bucket
  • Soapy water
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Power washer (optional)
  • Sand
  • Nontoxic weed killer

About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."

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