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How to Get Rust Off of Pavers

Close up of rust stains on stone pavers.

When it comes to the maintenance of pavers, few things are as frustrating as rust stains. Not only they are an eyesore, but they can actually be quite difficult to get rid of, depending on the severity of the stain. Luckily, there is a very simple technique you can use to get the rust off of pavers.

If rust stains are a recurring problem for you, there are also some simple things you can do to prevent it and save you all the hassle of having to clean it up. Let’s discuss both how to get rid of rust and how to prevent it from even happening in the first place.

How to Get Rust Off of Pavers? Don’t Give it a Chance to Build Up

Rust has nothing to do with the quality of the pavers you are using. It doesn’t happen naturally, it will always come from external sources. The main sources of rust are metal and water.

When it comes to water, there are two situations. The first one is when a splash of rusted water falls on your pavers. If that ever happens, try to hose down the splash as soon as possible. That will prevent the rust from ever settling in. The second situation is related to the drainage of the landscape around your pavers.

Your drainage must be working properly, as excess water can cause damage to your pavers. This damage can occur on the surface, through the formation of pockets of water, or from the ground itself, due to the accumulation of rusted water below your pavers.

Drainage is a very important step that should never be overlooked when it comes to the installation of pavers. If you have no metal furniture outside on your pavers and still they appear with rust from time to time, that is a clear sign of bad drainage.

And speaking of metal furniture, that can be another factor for the accumulation of rust on your pavers. Metal will rust, there’s kinda no way around it. Even if you take good care of it, with products and protection against humidity and rain, it will still, eventually, start to rust.

If the metal furniture in question is placed on top of your pavers, it can be causing damage, especially if they are outside and not protected against the rain. Your best friend against that situation is a good and big piece of canvas, preferably a waterproof one.

The canvas should be used not only to cover the metal furniture in question but also to protect the pavers below it. Place a piece of canvas on the ground before moving the metal furniture in. Of course, it goes without saying that you should avoid even having to leave metal furniture outside, but if you absolutely have to, canvas can help you prevent the staining of rust on your pavers.

Cleaning the Rust

Now that we discussed some ways to avoid the rust, let’s get to the point and talk about how to clean it. At first, you’re only going to need two things: lemon and white vinegar.

Simply get a lemon, cut it in half, and squeeze it into the rust stain. This will work better if you do it on a sunny day since the sunlight will give a boost for the lemon juice to do its job properly. Let dry for around five minutes, but keep an eye on it, the lemon juice cannot dry out.

After five minutes, get a nylon-bristle brush and start scrubbing the stain. That should get rid of all the heavier part of the rust, and in many cases even get rid of it altogether. However, if the stain is exceptionally resistant, you can finish the job using white vinegar.

Pour the vinegar directly into the rust and cover it with a cloth, as to keep it damp. Leave for about 20 minutes and then get right back into the scrubbing. Once you’re done, rinse the pavers with water.

From here you have two options. If your work so far has helped, you can repeat the process. But if you think it isn’t working, you can go to the big guns and use CLR : Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover.

Bottle of CLR : Calcium, Lime, and Rust Remover.

To be fair, we recommend the use of CLR from the beginning, but we always like to give you some simple DIY options first. CLR can be found at any Home Depot and is a very good product to keep around the house, as it has many applications.

Is it Possible to Have Irreparable Rust Damage?

Unfortunately, yes. In the very worst cases, rust can completely ruin a paver and leave it impossible to be clean. Sometimes it’s not even necessarily the rust’s fault, but the cleaning process would be so damaging that it would, essentially, trade one type of stain for another.

When that happens, your only solution is to replace the rust affected pavers altogether. But don’t worry, it is possible to replace only a few pavers without sacrificing the integrity of your patio. In order to do that, you will probably have to ask for the help of professionals on the field.

And if you happen to be around Florida, more specifically around the Sarasota and Manatee counties, you’re in luck, because the best professional work at S&S Pavers. For more than 10 years they have helped people get their hardscape projects out of the paper and into the real world.

They will be more than happy to help with your stains, replacing of pavers, or any other paver needs you might have. Give them a call right now at 941-773-3098 or get in contact through the email