Anyone who owns a paver patio or driveway knows that maintenance is one of the most important aspects of it. Cleaning regularly and avoiding stains is pivotal to the long-lasting quality of an installation. Leaves staining pavers can be a bad surprise, so this is what we’re going to cover in today’s article.
The problem is that many people have no idea that leaves can stain pavers. What often happens is that this fact is discovered the worst possible way: right at the moment of cleaning leaves after they are there for a while.
You sweep the leaves away and boom, there it is, a yellow or greenish discoloration on the pavers. This is particularly true after a long period of rain or getting back home after some time away.
But don’t worry. Stains from leaves are easy enough to clean. So let’s get right to it in teaching you how to clean it and how to avoid them as best as possible in the future.
How to Clean Leaf Stains
Cleaning leaf stains is super easy. All you’re going to need is a soft bristle brush, warm water and pH-neutral soap. If you have a specific cleaning product for your type of paver, you can use that instead of soap.
Just make sure to clean the pavers around a stream of days when there’s no rain in the forecast.
Simple wet the affected areas and use the water plus soap/cleaning product combination to slightly brush the affected areas. You can repeat the process if necessary, as many times as needed.
If the stains are particularly stubborn, you can use a combination of bleach and water to help you.
But be careful! Bleach is a dangerous material that should be handled with extreme care. Always use gloves when working with it and always mix it with water first, in a ratio of 1 unit of bleach for 10 of water.
With the mixture prepared, pour it carefully on the pavers and let it act for a minute or two. Following that, clean it regularly and rinse the area afterwards.
How to Prevent Leaves Staining Pavers
The best way to avoid leave stains is to sweep them regularly. Never let them rest on the paver for more than a day, especially during rainy days.
Also, mind the trees and plants you have around your installation. Leaves fall, no way to avoid it, but maybe they’re falling a little too much. Make sure they are cared for and properly trimmed.
But the best thing you can do, by far, is sealing your pavers. Sealing creates a protective coat that protect your pavers not only against leaves, but all types of stains as well as weather effects.
In fact, sealing is so important for the longevity of a paver installation that professionals don’t even consider the installation finished if you don’t seal the pavers. If you protect the pavers with sealing, you are saving yourself a lot of trouble in the future and making sure your investment pays off.
A paver installation is considered an investment, after all. Depending on the scope of your project, the amount of time and money you’re going to spend can rival that of a minor renovation around the house. So it makes sense that you do everything in your power to protect your installation.
Sealing is an aspect that often goes unnoticed, especially for people who are tackling a paver installation as a DIY project. Don’t make that mistake. Don’t skip on the sealing. It is crucial to long term value of your installation.
Types of Sealers
Now that you know that sealing is the most effective thing you can do to prevent your pavers from staining, from leaves or anything else, let’s talk about the three main types of sealing available in the market today.
Maybe the most popular category of sealers, penetrating sealers can fill the pores of the pavers and protect them with a transparent coat. They do not alter the original aesthetic of the paver and offer great protection against water.
Silicon sealers have the greatest variety of finishers. They can enhance the natural look of the pavers or give it a glossy finish. They create a coat on top of the pavers, making them easier to clean.
These types of sealers are very cost-effective, as they offer great protection with a very easy application method. They offer great protection against UV light and can come in a great variety of colors, that can enhance or slightly alter the pavers.
Although these are the most popular types, it is not common to find other types of sealers. The important thing to have in mind is that sealers will always be divided into penetrating and film forming sealers.
While penetrating sealers don’t alter too much the appearance of the pavers, the film forming ones do. They also have an effect on the joint of the installation, binding together the sand and the pavers.
Sealers can also be divided into water based sealers and solvent base sealers. However, solvent based sealers are known to be bad to the environment and almost the entire industry is moving away from its use.
Professional Help With Sealing and Cleaning Pavers
Stains, both from leaves or other sources, can be a nuisance to many homeowners. Hopefully our article gave you an idea on how to prevent that problem and to clean it if needed.
However, maybe your paver patio is too stained to be cleaned by this method. On person scrubbing it one section at a time might be an ineffective and tedious task. In that case, hiring professionals to perform a complete cleaning of your installation with a pressure washer followed by a sealing job is your best course of action.
We here at S&S Pavers have helped countless homeowners across the Sarasota and Manatee counties over our 12 years of experience with their hardscape projects, including the maintenance and installation of concrete pavers.
We know how important it is to work closely with a professional you can trust when it comes to hardscape maintenance, so we highly recommend you find someone you can trust in your area. And if you happen to be around our area of activity, why not give us a call to help you?