From my experience, one of the big reasons that people want to have large patios or other paved areas on their property is because of the notion that they’re “maintenance free”. While it’s true paving stone systems require very little maintenance, they are still about as “maintenance free” as any other feature you have at your home.
When I finish an installation, I will often give a few suggestions to my customer on how to keep their paved area looking it’s best, year after year. Here are those suggestions:
1. Sweep/blow off your paved area.
Sweeping or using a leaf blower on your patio, driveway, or sidewalk is something that is best done once or twice per season. Due to the joints between paving stones, there is always the possibility of dirt & spores blowing in and building up between them. Taking a medium-bristled broom, or if you want to save time, a leaf blower and clearing across the paved area will prevent dirt from settling in and any potential weeds that are trying to find a home. A properly paved area should have polymeric sand swept into the paver joints close to their surface to prevent weeds in the first place, but as a safe measure, a quick sweeping or leaf blow will help.
2. Water your paved area if it has been dry.
We have had summers in the past where very little precipitation has occurred, and the ground begins to contract due to the lack of moisture (last year, this was a big problem). You may see spaces around your house foundation or edges of your sidewalk open up when this happens. This drought can cause issues with your paved area where the expansion and contraction of the ground is occuring. Watering your paved area gets some moisture back into the ground, especially the lawn around it, and helps keep the groundshrinking to a minimum. As a good rule of thumb, if your watering your lawn because it’s too dry, water your paved area too.
3. Seal your paved area.
Sealants can be a real pain to apply, simply due to the perfect weather conditions required for them to adhere properly, and the potential to use too much, or not enough sealant. Having said that, when applied properly, they not only can improve the look of your paved area, but they can eliminate any cleaning maintenance to be done while the sealant lasts. There are varying life spans for sealants, but typically they do not need to be applied more than once every 2-3 years. Just make sure your paved area is properly cleaned before applying a sealant.
While paved areas are about as “maintenance free” as you can get, there are still some things that can be done to keep them looking beautiful.