All photos shown are owned by Gleam Team and are examples of our own work
We are based in Maidstone, Kent and experienced in block paving refurbishment. We can restore block and brick paver drives, patios, paths and outdoor areas and bring them back to life.
Our paving refurbishment service can clean even the dirtiest and most neglected areas and remove staining, dirt, weeds, algae, moss and black lichen spots. This page will explain what block paving refurbishment involves as well as answering some frequently asked questions and giving some maintenance tips.
What is block paving refurbishment & restoration?
Our service includes:
- professional paving cleaning
- clearing weeds
- stain removal i.e. paint or oil stains
- block paving repairs
- relaying sunken blocks and dips
- replacing the existing bedding with fresh layer of coarse grit sand and leveling
- replacing kiln dried jointing sand (& why it is so important)
- applying a quality paving sealer made by a leading sealant manufacturer
Gleam Team price for cleaning, re-sanding & sealing block paving in Kent & London –
ONLY £7 per square metre + further discount for areas larger than 50 sqm
Is it safe to pressure wash pavers?
Yes it is. But care should always be taken to not use excessive pressure or allow the lance to get too close to the surface. It is important to hold the pressure washer lance at an angle of approximately 45 degres to avoid a direct blast onto the pavers surface or into the joints. The end of the lance should also be kept a safe distance from the surface of about 30 cm (1 ft). Again this reduces the risk of applying too much pressure.
We also often use a flat surface rotary cleaner to reduce the mess caused from spray. We also use safe, non-acicic water based cleansers to help improve cleaning performance and assist in removing dirt. Anyone who has ever used the patio cleaning attachment of a domestic electric jet washing machine will know their limitations. However, commercial pressure washers are considerably more powerful and flat surface cleaners are much more effective.
Oil stain removal – As part of our block paving refurbishment service we will also deal with any staining on the blocks. Stains caused by oil leaks, petrol, brake fluid and other spillages or leaks from vehicles are commonplace, but we can usually remove these stains combining the best degreasing and oil removing cleaning products together with our experience and know-how.
We can’t guarantee always to completely remove and clear away the stain but we will do our very best and try multiple products if needs be, and try and try again. At the very least the stain will be less visible but we always want it gone.
Black spot lichen removal from block paving
Lichens are the black and off-white circular spots commonly found on driveways, patios, walls and many other surfaces. They are a living organism that is a combination of algae and fungus living in a symbiotic relationship (mutually beneficial). There are thousands of different species and most lichens found in the UK are black, white or yellow in colour.
They are notoriously difficult to remove because they embed into the surface they are living on. Water pressure alone won’t get rid of all of them, nor will conventional detergents or cleaning products. However, we use a professional soft washing biocide product approved by the UK Health and Safety Executive. It has been specifically developed for cleaning away algae, mould, moss, lichen and all biological organisms . It is safe for all types of paving, non acidic and biodegradeable and Gleam Team really will get rid of all those black spots colonising your block or brick paving.
Block paving repairs
Why are my block pavers sinking? Sinking blocks is the most common repair required during restoration and refurbishment. Sunken blocks lead to an uneven surface which is a trip hazard and dips that puddle after rain.
The reason for this is due to settlement in the sub base or bedding sand and these layers are not providing the necessary support for the blocks. If the settlement is not too severe it is usually sufficient to replace the bedding sand only. ** To repair the uneven blocks we then:
- lift the affected blocks
- remove the existing bedding and replace with fresh sand
- smooth out the sand, flatten and level it
- replace the blocks and re-lay to the appropriate level of the rest of the drive
Re-sanding paving joints
Jointing sand is essential in maintaining the strength and structure of block paved drives, patios and pavements.
It is what causes the blocks to interlock and gives the structure its strength making it capable of bearing the weight of vehicles and foot traffic. Without jointing sand the blocks would work loose and begin to break under the weight of cars driving on and off and left parked for long periods.
It is the sand that in effect holds block paved areas together and so it must be replaced and topped-up when refurbishing and restoring paving.
Kiln dried sand (KDS) is used to fill joints. It is a very fine sand dried in extreme temperaures and it is spread out across the surface and brushed into the joints. Any traces of sand on the surface of the blocks is swept away for a flawless finish – well, it is when we do it anyway.
The paving iss then sealed and this stabilises (hardens) the sand to prevent it being washed away.
Other benefits of jointing sand are:
- inhibits weed growth by stopping weeds taking root between blocks
- prevents excessive ingress of water which could saturate and weaken the bedding sand
**Other products are available as an alternative to KDS as jointing sand. These are self-setting and ‘polymeric block paving jointing fix’, for example Dansand is a more well known brand widely available. These products harden on contact with water and some claim to have specialist weed preventing ingredients. However, they are very expensive and in our experience they are not as effective at stopping weeds as they claim to be.
Block paving sealer
Sealant is available in different finishes ranging from clear to gloss or wet look. Clear sealant leaves no trace on the blocks and makes no difference whatsoever to their appearance. But if preferred matt and gloss finishes are available such as Resiblock Superior Gloss. **
**(our £7 per sq metre price does NOT include polymeric sand or Superior sealer due to the increased costs. However, we are happy to use whatever products our customers would prefer and will work out the most competitive price possible. We only charge you for actual costs and do not profit from supplying materials. Repairs may also incur additional cost.
Advantages of sealing block paving
Paving sealer provides a protective layer over the surfaces that helps preserve the condition and look of the paving by :
- preventing loss of colour and fading from UV sunlight
- protection from effects of weathering
- helps resist stains such as oil and brake fluid, food and drink spillages and overhanging fruit
- improves water repellency
- hardens or stabilises jointing sand to hold it in place
- inhibits weed growth by hardening joints
- acts as a dustproofer facilitating easier cleaning and maintaining a cleaner appearance
- specislist sealers can enhance colour and change the look of the blocks e.g. matt or gloss finish
Block paving refurbishment & maintenance – FAQ’s
Please see the driveway and patio cleaning and sealing hub for more info
Does sealing block paving prevent weeds?
Professional sealing of pavers will help inhibit weed growth but can’t stop weeds permanently. Sealer will help stabilise, or harden, jointing sand which will prevent weeds growing and taking root in it.
There is no such thing as weed-free maintenance-free paving and no reputable sealant manufacturer claim to sell a sealer that guarantees no weeds. The simple truth is that if after paving restoration and refurbishment the pavers then get neglected and ignored without any maintenance then weeds will return. If dirt and dust is allowed to accumulate on the surface and over the joints then weeds WILL start growing into the dirt and taking root. That’s inevitable but very easy, simple maintenance tasks can stop this.
To keep paving free of weeds it should be swept regularly and occasionally washed down with something as straightforward as soapy water containing washing up liquid. Just swill it over the surface and rinse off with a hose or bucket of clean water.
Better still use a fungicidal wash available in all major DIY stores such as Wickes, B&Q, Homebase, Tool Station etc. Alternatively use Jeyes Fluid which can be bought in any supermarket and lots of other shops too including the above stores. Or order online from Amazon or Ebay. Use as per instructions and rinse away with clean water. These simple steps will keep your paving free of weeds, algae, moss and lichens on a permanent basis. Beware of any contractor promising a permanently weed-free solution that doesn’t require some maintenance from the home owner because next he’ll be selling you magic beans.
Contrary to popular belief weeds rarely grow up through pavers or sand, instead they grow INTO dirt building up on the surface. One of the only weeds capable of growing through is Japanese Knotweed. This invasive weed is spreading across the country and this link to Environet shows a map of the distribution of knotweed across the UK so you can check if your location is troubled by Knotweed and discover how to identify it and treat it.
Will vinegar kill weeds between pavers? Does salt kill weeds on block paving?
Yes, both these homemade remedies will kill weeds but we do NOT recommend them. Salt in particular will kill anything if it is washed into the soil. If using vinegar, white vinegar is most effective but could cause some staining on the blocks. Boiling water will also kill weeds as will bleach.
Can bleach remove black spots on pavers?
The active ingredient in bleach is sodium hypochlorite and this can remove black lichen spots but it will probably take many treatments and must be used with care and thoroughly rinsed with clean water and kept away from lawns or other plants. We do not recommend using bleach but if you decide to use diluted thin bleach that can be bought in large supermarket superstores. Dilute 1 part bleach to 3 or 4 parts water. Wet paving before applying the solution and then pour the bleach on and leave for 20-30 minutes Then scrub briskly with a nylon brush (not wire brush) and rinse with lots of clean water. Do not use thick bleach as this is likely to cling to the surface and is harder to rinse. This method may remove black spots after repeated treatments.
What is the best weedkiller for block paving?
There are various proprietary weedkillers that will do the job. Pathclear is good because it kills weeds down to the root and carries on preventing new weeds and killing weed seedlings for a further 3 months. Glyphospahate weedkiller is excellemt for deep rooted weeds, thorns and bushes. It can take several weeks to showw effect but it kills the entire root of any plant or weed.
This article is written by Keiron Bradley who has more than 10 years experience specialising in exterior cleaning services including professional driveway and patio cleaning and sealing and paver restoration. Gleam Team were awarded A.I. Business Excellence Award:
Best Cleaning Services Company in South East 2019
For further information about our block paving refurbishment or to arrange a free quote please call us on 07581 681994 or email using the contact form. We provide professional low pressure soft washing and high power pressure washing services across Kent, London and the south east region.
Cost of pressure cleaning block paving, re-sanding with kiln dried sand sealing = £7 per sq m (up to 50sqm) and does not include repairs. Requests for specific sealer may affect the price.