Driveway & Patio Cleaning and Sealing Hub & FAQs

All you wanted to know about block paving, Indian Sandstone, concrete and other types of patio, paths and driveways refurbishment, cleaning and sealing

Gleam Team Cleaning Services – 07581 681994 or Contact Us

We are a professional exterior cleaning company based in Maidstone and operating throughout Kent, London and the south east. We specialise in driveway and patio cleaning, sealing and refurbishment, transforming tired, neglected drives, patios, paths and block pavers into an outdoor area you can be proud of.

This driveway and patio cleaning and sealing hub hopes to answer many of the most frequently asked questions we receive from our customers. Our professional pressure washing services are able to clean and restore all types of drive and patio including:

  • clay and concrete block paving
  • Indian Sandstone
  • limestone and other natural stone
  • concrete slabs
  • resin bound and resin bonded
  • pattern imprinted concrete (PIC) & also known as decorative / stamped concrete

What information does this driveway & patio cleaning & sealing hub contain?

Gleam Team’s info hub answers FAQs that include:

Did you know? a well maintained driveway can add value to your home

According to Virgin Money:

“It’s estimated that an attractive driveway can add between 5 and 10 percent to the value of your home.”

source virginmoney.com/how-to-add-value-to-your-home

Stain removal

It is not possible to give absolute guarantees about removing stains from drives and patios but we are usually able to remove most stains such as :

  • engine oil stains
  • petrol and brake fluid leaks
  • paint spillages

We are a highly experienced driveway and patio cleaning company and our expertise, know-how and use of specialist degreasers and stain removal products enables us to usually completely remove most stains. At the very least we will remove much of it and improve the appearance of paving.

  • lichen black spots, algae, mould & moss
  • dirt
  • food & drink spillages

Block paving cleaning, resand & sealing

How much does it cost to clean, resand & seal a block paved driveway in 2021?

According to Checkatrade the average price is £10.50 per square metre (+ VAT if applicable).

The Gleam Team price is only £7 per sqm up to 50sqm and £5 per sqm for larger areas in excess of 50sqm

For example, a 70 sqm driveway would cost on average £735 + VAT, we would charge a maximum price of £450 (50 x £7 + 20 x £5) and NO VAT.

Is it really necessary to resand block pavers?

The simple answer is, YES it is. Kiln dried sand is used as jointing sand between block and brick paving. The sand creates interlock between the blocks and helps hold them together and spread the weight of vehicles driving over them or parking on top.

Without the friction created by the sand the weight of cars using the driveway would be concentrated onto individual blocks causing them to break or work loose. When block pavers become loosened it also affects adjacent blocks and has a knock-on effect that can affect the strength and function of the driveway as more blocks become loose across the structure. Block pavng sand is an integral feature of the construction and effectiveness of a driveway.

Applying a sealant then helps stabilise, or harden, the sand to hold it in place and stop it being washed away by rain or weathering. Hardened sand also helps inhibit weeds from growing into soft sand.

This post on refurbishing block pavers provides full details.

Block paving repairs

We can carry out minor repairs such as sunken blocks that lead to puddles developing after heavy rain. We can take up the blocks around the dip and re-lay a fresh course of bedding material. This is then compacted and levelled and the blocks are replaced. The block paving refurbishment post discusses this in more detail.

How do you refurbish block paving in Kent?

  • sweep paving with a stiff brush to remove litter and other material
  • to reduce the mess and avoid waterlogging bedding material we often
  • remove the worst of the weeds by hand with a block paving brush
  • spray the blocks with specialist chemical to kill / remove black spots
  • chemical will also remove white lichen & black algae/ moss etc
  • after chemical has taken effect pressure wash pavers
  • thoroughly clean block paving removing all lichen, algae, dirt & weeds
  • deal with any other stains that become apparent e.g. oil stains
  • treat stained blocks with the appropriate degreaser / product
  • carry out any necessary repairs

Repairs to sinking block pavers:

  • Take up the blocks around problem areas, remove and replace the existing bedding sand with a fresh course of new material.
  • level off the new layer with a trowell and / or plastering float and check with spirit level
  • clean all the blocks around their sides and scrape off any bits of sand to ensure a close and tight fit
  • replace the blocks in their correct position and use a rubber headed mallet to on the tops and sides to compact them tightly
  • when blocks and bedding sand is dry add fresh kiln dried sand between joints and apply quality sealer to stablise the sand

Patio Repointing

We believe in offering the most comprehensive patio renovation service and that includes repointing stone and concrete slab mortar joints. If you have isolated areas of paving where the mortar is missing or cracked and damaged we can replace those particular areas and try to ensure as close a colour match as possible to the existing mortar. We can also rake out larger areas and replace all the joints with fresh sweep-in jonting compound.

Pattern imprinted concrete cleaning & sealing

Pattern imprinted concrete (PIC) is also known as decorative concrete and stamped concrete. It involves wet concrete being patterned and textured to look like bricks, stone, tiles and other materials and colour is also added to the appearance for a more attractive finish. Decorative concrete utilises the strength and effectiveness of concrete as a building material whilst enhancing its visual appeal for use in a residential setting. It can be used for building a driceway, patio, path or other areas that need paving.

How do you clean imprinted concrete?

Pressure washing is usually regarded as the automatic choice for cleaning PIC, and it is an option when used with care. However, Gleam Team also specialse in low pressure soft washing as an alternative cleaning method for PIC that reduces the risk of damaging a delicate surface. There are many highly effective concrete cleaning products and degreasers available and when combined with a soft wash can clean and brighten imprinted concrete and remove oil, algae and other unsightly staining.

Should imprinted concrete be sealed?

Yes, all manufacturers and experts agree that stamped concrete should be sealed to maintain and enhance its appearance as it will otherwise fade over time. Sealer also helps prevent stains, reduce dust and dirt, prevent abrasion marks such as car tyres and prevent water being absorbed into the concrete. When water freezes its expands by approximately 9% and trapped water goes through afreeze and thaw process causing it to expand and contract, which in turncan lead to cracks in the cconcrete that will get worse during future freeze and thaw cycles. PIC sealer helps stop this problem by waterproofing the surface.

How often should stamped concrete be sealed?

Individual cases will vary but the generally accepted timeframe for resealing PIC is every 2 – 5 years.

Types of driveway & patio sealer

Paving sealers come in a range of finishes such as clear / invisible, wet look and gloss and some sealers are multi purpose and can be used on various paving types while others are designed specifically for a certain material e.g. natural stone / Indian Sandstone.

There are also block paving sealers made specifically for block pavers and jointing sand stablisation. Put another way, they are intended to harden the sand used to fill paving joints and bind individual grains of sand together to stop it being washed away by rain and weathering. By hardening the sand the sealer also helps inhibit weed growth as weeds can’t grow into the hard sand. Block paving sealers are also available in a range of finshes depending on your preference.

Indian Sandstone sealer & colour enhancer

There are a range of specialist sealers developed for natural stone and usually available in a clear or gloss finish. Another variety are marketed as ‘colour enhancers’ but this term can mean different things to different people. In practice, we have found colour enhancers have the effect of darkening stone and do little to enhance it. We also believe that after sandstone has been professionally cleaned and restored the natural beauty of the stone shines through and doesn’t need a sealer that changes its appearance. Specialist stone sealer can be significantly more expensive than more general purpose sealers but they are also designed to last longer – up to 5 years.

Many of the leading sealant manufacturers sell small sample tins which can be used on a discreet area of paving to test the results and help customers make a more informed choice.

Black limestone cleaning and sealing

We can safely and effectively clean limestone paving and restore fading black limestone or transform standard grey / blue stone into a very stylish, long lastng black limestone. This is without doubt one of the most visually stunning patio paving styles when done correctly with top end materials. Gleam Team have the experience and know-how to give your limestone a beautiful and classy black finish.

transforming-standard-limestone-to-black-limestone-finish-Kent
Limestone before & after cleaning & sealing

When is the best time of year to seal a driveway or patio?

Paving sealant needs to be applied in dry weather to a dry surface (and bedding material) and in mild conditions. We will not apply sealer if the paving is still drying out, in wet weather or if rain is forecast or in cold / freezing conditions. For these reasons we recommend using sealer between the months of March / April until October / November. Of course, it will depend on the conditions existing at the time but we will not apply sealant during winter months.

Efflorescence

What is efflorescence? This is the white staining commonly seen on brick walls and also found on different types of paving. The white staining is soluble salts activated by water that rise to the surface and appear as the water evaporates. The salts are usually found within block paving or the mortar used between patio slabs.

Efflorescence does not affect the performance of paving and is not a structural risk but is unsightly. It can normally be expected to weather away naturally over time but we also have specific techniques and efflorescence removing chemicals to speed up this process.

Paving should NOT be sealed if efflorescence is present as it will seal it in and prevent its removal.

We hope this information hub has been of use to you and please get in touch if I can assist further in any way.

Driveway & patio cleaning & sealing hub miscellaneous

NEVER use acd based stain remover products on natural stone. Acid is too corrosive and can draw out iron deposits within the stone causing rust staining

This also includes the natural acidic properties in things like vinegar and lemon juice

Do NOT use weedkillers containing ferrous sulphates as these can also cause rust staning

ONGOING MAINTENANCE – After a drive or patio has been professionally cleaned and sealed it needs very little ongoing maintenance to keep it clean and free of weeds. Washing it down with a bowl or bucket of warm soapy water will work wonders. Just fill the bucket with water and add some washing up liquid or other multi purpose household detergent and pour it over your paving.

Leave it for a few minutes to take effect before rinsing off with fresh clean water. In hot weather it is best to wet the surface first before adding the soapy water to stop it drying out too quickly.

What is the difference between jet washing, pressure washing & power washing?

We have produced this jet washer guide to help if you’re thinking of buying a domestic jet washer. Pressure washing is defined as being “the use of high pressure water spray to remove loose paint, mould, grime, dust, mud and dirt from surfaces.” Source: wikipedia/Pressure_washing

The terms jet / pressure / power washing are typically used by most people in the same context and meaning the same thing, i.e. pressure washing. However, strictly speaking power washing is different in that it involves pressure washing with heated water.

Soft wash is the low pressure application of specialist cleaning chemicals to remove algae and biological spores from delicate surfaces that may be damaged by high pressure water.

DIY Homemade Weedkillers

There are a number of household items that can be used to make your own cheap but effectve weedkiller for use on patios, paths and driveways such as vinegar, salt, baking soda and lemon juice. WARNING: Do NOT allow any homemade or shop bought solutions to run-off into the soil or lawn. They will kill plants and grass as well as weeds.

Homemade weedkilling solutions include:

  • SALT – dissolve table salt in water and spray onto weeds. Mix 1 part salt to 2 or 3 parts water
  • WHITE VINEGAR & BAKING SODA – mix 2 parts vinegar with 1 part baking soda. Vinegar contains acetic acid so do NOT use on natural stone. Vinegar is a more effective weedkiller when combined with baking soda or salt, rather than on its own. Washing up liquid can also be added to act as a surfactant which helps it stick to the weeds.
  • LEMON JUICE – Citric acid found in real lemons and bottled lemon juice will kill weeds and can also be mixed with salt. As with all acids, do not use on stone.
  • BOILING WATER – Boiling water is a cheap, easy and effective way of killing weeds.

In which locations do we offer our driveway & patio cleaning and sealing services?

Our professional block paving refurbshment and driveway and patio cleaning service is available throughout Kent and south London. Paving sealing is optional and available if required. Areas we cover include:

  • Bexley & Bexleyheath
  • Eltham & New Eltham
  • Welling
  • Bromley
  • Chiselhurst
  • all surrounding areas of south London

In conclusion

If you have any further questions not covered by this driveway and patio cleaning and sealing hub, FAQ or you want to arrange a free no oblgation quote, please use the Contact Us form or call 07581 681994.

Sources and references:

Gleam Team Cleaning Services were awarded the Business Excellence Award for ‘Best Cleaning Company in the South East 2019′

gleam-team-best-cleaning-services-in-south-east
Our 2019 award

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