Paving Maintenance & Care
Now that your brick paving has been installed professionally by a member of the Brick Paving Institute of KZN you can look forward to many years of use. To ensure that the paving continues to perform as intended it is important that the following is noted :-
- If the paving has been “”cement grouted” (open joint paving) avoid foot trafficking the area for at least 24 hours after completion to allow the joints to cure.
- Avoid driving cars over the installed paving for at least 3 days to ensure that the edging develops sufficient strength prior to being subjected to load.
In addition, to keep the paved area looking good, the following routine maintenance is vital :-
- If ant infestation is noted a suitable ant poison must be used immediately to prevent the ants from removing the sand bedding layer which has been installed.
- Any weeds, grass or other organic growth needs to be removed as soon as noticed and/or treated with a suitable herbicide. Plants, weeds etc that are left unattended can result in the paving being damaged by the growth. Such plant growth also enables ants to gain access to the paving base.
- The paving should be regularly swept and if necessary, washed with clean water to prevent a build up of dirt which will encourage plant growth. The use of high pressure water cleaning is not recommended as there is a risk of damaging the joints.
- Where paving is subjected to oil stains from vehicles the oil can be removed by using a material such as diatomaceous earth (available from swimming pool companies) or similar to “soak up” the oil.
NB : The sooner the oil stain is treated the easier it will be to remove.
- To remove cooking fats / oils from paving use a good detergent as per manufacturers instructions.
- Brick paving, particularly in areas which remain damp / or do not receive sunlight is susceptible to the growth of green / black algae. Algae is organic and can be treated in a few different ways as follows :-
- Use a proprietary herbicide (weed killer)
- Use an algicide
- Pour boiling water on the affected area
Efflorescence is a name given to a white / grey deposit which sometimes manifests on newly laid paving as it dries out.
“Efflorescence” can be a naturally occurring phenomenon on both clay and concrete brick paving however the “efflorescence” on clay brick is totally different to the “efflorescence” on concrete brick and the two types need to be treated differently as they are caused by different processes.
Clay paving efflorescence:
- On clay paving the “efflorescence” is caused by “salts” in the bricks and/or the sand crystallising when drying as a harmless “crust” which is easily removed by brushing or sweeping. It requires no chemical or acid washing.
If no action is taken, the natural effect of rain and wind will remove this “efflorescence” from clay paving over time.
Concrete paving efflorescence:
- Efflorescence on concrete paving (or any other concrete product) is caused by “free lime” in the cement. This “free lime” reacts with water to form calcium hydroxide. This reacts with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to form calcium carbonate (efflorescence) which manifests as a hard crystal which cannot be “brushed off”.
The calcium carbonate is sometimes removed by the action of rain and wind over a period of a few years. If desired this efflorescence can be removed by the application of an “acid wash” as applied by a specialist. The use of an “acid wash” carries the risk of permanent damage to the paving surface.
Appropriate and timely maintenance of your paved area will ensure many years of trouble free use.