How to Clean Outdoor Pavers & Concrete

The weather we’ve had on the east coast this winter has played havoc with outdoor surfaces. If your driveway, walkways, and outdoor entertaining areas aren’t stained, a little mossy, and sporting some slippery algae, you are very, very lucky. But if they are, we have just the advice on how to clean outdoor pavers and concrete to help get your outdoor space looking inviting again. Already for when this rain finally stops and you want to make the most of our normally wonderful weather.

A Word About Stone

If you have natural stone pavers like travertine, limestone or sandstone, or coloured concrete, you need to be a little careful about what you use to clean them. If you know where they were purchased, give the supplier a call and double check if there is anything specific you need to do. Or perhaps more importantly, not do.

If not, test any product you are going to use on a small, inconspicuous spot before using to clean pavers and concrete. And wait until the spot has dried before going ahead with a full clean.

Let’s Get Started

  1. Firstly, choose a day when you can be reasonably sure it won’t rain immediately after you’ve done the cleaning. Right now that might seem impossible, but we’re sure you’d like to enjoy at least a couple of days of sparkling outdoor flooring before the rain comes down again.
  2. Clear away any furniture, pots, barbeques or equipment on the paved or concreted area you want to clean.
  3. Sweep, rake or blow the surface so that all loose leaves, twigs and dirt is gone.
  4. Go over the gaps between pavers and concrete joins and remove any weeds or solid moss. Moss can be hard to remove, but if you run an old knife along the join you should be able to pull it up in a ‘run’. There will no doubt be dirt left behind, so another sweep or blow will probably be necessary.
  5. Wet the area down thoroughly with a hose or buckets of water.
  6. Deal with any major stains. These might have formed around the base of pots, or be organic stains left by wet leaves. Spot clean these with undiluted All Purpose Cleaner, having spot tested it beforehand.
  7. Mix a 50/50 solution of All Purpose Cleaner in a bucket and scrub the area gently with a long-handled scrubbing brush or a mop.
  8. Leave the solution on the pavers or concrete for about 15 minutes before hosing off or rinsing thoroughly with buckets of water.
  9. Using a clean outdoor broom, sweep away any pooling water and allow pavers to dry.

Stubborn Algae

Some areas that are particularly exposed might have algae that just won’t quit, and this can be slippery and dangerous. If this is the case:

  1. Mix a 12% solution of bleach in an old watering can[i]
  2. Apply the mix to the affected area of pavers or concrete and leave for 5 minutes
  3. Rinse thoroughly, ensuring the runoff does not reach plants or grass

Tips For Minimising Future Cleaning

  • It’s not easy, especially when it’s as wet as it has been, but try to keep the leaf litter on concrete and pavers to a minimum. Organic stains will generally come out fairly easily, but why make future work for yourself, when a quick go over with a broom or a blower will reduce the need?
  • If there are low lying areas where water ‘sits’ on paved areas, consider having the pavers taken up and re-laid so the water runs off effectively. Water sitting on pavers is a magnet for leaves and dirt, and can cause foundation issues if not addressed.
  • Consider treating pavers, particularly stone ones like travertine, limestone and sandstone, with an appropriate sealant. It won’t necessarily stop stains, but it will make them easier to remove.

JAMAC Cleaning Supplies have the right products to help clean your outdoor pavers and concrete to ensure they are entertainment-ready. Click here if you would like to order, or if you would like further information and advice on the best way to tackle your particular cleaning related problems, please feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] or (02) 9838 1220.

Products Recommended In This Article:
All Purpose Cleaner
Dishwashing Detergent

[i]Remember to always spot test any product before using it.