Maintenance and Care
Paving stone installations and retaining walls can last a lifetime if they are installed properly, and receive regular maintenance and care.
Old World Paving Stones designs and installs to the highest quality standards. But after our job is done, here are a few things you can do to maintain and care for your paving stones and retaining walls.
Preventing Weeds & Ants
Weeds can germinate between pavers from windblown seeds that get lodged in the joints. Old World Paving Stones uses cement stabilized road crush in all of our residential projects to prevent weed growth happening below the surface of the pavers.
You can also use sealers to stabilize the sand between the joints, prevent seeds from germinating, and prevent ants from entering the joints.
Colour and Wear
The colour in concrete pavers is achieved by adding pigment to the concrete mix during production. The colours are very stable, showing little change in their properties over time.
However, as the paver wears from traffic or weather, the cement and pigment particles are gradually eroded which can cause a color change. Like all pavements, the surface colour of concrete pavers can change due to dirt from foot or tire traffic.
One way to slow the rate of colour change is by cleaning and sealing the surface of the concrete pavers. In addition to protecting their colour, sealers can prevent dirt from lodging in the surface.
Settlement and Heaving
Settlement is often caused by inadequate soil or base compaction. It can particularly be a problem in new home construction, where there has been inadequate time to allow for natural settlement of the ground or insufficient compaction of the area. Other factors can be excessive water in the base, or washed out bedding and joint sand. Loose or inadequate edge restraints will also cause pavers to move.
Old World Paving Stones takes great care to ensure the sub-grade has been effectively tamped and compacted before commencing the base work.
Heaving is caused by excessive moisture in the ground before frost, which causes the water to freeze and expand. Often the heaved area will settle back into place once the frost is gone in the spring. If the area fails to settle back down, the stones that have heaved can be removed, the sand re-leveled and the pavers replaced. It is important to make sure the frost has come out of the ground before completing these repairs.
The benefit of paving stone installations is that stones can be easily repaired and at minimal expense.
Efflorescence comes from free lime released from within the concrete paving stones. It’s dissolved and carried by water to the surface of the paver, leaving a white residue after the water evaporates. Efflorescence doesn’t damage the paver, and it typically wears away with time.
Efflorescence can be removed with cleaners specially made for concrete pavers. Use care when applying these cleans as many contain detergents and diluted acid, which can damage surrounding vegetation.
Snow and Ice Removal
Concrete paving stones offer outstanding freeze-thaw resistance. If properly installed, shovels will not catch the edges of the stones in winter. The bevel of pavers is smooth, ensuring an even plane that allows for ease of shoveling, just as if it was poured concrete or any other smooth surface.
Paving stones endure de-icing salts better than most pavement surfaces. Electric or liquid snow melting systems also work well on concrete pavers, eliminating slip hazards.
Removing Oil and Other Stains
Stains on concrete paving stones left by car oil leaks from can be difficult to remove. Stains should be treated as soon as possible since the longer they remain on the surface, the more difficult they are to treat.
Wipe excess oil or liquid from the surface and apply a hot soapy detergent. Allow it to soak for several minutes and rinse with hot water. Several treatments may be necessary. Commercial concrete cleaners are available at most hardware stores.
When stains are set in or particularly difficult, it may be easier to replace the stained paving stone. For this reason, it is always recommended to have a few extra stones leftover from the original project to ensure the closest color match possible.