Clean pavers using a stiff bristle scrub brush with hot, soapy water. A acid-free liquid soap is recommended. Simple Green, sold in many grocery, hardware and home center stores, is an effective cleanser that’s safe for plant life and other vegetation. After scrubbing, rinse dirt and debris with clean water. If using a hose, spray away from joint sand. Mechanical cleaners with rotating brushes are effective, but pressure washers are not recommended. They can cause scarring by removing surface cement paste as well as removing joint and bedding sand.
Efflorescence is a whitish, powder-like deposit that can sometimes appear on the surface of paving stones. It may appear immediately or within a short time after installation. Efflorescence will dissipate on its own with normal wear and exposure to the elements. It does not affect the structural performance or durability of concrete pavers. If, however, you want to remove the efflorescence before it wears away naturally, use an efflorescence remover available from most mason supply dealers. Do not use muriatic acid.
Removing Mold or Moss
Use liquid bleach diluted in water (10 parts water to one part bleach). Be careful not to get bleach on plant material. Keep in mind that moss and mold may reappear in shady, damp areas.
The stain removal methods suggested are a guide and may not work to your satisfaction in all instances. Nicolock is not responsible for any damage caused while using theses methods. It’s always a good idea to keep several pavers from your initial installation to replace any that become damaged, stained or soiled.
- Asphalt and emulsified asphalt: Chill with ice, scrape away and scrub the surface with scouring or abrasive powder. Rinse with water.
- Candy, ketchup, mustard and grease drippings from food: For stubborn stains, apply liquid detergent (at full strength) and allow to penetrate for 20 to 30 minutes. Scrub and rinse with hot water. Removal is easier if these stains are treated immediately.
- Caulking: Scrape off excess and scrub with denatured alcohol. Rinse with hot water and detergent. For acrylic latex caulk, follow guidelines for removal of latex paint.
- Chewing gum: See caulking (above) or scrub with naphtha.
- Clay soil: Scrape off dry material, scrub and rinse with hot water and strong detergent.
- Creosote: Apply a solution made of paint thinner and talc. Scrub and allow to dry. Scrape off, scrub with scouring powder and rinse with water.
- Cutback asphalt and roofing tar: Use soft moist putty made with talc or diatomaceous earth (available wherever pools supplies are sold). Mix with kerosene, scrub, let dry and brush off. Repeat, if necessary.
- Dried paint: Scrape any excess oil-based paint, varnish or water-based latex paint off surface. Apply a commercial paint remover and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Loosen with gentle scrubbing. Do not rub the loosened paint into the surface of the pavers. Instead, blot up loosened paint and thinner. Repeat if necessary.
- Leaf, wood rot and tobacco stains: Apply household bleach diluted with water (10 parts water to one part bleach) and scrub with a non-metallic stiff bristled brush.
- Mortar: Let dry but not harden and carefully remove spots with a trowel, putty knife or chisel.
- Oil and grease that has penetrated: Mop up any excess oil with rags. Cover the area with oil absorbent talc or kitty litter. Diatomaceous earth can also be used. Leave it on the stain for a day, then sweep up.
- Paint: Fresh paint should be mopped up immediately with rags or by blotting paper towels. Do not wipe as this will spread the paint and make it more difficult to remove. If the paint is latex and water-based, soak and then scrub area with hot water, scouring powder and a nonmetallic stiff brush. Let the remaining paint dry and follow guidelines for dried paint removal above.
- Rust: Use a rust remover specifically formulated for concrete pavers, available at any authorized Nicolock Hardscape Dealer.