I don’t know about you, but I love to sit outdoors on the patio whenever I get the opportunity. Early morning coffee, a light lunch, sunny Sunday afternoons and spending time with friends and family. But, when patios are weedy, grubby or covered in green slime, it’s not quite the same. If your patio is looking a bit sorry for itself, I have just the thing you need.
Patios and paths are an important part of the garden. Not only are they surfaces that can be walked on all year round, they give the garden a kind of structure, helping to pull together the elements to make a strong and usable space. Imagine a beautiful living room with immaculately maintained, comfy furniture, treasured possesions, lovely artwork on the walls, sumptious curtains and a filthy, slimey, slippery floor. Wouldn’t the state of the floor put you off using the room? The same principal works outdoors too. Grubby patios and dirty driveways don’t invite anyone to use and enjoy the garden – even if it does have a perfect lawn.
How to clean patios, paths and driveways
I want to weep when I hear of people pouring bleachy water onto their patios and then pressure washing them. Bleach is awful stuff. It’s bad for the environment – terrible in fact. Plus the fumes make you feel dreadful AND it takes the surface off your patio slabs. Pressure washers are not right for every surface either. It’s like using a pan scourer to wash your face. Too harsh!
My four-step perk up program for patios and paths avoids noxious chemicals and uses specialised tools to cleanse, not scour, the paving stones. Here’s how it works…
Step 1. Removing weeds
Hand weeding a patio or driveway is hard work and can damage the stonework. If you don’t manage to grub out every piece of root, the plants can regenerate and all that effort was a waste of time.
My solution is to use a commercial treatment that destroys roots and leaves without disturbing the mortar that holds your patio or drive together. The Professional strength weedkillers that I am trained and licenced to use are very effective but you’ll not find them in the garden centres. I believe that they’re kinder to the environment than over the counter treatments because they’re used in smaller quantities.
This path really doesn’t do the property justice. It’s been invaded by moss and weeds and the colour is dull. Time to perk up this patio!
Once the weedkiller has been applied, we wait a couple of weeks for it to kill roots as well as leaves and then return for steps 2-4 or our refurbishment programme.
Step 2: Intense wash to remove dirt, moss and algae
With the weeds gone I’ll give your patio or brickweave drive a good wash with my industrial strength flat surface washer.
A flat surface washer is a very different machine to a pressure washer. For starters it doesn’t splash dirty water all over windows, walls, furniture and the operator. Plus because the water isn’t under high pressure it is less likely to damage or erode the surface as it cleans.
The flat surface washer takes all of the dirt and debris off the surface of the patio or the driveway and brings the colour up a treat as you can see in this before and after picture.
Step 3: Re-sanding
As a patio or a driveway ages, it’s natural for the sand between the pavers or sets to erode away. That leaves lovely cracks for weeds to establish into. The sand is there to act as “packaging” between slabs, keeping the spacing nice and neat and even and stopping the slabs from moving around.
Resanding replaces that packing and stabilises the area. It also makes it harder for weeds to establish. We brush kiln dried sand into cracks leaving your patio looking fresh and newly made.
Step 4: Protecting the pavers
The final step to refreshing your patio or driveway is to apply a Softwash treatment. Softwash is a specially formulated treatment to slow down the growth of green algae, black mould, moss and lichens. It’s a mix of detergents, algae neutralizers, and surfactants which is kind to the environment and has longlasting effects.
Softwash can also be applied to render, decking, window frames, walls, roofs, greenhouses and conservatories – so if you’d like us to treat any other parts of your property, please just ask us for a quote.
Refresh your hard landscaped surfaces with Premier Lawns’ Patio and Driveway Services