Adding a Driveway to the exterior of your house is the biggest decision that you will ever make and the best one! What is more annoying than having two cars, and only having access to park one the drive?
At RG Driveways-Solihull near Birmingham, we always recommend updating your driveway to help you store your vehicles safely and securely, and also it makes your home a subtle make over. After all, it not only improves the quality of your home, but it also gives it a higher market value if you ever decide in the future to sell on the Property Market.
On the other hand, you also have to consider the regular maintenance that must be carried out after having your driveway fitted and you may also have to consider the process of paying for a Driveway Repair, which could be costly to say the least. Choosing a material for your driveway can be difficult, however, block paving has become a favourite over the past couple of years.
Continue reading this blog, the RG Driveways team are giving you the best cleaning tips to keep your Driveway in the best possible condition.
The General Cleaning of your Driveway
The correct way to clean a block paving driveway will require a power washer and a strong detergent, pick the best brand if possible. Start the process by applying a weed killer between the joints of the paving and then using the power washer angled at 30 degrees, spray diagonally across the surface in order to ensure that all the cleaning product has been rinsed away. After this, re-sand and of the joints in the brick if that is required.
BANG AND THE STAINS ARE GONE!
Well not exactly, but we can show you how to remove any stains that have been left on the Driveway. The treatment that you have to provide depends on the type of stain and spillage, it should always be carried out on a small section at first to ensure that the treatment does not damage the driveway and then, if it is safe to do so, repeat the process on the whole area of the drive. The different types of stains are usually Oil, rust and grease and it is best to consult an expert such as RG Driveways on what type of method to take to fix/correct the spillage.
What about Chemicals and Acids?
Whilst using chemicals, extra care has to be taken to avoid damaging or staining a driveway. However, if any clothes that have stains on them from chemicals you will need to dispose of them straight away, do not touch with bare skin, use gloves if possible and place in a disposable bag.
How do I treat Efflorescence?
After the installation, any product containing cement may exhibit a temporary white discolouration known as ‘Efflorescence’. Don’t worry though, this is not a product fault and it will gradually disappear in time with exposure to natural weathering and trafficking.
- Wash the designated area with a propriety biodegradable citric acid based cleaner. It may be necessary to repeat this treatment depending on the severity of the efflorescence and localised conditions
- Chemical methods of removal should never be used on clay products.
- Wire brushes should not be used for cleaning the clay paving surface.
For the first few weeks, the joints of the driveway surface will be relatively porous. Ingress of water from the rain or other sources like a watering can, and the jointing sand will flush away any unwanted Efflorescence. It is important that these Driveways are topped up with jointing sand to stop and prevent damage from happening.
Shifting Algae, Moses and Lichens
As more and more driveways have come to some desperate Driveway Repair, some of the imported sandstones (and, to a slightly lesser degree, some of the imported limestones) seem to become covered in a greenish growth almost as soon as the cheque has cleared. Sadly, far too many contractors and many of the importers/distributors are less than forthcoming with information on what it is, why it’s happening, and how it can be removed. There is, as is to be expected with a natural material, significant variation in where, when and how badly it can appear, but it’s safe to say that it’s more prevalent in wetter western half of both major islands. So, we see more of it in Solihull than we do in Birmingham, and more in the West Midlands.
The green is an algae. It is ubiquitous in the environment, floating around as spores and looking for a damp-ish and permeable surface where it can set up camp, invite a few of the relatives to move in locally, and set about breeding. Algae are colonies of very simple plants. They eke out an existence by finding a home where the rainwater can dissolve a smattering of basic minerals from the substrate, which they then absorb and use to promote their growth. As long as they remain as simple algae colonies, they are fairly simple to shift, and one of the best ways of evicting them from the surface of any paving material is to use bleach.
To save money, a cheap, off-the-shelf, household bleach is ideal. It doesn’t need to be thick and gloopy; it doesn’t need to be able to kill all known animals and insects; it just needs to be a plain and simple bleach will do the trick. In fact, the thick and gloopy bleaches are to be best avoided at all cost as they are less fluid and tend to stay in one spot of the Driveway, over-bleaching that small section of paving on which they lie while having little or no effect on the adjacent areas. If a bleach boasts of having anionic surfactants, that’s all well and good, but isn’t actually necessary.
There’s some variation in the strength of household bleaches, although most tend to be 3-8%. It’s important to be aware that the ability to kill algae means that bleach also has the ability to kill other plants, possibly including your bedding display or an adjacent lawn, so always dilute with equal volumes of clean water before applying and make sure there is plenty of clean water readily available to dilute and neutralise any accidental spillages as well as for cleaning off the treated pavement.
Moss is a more advanced plant than algae or lichens and, generally speaking, it is found on driveways where detritus and debris has been allowed to accumulate. One of its more common haunts is the joints of block or flag paving, where the chamfered profile of the blocks (or flags) create an ideal location for the collection of smaller organic material while the sand jointing offers an excellent reservoir of moisture.
There are moss killers that do not rely on ferrous sulphate. There is one such product that is popular with contractors and homeowners alone as it has pesticide properties that got it into trouble with the EU for a period, but it is now sold as a cleaner, rather than a pesticide. Jeyes’ Fluid is another, similar product that may be more readily available. As far as is known, neither of these products has a deleterious effect on the paving itself.
Anyway, here at RG Driveways Solihull | Landscaping & Gardening, we offer a wide range of different driveways. Whether you’re looking for a sleek tarmac driveway as a practical solution to parking or a modern classy flagstone design, we have got you covered! For more information on your driveway, or any of our other services such as Gardening, Patios, Decking, etc. Call Ricki on 01564 757575 or email us here.