Cleaning your brick paving

25 Jan 2011

First impressions count and your driveway is the first thing people see when visiting your home, so it would be wise not to neglect it and keep it clean and well maintained at all times. The majority of South African driveways are paved and unless the paving is taken care of and well looked after, it will end up being ruined by weeds, moss and oil from cars.

 

How to remove moss

The rain we have all been experiencing in many areas in South Africa over the last few months has tended to make everything very damp. Driveways and areas that are not in direct sun will have started being covered in moss, especially the areas between the bricks. Some of us love this look and will not be bothered by it at all; however, many feel that an area that is overgrown with moss looks decrepit.

It is actually not that difficult to rid your driveway and other paved areas of moss. If the moss is especially bad under areas where there is a lot of overhead growth, such as trees and large shrubs, before cleaning the moss off the paving, try to thin out the shade-producing foliage. Once more direct sunlight can get through to your paving; the occurrence of moss will be greatly reduced.

Thick growths of moss or lichen must be removed first by scraping out the joints and then treating the area with moss killer. Most hardware stores will be able to supply you with this chemical. Once the moss killer is applied, it will take a few days to kill the moss and then it can be brushed away with a stiff broom. Obviously it is better to do this in dry weather.

 

How to get rid of weeds

Weeds thrive in wet conditions similar to those most of the country has been experiencing lately. If they have started growing between the bricks in your paving, physically pull out as many of the large weeds you can by hand. Once this has been done spray the area with weed killer. Do not spray the weed killer if you suspect a storm, as this could lead to the poison being washed into your flower beds or your lawn either side of the paving, which could be devastating. After spraying, leave the weeds for a few days and they will all die. Then a stiff broom can be used to brush the remaining dead weeds away.

 

Removing oil stains

Most oil stains on a driveway can be cleaned up in the same way – get a bucket and fill it with very hot water. Mix a healthy dose of dishwashing liquid or degreaser into the water, pour the liquid over the oil patches and leave it to soak for about 10 minutes. Using a stiff brush, give it a good scrub and then rinse off the soapy mess with the hosepipe. You might find that you are now leaving clean patches all over the driveway that almost look as bad as the oil stains. If this is the case, you will need to wash the entire driveway down. Dishwashing liquid, a broom and hose can do the job; however, you can make the job a lot quicker and easier by hiring a power washer.

Your driveway will now be spotless. To make it easier to clean in the future it might be worth it to seal the entire driveway with a waterproof sealant. It is a little costly, but will save you a lot of hard work in the long run. One can also hire a professional company to come in, clean the pavers and then spray paint them so the entire driveway looks brand new. – Antonella Dési

Readers' Comments Have a comment about this article? Email us now. 

Thanks for the great information. I bought some of that weed killer for paving and sprayed a few of the weeds and am watching them dying which is great and the information in your article is just what I needed to finish it off. - Cheryl  

As I have a dog, I am nervous of poisons and find that cheap rough salt works as well. Sprinkle in onto the weeds and water lightly. They will die in days as with any poison and not harm other plants nearby nor your dogs or small kids. - Lawrence

I have found neat vinegar a good trick to killing off the weeds in a driveway, especially paperthorn.  Just make sure that it is a dry day with no rain imminent. I do not like the poison option.  Thanks for the tips! - Meryl Wood

 

I find that vinegar does a great job of killing weeds and moss. Just sprinkle over and they die within a day. - Jenny

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