How to maintain block paving
So it's been a few years since you had your block paving laid and now it doesn't seem to have that same flawless look as it once did.
It doesn't matter how well block paving is laid or the quality of the blocks used, it will always be susceptible to weeds and moss as well as suffering from the general wear and tear that you would expect from any paving. But with a little maintenance you can ensure that your driveway or patio stays in tip-top condition for many years to come.
Removing weeds and moss
The first thing to do to revamp your paving is to remove all of the weeds/moss. Again, no type of block is immune to weed growth so if you see weeds growing it doesn't reflect the quality of your paving. Weeds can be removed either by hand or scraped out using a garden hoe or other similar implement. Any sand that comes out with the weed will need to be replaced (see section below on re-sanding).
Cleaning block paving
It's not advised for a DIYer to attempt to clean block paving using a pressure washer. This is because the blocks are laid on a bed of grit sand (usually 50mm in depth) and if the pressure washer is not used correctly, the sand below the paving can easily be washed away. Of course, if this happens it will severely comprise the integrity of your paving and may cause your paving to sink. The safest way to clean your paving, without hiring a professional, is simply to scrub the paving with a stiff broom and soapy water. In the majority of cases this will produce a satisfactory finish and, of course, will save you a couple of hundred pounds.
Re-sanding block paving
A reputable contractor will always inform you that after a few months of your paving being laid it will need to be topped up with sand. This is because it takes time after the original sanding for it to completely settle and find its way into every nook and cranny. This is completely normal and is nothing to worry about - in an ideal world your contractor should supply you with a few bags of sand to carry out the topping up of your paving yourself, or even return to your home to do it for you.
Over the years as nature takes it course the jointing sand will eventually start to wash away so will need to be topped up every couple of years or so.
Re-sanding block paving is really easy. All you need is a couple bags of kiln-dried sand. Kiln-dried sand is a very fine type of sand and will just need to be brushed into the joints using a soft broom, leaving your patio or driveway looking (almost) as good as new.
Photo credit: Graham Soult