Paving Maintenance
Maintaining your paved areas is just as important as looking after a deck. The harsh climate ensures that allof outdoor living areas require attention. Most problems can be avoided through regular miantenence. Find out how here.

Pressure wash

Over the colder months it's not unusual for layers of dirt and grime to build up and hide the beauty of outdoor paved areas. Mildew also flourishes in damp and shade and can increase the risk of you or your family or a guest slipping accidentally.

One of the easiest ways to clean it up is to use a pressure washer, but check the water restrictions first. If you don't own one, you can hire one for about $50 to $70 a day. You might want to share a day's hire and split the cost with a neighbour who has a similar job to do. 

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When choosing a machine, keep in mind they come in different pounds per square inch (PSI) or power levels. For most small jobs you'll need one with a PSI of 1500, while bigger jobs will require a PSI of 3000.

You'll also notice that the wand comes with varying tips for various chores. Fan tips are good for cleaning walkways, patios and driveways and relatively wide accessible areas. Spear tips direct the water in a straight line and are good for items that are a little harder to get close to.


The water is supplied to the pump by a garden hose and then pressurized by a petrol engine. When dealing with anything that is pressurised you need to be careful.  Water pressurized up to 3000 PSI in most cases will not damage intact paint but it will blast away layers of dirt, moss, mildew and some stains. Always wear safety goggles and strong footwear.

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Tips

As you start to wash, make a few test passes to see how close to hold the tip of the nozzle to the surface. Really stubborn stains might need a second pass.
  • Be careful when spraying around plants, since a blast can easily shred them. Spraying old mortar or pebble based surfaces can be tricky because you are too close and the jet is too forceful you run the risk of breaking them up.
  • Some pavers have packed sand joints so make sure not to blast out the sand because this can loosen them and cause them to move.
  • If water restrictions don't allow the use of a pressure washer it's back the bucket, a stiff bristle broom or brush and good old elbow grease. The job can be made a little easier of you clean with a bleach mixture (1 part bleach to 2 parts water).
  • Commercially available products are usually effective, with many containing
    chemicals that help prevent mould and mildew growing back quickly.

Which ever system you choose, spend the time cleaning your pavers at the start and end of the summer months to keep them beautiful and safe. It's well worth the effort.

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