Brick Pavers 101: How To Keep Them Clean, Seal Them Properly And More

Updated on March 7, 2018

Landscapers in Michigan

Brick pavers are one of the most attractive and distinctive materials for hardscaping and landscape design. They are used for walkways, patios, pool decks, driveways, and as edging. Brick paving is very popular with both landscaping contractors and the do it yourself homeowner, combining an easy installation with a bold landscaping statement.

Bricks are a long lasting solution in any application and landscaping is no exception. With the proper care, maintenance, and the occasional repair, brick pavers will provide a long service life in any landscaping desacign.

A Quick Overview Of The World Of Brick Pavers And Landscape Design

Brick pavers are an essential component of landscape design; they make a bold statement and can be used in many outdoor areas. They come in a number of patterns each with their own style and aesthetic appeal as well as specialized application. They can be used to match both traditional and modern homes.

When using brick paving for a driveway, the herringbone pattern is a great choice. This pattern sets the bricks out at a 45 degree angle from each other. This spacing allows for the pavers to carry a heavy load by spreading out the weight over the largest possible area. The herringbone pattern is a smart technique for use on driveways and is also adept at filling irregularly shaped areas.

For walkways, landscape design incorporates a number of different patterns. The basket weave uses an alternating pattern of vertical and horizontal brick pavers to create the appearance of a basket weave. The end result looks highly intricate and complicated, but landscaping contractors and even a do it yourself homeowner can lay this pattern down very easily.

The running bond is the most common example of brick paving pattern. Bricks are laid side by side with an offset. This layout is the same as seen on most brick buildings and goes well with traditional buildings and landscape designs. The running bond pattern is commonly used for walkways as well.

Keeping Brick Pavers Clean And Beautiful

Caring for any application of brick pavers starts with good cleaning habits. Dirt and spills will slowly fade the beautiful facade of brick paving. Routine cleaning includes sweeping off dirt and debris, especially from walkways as grit will slowly deteriorate brick over a number of years. Use an absorbent such as a commercial product or even just cat littler to pick up spilled liquids and oils. Periodically, it pays to do a major cleaning of brick pavers and sometimes it really benefits to have landscaping contractors come in with power equipment.

Periodic power washing will return even old brick pavers back to their original shine and beauty. Clean bricks will revitalize any landscape design. A landscaping contractor can utilize a commercial power washer with cleaning solutions to achieve a deep cleaning without using excessive pressure that could harm the brick pavers or the substrate underneath. They can also replace the sand or filler from between the brick paving as some of the material will come out with the wash.

Not all cleaning methods are appropriate for brick pavers. Avoid using sandblasters; sandblasting makes brick look wonderful, but will actually harm the surface of fired bricks. The end result is that the brick pavers are more susceptible to future water damage and on older homes can becomes pitted and cracked. Also avoid muriatic acid as this cleaner may permanently discolor or mottle brick, ruining the overall look of the landscape design.

Sealing Brick Pavers For Long Term Care

Especially after a thorough cleaning, applying a layer of sealant to brick paving is vital for maintaining a clean surface and preventing weed growth. Landscaping contractors should be able to provide comprehensive sealing services shortly after cleaning the brick paving. Sealed bricks will also repel stains so the next time they need to be cleaned the brick pavers will not be nearly as dirty. In the end, sealing brick pavers will protect your investment for years to come.

Sealing brick pavers is an art unto itself; rely on landscaping contractors to do the job to maximize the effectiveness of the protective seal. Even if an old layer is still on the brick paving, the contractors will take up the old layers before applying a fresh coating. An old or uneven layer of sealant will not offer the best protection for a long lasting landscape design.

The typical process for sealing brick first involves cleaning and re-sanding steps, which is why it is most effective to have a landscaping contractor come in for the cleaning and sealing all in one visit. By hiring a landscaping contractor for brick paving sealing, you can be sure the right products are used and the final application is an even coating.

Overall, there are numerous benefits for laying down a fresh layer of sealant. Sealed bricks resist oil and dirt penetration; inhibit the growth of weeds, moss, and mold; resist UV rays and the cycle of freezing and thawing; and helps to prevent insect intrusion. In the end, brick paving sealing rejuvenates, strengthens, protects, and enhances the beauty of brick pavers.

In order to keep your landscape design pristine, you will have to invest in a brick paving cleaning and sealing every two years. The increase in lifespan for well maintained brick pavers will pay back that investment over the lifetime of a home.

Identifying And Repairing Problems With Brick Pavers

While a clean, sealed, and well maintained brick landscaping arrangement will enjoy a long lifetime, accidents do occur and brick pavers can become damaged and broken. On the other hand, an improper installation step can lead to reoccurring issues. Thankfully, landscaping contractors can perform repairs to damaged areas and return the overall landscape design to its original condition; almost no one will notice if a handful of brick pavers have been replaced over time.

There are a few ways that brick paving can become damaged or broken. Brick pavers can settle or shift from poorly compacted base or bedding sand, wrong base material for the underlying soil type, not enough base material used during the original installation, or improper pitch that allows water to pool in an area. Cracking and scaling can happen to brick pavers from using discounted or defective bricks and from rock salt used for de-icing through a couple winter seasons. Finally, brick pavers can separate or spread from loose or inadequate edging, loosely laid brick patterns, or from using the wrong type of jointing sand. An improper cleaning can also cause some of these problems such as washing away jointing sand or compacting brick pavers. That is another reason why experts recommend landscaping contractors for cleaning.

In light of the possible reasons why brick pavers would need repair, it is best to rely on landscaping contractors to assess the root cause of the damage and then perform the repairs. You owe it your overall landscape design to fix the underlying problem instead of just replacing a few brick pavers. The landscaping contractor will be able to correct the bigger issues to prevent damage from reoccurring every season.

Most of the above problems are a relatively pain free fix. When a problem is isolated to one area, the entire issue can usually be solved easily and quickly at a minimum expense. Worst case scenario would require replacing a number of brick pavers, but the areas that are still undamaged do not have to be touched.

Making A Case For A Landscaping Contractor Versus Do It Yourself

In discussing the issues and intricacies of cleaning, maintaining, sealing, and repairing brick pavers, there are a number of things that can go wrong. Don't get the wrong impression that brick pavers are going to cause constant headaches -- that is simply not the case. Brick pavers are relatively easy to maintain in the scheme of an overall landscape design. However, there are potential pitfalls that the well intentioned do it yourself homeowner can miss.

For example, setting the pressure too high on a pressure washer can compact brick pavers or crack individual bricks. Jointing sand can be washed away during power washing as well. Sealant has to be applied evenly throughout and entire area which requires careful application and a thorough removal of any previous layers of sealant. Some brick paver repairs stem from underlying problems that require professional repair.

Hopefully these few intricacies in brick paving landscape design give every homeowner the confidence to call a landscaping contractor when there is a problem. What it all boils down to is a yearly or bi-yearly call to your landscaping contractor for cleaning, sealing, and any necessary repairs.

Brick pavers are a reliable and beautiful technique for landscape design. They only require a little, proper amount of care from a landscape contractor and brick pavers will never be a headache for a homeowner.

Questions & Answers

    Questions? Comments?

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Sue 

        2 months ago

        I have just had my drive and side off the house done in bridle pavers and charcoal edging . The men used a disc cutting machine so there’s a fair bit of dust on them . What’s the best way to clean them please .

      • profile image

        Donna Brantley 

        5 months ago

        I have a courtyard with pavers installed 3 years ago. Now I want to enclose the area with insulated roof panels and screen the front. What can I do to prevent grass and mold.

      • profile image

        annatobi 

        15 months ago

        Cleaning and sealing the driveway is really important as it helps prolong their life. This is what Estates Paving (http://estatespaving.com/tx/asphalt-paving-company... told me when they worked on my driveway.

      • profile image

        SummerHaze 

        2 years ago

        Good ideas. My family has a house with a pool in the backyard. It's old and I want to give it the second life. I bought all needed equipment to clean it and read a lot on this issue on http://bestpooladviser.com/ . I want to create a cozy place where my family can spend time together.

      • mrsponge1 profile image

        Richie Rosen 

        4 years ago from Florida

        Nice hub. any alternative to chlorine to kill mildew?

      • profile image

        Mc Paver 

        6 years ago

        Hi,

        the work done is really very good i appreciate your work the work in the photo gallery is really very awesome Weldon keep it up

        http://www.mcpavers.com/

      • profile image

        Mc Paver 

        6 years ago

        Hi,

        the work done is really very good i appreciate your work the work in the photo gallery is really very awesome Weldon keep it up

      • profile image

        driveway sealer 

        6 years ago

        Brick pavers require little maintenance. By maintaining brick pavers you are extending their life span and keeping them looking fresh and brand new. To assist you with doing so here are some basic procedures to help you maintain your brick pavers. This fantastic post was very nicely written, and it also contains many good facts. I appreciated your professional way of writing the post. You have made it easy for me to understand. Good and precise info.

        http://www.vsasealcoat.com.au/

      • profile image

        Kristen 

        7 years ago

        This makes SUCH a difference in the look. I was in Florida recently walking through a beautiful beach neighborhood and was trying to figure out WHAT exactly made these houses look so incredible and unique. One of the things that I isolated is that the driveways were all brick pavers. Ever since then I've been planning how to do the same to my home!

      • profile image

        Mark G. 

        7 years ago

        I love the look of brick pavers and am sorry to say my house has none at the moment. We do want to put in a pool soon and are planning on using pavers to create the deck. I really like your tips on design and maintenance! I have to admit, I thought they were a little more maintenance-free, but I still love the look. It will be worth it!

      • profile image

        Amanda 

        7 years ago

        This is SUCH great info! My last house had pavers that looked terrible, but I never knew how to clean and restore them. As a result, I avoided homes with pavers in my next house hunt even though I love the look of them. Thanks to these tips, I plan to enjoy pavers again!

      • profile image

        Scott L. 

        7 years ago

        Great Hub! We recently bought a house with a paver driveway that is in dire need of repair. I've never had pavers before so I didn't really know how to take care of them. After reading this, I definitely think I am going to leave the repairs and sealing to the professionals, though!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)