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‘White Bloom’ on garden or driveway paving
Occasionally, after a few weeks or months, white patches may appear on the surface of paving stones. This is known as efflorescence or white bloom. Efflorescence is a natural phenomenon and can occur with all cement-based products, as well as other paving products. It may appear randomly and will possibly appear more pronounced on coloured paving. The white bloom may give the impression that the colour of the paving is fading but, when wet, you will find that the efflorescence vanishes and the paving returns to its original shade. The white bloom will often return once the paving dries. Rest assured that the efflorescence has no detrimental effect on the performance of the paving and will generally disappear with time. Factors such as climate conditions, location and aspect (damp/shady or open/sunny) are variables that can affect the extent of the phenomenon.
Periodic Cleaning A sweep with a stiff broom and hot soapy water is usually enough to prevent build up of dirt. The occasional use of a patio or driveway wash will further enhance appearance, but please use sparingly as it may adversely affect the long-term durability of your paving. Check with your local stockist or Assured Landscaper for advice on suitable products. Every three months, check for loose or damaged pavestones and ensure all jointing material is intact. Thoroughly clean any stains such as alcohol, barbecue fat or bird droppings. Always test a small area first before cleaning your whole patio or driveway. Please note: Jointing materials may potentially stain/ change colour when directly exposed to acid based cleaners. We recommend testing on a small discreet area first. Limestone, Slate and Granites are especially sensitive to cleaners and therefore we do not recommend acid based product for such pavers.
Natural Stone Natural Stone may contain minor imperfections and foreign materials as part of its inherent make-up; for instance iron oxides and other naturally occurring pigments. These do not affect the performance of the paving but may mean that some discolouration occurs naturally. Sealants Sealants can be used on your patio or driveway. However, please check the sealant manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it is suitable for sealing paving. Breathable sealants are recommended. Please note: Applying sealant to paving may affect the colour. Sealants are not required to ensure durability of the product. Sealants can be applied for various reasons – i.e. ease of cleaning, colour enhancement and matt/gloss appearance. It is not necessary to seal porcelain. • It is important to use the correct sealant for the product material – concrete, natural sandstone, block paving, granite etc. • Sealants should not as a rule be applied until after the paving has been laid for about two months with the exception of Smooth Natural Sandstone. • Smooth Natural Sandstone needs to be handled very carefully when installing to minimise staining. We would advise that the product be sealed prior to laying. However, if this is not possible, it should be covered up as it is installed and sealed as soon as it is laid. • It’s vital to use a good quality sealant and apply as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember, once applied it can’t be removed.
Weeding A newly laid patio or driveway can stand for many years before weeds force their way to the surface through small cracks or crevices. There are a number of ways you can restore the appearance of your patio: Removal of weeds Pull weeds up from the root. Grab or pinch the base of the weed to remove as much as possible. For wider gaps between brick patio joints, dig the weed up using your hands or a small shovel. Jointing For block paving products, we recommend the use of kiln dried sand. And where a mortar joint is required, we recommend 3 parts building sand to 1 part cement. The sand fills voids and reduces the moisture weeds need to grow.
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