When constructed with a stable foundation and edge, paver patios are fairly low-maintenance. In fact, they have a maintenance schedule similar to that of concrete, with the exception of joint sand maintenance. If you’re interested in understanding what kind of care a patio needs AFTER the installation, we’re here to help. In addition, we offer automatic patio care packages for those whose patios we build.
Paver patios that are constructed properly need very little care.
Once a Year
Once a year, we recommend cleaning the patio with a mild, plant-safe detergent to remove dirt, debris, and build-up. Although not required, this keeps your patio looking like new. It’s important to not use a pressure washer that could damage the sand during this step. During this step, your service provider should perform and assessment of your hardscape.
Every Two to Five Years Patios Constructed with Poly-Sand
What is “Poly-Sand”?
“Poly-Sand” is a polymer enhanced sand that has engineered particles dispersed evenly throughout the sand. When installed properly, it hardens to stabilize paver joints, help prevent weeds, and help prevent burrowing insects.
If your patio is constructed with “Poly-sand”, you’ll need to update the sand every two to five years. This requires removing all of the old sand and installing new sand.
Why remove the old sand? Poly-sand requires a minimum of 1.25″ depth to bond and hold for the long term. Any less would not cure adequately and would waste time and money by breaking down prematurely.
People who like the look of sealed pavers can also add a sealer at this time. It is not required, but does add the benefits of protecting the pavers from staining, discoloring, and aging.
Patio Constructed with Sealer and Regular Jointing Sand
If your paver patio or drive was constructed with regular sand and sealer, you’ll need to update the sand every 2-5 years but won’t need to remove all of the old sand like you do with “Poly-Sand”.
The sealer comes in three looks:
- Color Enhancing-Super Wet. This can sometimes look “shiny” and lasts a bit less time than other types of sealers. It has the most color enhancing power.
- Satin Look- Wet Look. This enhances paver color a little, but doesn’t appear as shiny. It has a more satin look.
- Natural Luster- A sealer that provides all of the protection and does not alter the look noticeably. It is the longest lasting of the sealer types.
With this process, a professional would clean, top-dress sand, and re-seal every few years.
What Causes More Frequent Maintenance?
There are a few scenarios where sand or patios will need maintenance on the more frequent end of the above time lines. Some reasons for more frequent care are:
- Perpetually wet or dark areas tend to always have wet sand. If the sand is always wet, it can’t harden, and therefore, won’t last as long.
- Areas with heavy water flow during storms. Water causes erosion. The Grand Canyon proves that. Areas of your patio with heavy water flow running across during storms will have more sand erosion than other areas.
- Areas with heavy traffic. Heavy traffic will wear down sealers by physically causing consistent abrasion. Although sealers are created for durability, heavy traffic areas will need sealer more often than low traffic areas.
If built properly, no other care is needed to keep patios lasting for decades. The benefits of the look and longevity of paver patios and driveways significantly outweighs using any other type of material. Concrete cracks in unwanted places over time and colored concretes can fade significantly. Be forewarned, POORLY built paver patios do require re-doing the base and edges more often because they weren’t built properly the first time. Ensure your patio is constructed properly the first time and it will last for decades.
If you need help maintaining your patio, High Prairie Outdoors offers care packages to pro-actively monitor and care for your spaces.