We have paving blocks on our driveway at our home, which is terrific! Being able to park on a solid base, away from the road and people is simply the best.
Not having a driveway sucks! We know this because, for 14 years at our last house, we had to park on the street. The car was always in harm’s way.
Our driveway has grey and light red paving blocks. However, you wouldn’t know that by looking at the photo above.
The driveway was laid about thirty years ago and has gathered a lot of dirt in that time.
Prerequisites for cleaning paving blocks
A must-have item to clean paving blocks is a high-pressure hose pipe. The Kärcher K 5 Full Control Plus Pressure Washer is the best and most affordable multi-use device. It does a splendid job on paving blocks, patios, wooden furniture windows and on the car.
This model has an easy to use 3-in-1 multijet lance that switches between a flat stream power wash, dirt blaster and detergent application.
The pressure for each stage is easy to regulate with the simple buttons and LED display on the touch control trigger gun.
The Karcher K 5 also supports varying types of bottled cleaning liquid, which adds an extra punch to the cleaning process.
Other equipment needed
- Work overalls to protect your clothes
- safety glasses
- a broom with stiff bristles
- a soft-bristled broom
- a dustpan
- a bucket.
Where to start cleaning paving blocks?
Our driveway is roughly 35 by 3 metres, and it took approximately 70 minutes to blast off all the dirt and grime on top and in between the paving blocks. The job is very messy, and it is better to start from the end closest to the house and work towards the road; that way, all the mud and dirt gets pushed away.
I collected all the mud in a bucket and spread it in the field nearby.
Once done, the driveway looked fantastic, and their original colours of light red and grey radiated through. It is best to let the driveway dry out for 24 hours, before doing the last stage of the maintenance.
Mind the gap between the paving blocks
The paving blocks should not be left with significant gaps between them, as this leads to instability.
Weeds and dirt will also collect in the gaps, which will defeat the purpose of the exercise.
How to fill the gaps?
Kiln sand is the best filler between the joints and gaps because it is clean, refined and dry. For our driveway, two 20kg bags were plenty. Kiln sand is readily available at most hardware stores and in the UK costs roughly fifty pence per kilogram. If you opt for sand that contains anti-weed or anti-ant, then look to spend around a pound a kilogram.
The next step in the process was relatively straight forward. I started from the road and poured a pile of kiln sand onto the paving blocks. I used a broom with soft bristles to move the sand between the paving blocks, which filled the gaps. Then I brushed off the top of the paving blocks with a thick bristled brush and pushed the sand along.
Use small piles of sand in different locations on the driveway. It will save you time by not pushing sand from one end of the driveway to the other.
It took roughly an hour to fill all the gaps in the paving blocks. I would say my sweeping skills have massively improved. 🙂