THE QUICK ANSWER
There are a number of maintenance issues related to Block paving and weed growth is usually at the top of the list. Measures can be taken to combat weed growth within block paving, however no permanent solution has yet been discovered. If you are looking for a paving surface which doesn’t require much routine maintenance then it may be in you interest to head over to the Resin Bound or Paving Slabs pages.
Keep On Top of Maintenance
If you’re on this page it means you’re looking to decide whether Block Paving is the right paving solution for you. Maintenance usually play a large part in the decision of most homeowners.We are here to provide impartial information on all of the paving solutions explained on this website. With this in mind, we have to say that Block Paving will require more maintenance than the other paving choices. To many people this is not an issue which is why the surface is so popular. When the summer months come you will tend to see more persistent weed growth which will require more time spent cleaning the surface. Some homeowners take theirs of leaving the moss and weeds to build up and then clean occasionally. We do not recommend this as lack of maintenance can lead to more serious issues. If you aren’t up to the task of maintaining the surface yourself you can always pay a professional to do it for you.
To efficiently clean block paving you should have a jetwash, preferably with a rotary attachment. The rotary attachment increases the surface area of the jet as well as preventing any mud from splashing. You should aim to remove around ¼ of the sand inbetween the joints. Once all of the blocks are cleaned you should leave the surface to dry off.
Please note:Never blast out all of the sand as this can effect the base layer which can cause structural damage.
Apply Kiln Dried Sand
The next step is to apply kiln dried sand into the joints. This has to be done on a dry day and the surface must be 100% dry before attempting it. Sprinkle a generous amount of the Kiln Dried Sand over the block paved area and use a soft brush to lightly fill the gaps in. You can choose to seal the surface should you wish, once you’ve removed all the excess kiln dried sand.
This is the process for maintaining block paving, and is often needed twice/ three times a year.
Top product tips to help prevent weed growth
- Sika Setting Sand– This product has a great reputation for helping to prevent weed growth. It’s a solid compound that sets with moisture. Simply brush it into the joints of the blocks (once cleaned) and hose it down with water. It will set almost solid, however we have found that weeds still manage to find their way through/ into the gaps.
- Thompson’s block Sealer– By sealing the surface of the blocks, ensuring the joints are also sealed, you are basically applying a force field over the surface. This will help protect the blocks from the elements and also aid in preventing weed growth.
- Geo-Textile Membrane – Ensure your contractor is using a quality weed proof membrane, or better yet, a Geo-Textile Membrane. This will suppress weeds from sprouting through the base.
Sika sand can be used as a step to preventing weed growth. It works by settling into the gaps of the blocks, and then absorbing water to expand and cure. Although there are other products that offer similar benefits to this, we recommend Sika Sand as we have used it ourselves in the past. Based on our experience, and some of our approved contractors, Sika sand DOES help to prevent weed growth, however weeds can still find their way through eventually. Please note: Sika sand is very tough to remove once applied.
Sealers are also a great way of combating weed growth. Thompson’s one coat block sealer is among the most popular and successful brands. We have personally found that it does protect the surface from the weather. It works by creating a waterproof layer over the blocks, which helps prevent weed growth by eliminating their water supply. It also makes the surface difficult for falling seeds to bed themselves into the sand in between the blocks. This is not a one stop remedy solution as eventually the persistence of the seeds will pay off and they will penetrate the sealer and begin to sprout through again. If you choose to seal your blocks ensure the surface is dry and that the weather forecast is dry and apply enough sealer into the joints but avoid applying too much as to cause puddles.