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Cleaning & Maintenance

Cleaning of pavers

Regular maintenance and good cleaning practices will enhance the overall appearance of your paving.

General Cleaning of Paving

Regular hosing and sweeping will not only keep your paving looking clean but it will also prevent weeds from taking root as they usually grow when seeds are left undisturbed to germinate in the debris that collects in between the pavers.

To remove general dirt and detritus, regularly hose down your paving and sweep with a hard bristled outdoor broom.

When the paving is heavily soiled, scrub the area with a hard bristled brush or broom, soap (a general purpose, pH neutral/slightly alkaline, non-abrasive cleaner can be used). Ensure all the soap has been thoroughly washed off from the surface after cleaning and that the run-off soapy water is channeled to drainage points or containers where it can be disposed of safely.

Note: Do not use power hoses to clean paving as this may wash out jointing sand and damage the grouting between pavers and will damage the pavers themselves.


Bosun recommends specialised products like Tile and Floor Care.

It is essential to seek expert advice and guidance. Bosun cannot accept any responsibility for inappropriate use of detergents or the incorrect application thereof.

Mechanical cleaners

It is advised that  sections of paving, at least, be cleaned daily on commercial pedestrian areas like shopping centre piazzas and walkways. For daily maintenance of large paved areas, we recommend the use of specialised equipment.

Goscor is the agent for Tennant cleaning machines in South Africa. Tennant is regarded as the world leader in this field.

It is strongly advised that an industry expert advise you on equipment to be used on your site. Bosun can’t be held responsible when the wrong cleaning equipment is used.

The following recommendations deal with sweeping machines and associated equipment and their use:

  • Equipment should be designed for the purpose of sweeping the particular area. If there is any doubt, the vehicle manufacturer should be consulted.
  • Tyres should be inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure maximum weight distribution.
  • Polypropylene brushes,  not wire, should be used.
  • Sweeping brush pressures should be set to the minimum requirement suitable for the particular task, i.e. surfaces swept regularly will require a lesser setting than those swept infrequently or those covered with heavy deposits.
  • When sweeping, engine revolutions should be set at the minimum requirement to maintain vacuum (suction) pressure.
  • Operators, including relief staff, should be trained to vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations and tyre and brush pressures should be checked regularly.
  • Advice should be given to operators that, when equipment is stationary or left unattended, suction, brush rotation and water jetting equipment should be switched off to avoid the risk of damage to the area below the stationary equipment.
  • In new or re-laid areas, allow the pavement to settle and the joints to seal before manual cleaning.
  • When water jetting equipment is used to wash such areas , the jets or hand held lance should be directed at the surface at an angle not greater than 30° and across the diagonal (i.e. not parallel to joints) using a suitable detergent solution.

The area should be inspected after cleaning to ensure that joints are refilled with jointing sand if necessary.

Stain removal & Spot Treatments

Oil stains: As soon as the stain appears dab excess spillage with an absorbent cloth or towel. Then remove the stain with soap, water and a brush. Ensure that all residues are washed away with hot water.

Scuff marks from vehicle tyres: These marks can normally be removed by scrubbing the area with hot water and a strong detergent. Remember to rinse thoroughly.

Rust stains, concrete, plaster and paint marks: Call in a cleaning professional to assist with the cleaning of these particular marks on your paving.

Smoke, fire and tobacco stains: Stains like this can normally be removed by scrubbing with hot soapy water. If the stain is persistent, apply a mild bleach solution and then rinse the area with clean water, taking care to dispose of the run-off safely.

Beverage, smoke, fire and tobacco stains: These can normally be removed by scrubbing with hot soapy water. If the stain is persistent, apply a mild bleach solution and then rinse the area with clean water, taking care to dispose of the run-off safely.

Weeds on Paving

It is a common misconception that weeds grow from underneath the paving. This may occur in rare instances; however weeds almost always grow from seeds and bird droppings that land in paving joints from above. Regular hosing and sweeping of the paved area will prevent weeds from growing as it disturbs newly emerging weeds before they are fully established.

Paving Maintenance tips

Inspect paving on a quarterly basis:

This is done to check for any loose, damaged or stained paving, and to ensure that the jointing material is intact.

  • Loose paving.  It is important to rectify the cause of the movement / settlement. Subsidence of the substrate layers are the most common reasons for pavement failure.

No matter what the cause, it needs to be investigated and rectified before replacing or re-bedding the paving units.

  • Damaged or stained paving.

Individual blocks can easily be replaced. Homeowners can refer to the Bosun website for further information on how to relay damaged paving.

  • Jointing material that is no longer intact.  The pavers simply need to be topped with jointing sand by brushing or sweeping in approved, dry plaster sand as required.

Maintaining your paving during construction

Paving should be kept covered during construction or renovation to protect it from damage and possible staining from paint or oil-based substances as well as any harsh chemicals.

Sealing of block paving

Bosun recommends Resiblock imported by Cretesol. 

It is strongly advised to seek expert advice from such an industry specialist. Bosun cannot accept any responsibility for inappropriate use of sealants or the incorrect application thereof.

Bosun strongly advises only sealing concrete products six months after installation in order for products to cure fully on site and for possible efflorescence to take its course.

It must be expected that sealants may have an effect on the colour of the paving, its slip/skid resistance and may require on-going maintenance during the life of the paving. It is also important that the surface of the units is dry, clean and efflorescence-free before any sealer is applied.

Benefits of sealing your paving

  • Improving its appearance
  • Under some circumstances, prolonging its life
  • Helping to seal the jointing material
  • Inhibiting weed growth
  • Stain prevention (especially from oil based stains)

The Cure for Efflorescence

We believe the best cure for efflorescence is to just leave it as it will go away with time.

From experience we know that some paving installations have had efflorescence for a few weeks only, while others have been affected for months. Sometimes efflorescence is recurring and sometimes it happens only once. Therefore one can never predict the outcome of a specific site. What we do know however is that it is temporary.

When you “Google” (Remove efflorescence), there are around 260,000 results. Most of them recommend washing the affected material with a weak acid solution. It might however re-appear within a day. As mentioned, man can’t force nature to change.

Bosun believes the use of acid is not worth the risk. If however you are forced and /or prepared to take the risk, we recommend consulting the following British web page, for an objective and very comprehensive take on efflorescence, together with some removal options.


The above information is intended as a general guideline on the cleaning and maintenance of precast concrete paving and is not intended to be a comprehensive guide.

It is particularly important with all cleaning methods that a test should be carried out on a small, preferably inconspicuous area, to determine the effect of the treatment before commencing work on a larger area.

Contact Us

Head Office
Cnr Cresset and Musket Roads
Midrand Industrial Park
Phone: 011 310 1176
Email: info@bosun.co.za