Staining, Weeds, Roots and Ants

Prevention is often the biggest cure. Below we have outlined some of the most common issues that can affect a paving installation’s appearance and longevity.



Most types of pavers are porous. The best cure for oil stains is to prevent them and dealing with the cause of the stain first. If you are fortunate enough to catch the stain while it’s fresh, use an absorbent cloth or towel to dab excess spillage. While doing this, try to avoid smearing or rubbing the oil further into the surface of the paver. Proceed to remove the stain with a common household detergent, water and a scrubbing brush. For stubborn, soiled stains, we recommend using a stronger detergent, degreaser or specialised cleaner. Unfortunately, most oil stains are permanent and cleaning will only help reduce the appearance of the stain.

To help prevent oils from staining your paving, we recommend using ProtectGuard paving protectors, available our sister company Cretesol. The ProtectGuard range protects paving against common oils and grease stains. Once applied, they ensure that the paved surface is much easier to clean when exposed to the abovementioned materials. ProtectGuard products are also covered in our Sealing and Protecting Paving article.

Cement, concrete and plaster

Poor workmanship and carelessness are often the biggest causes of such staining on paving. The severity of the stains will often determine how to approach the removal. Cement stains will often weather away naturally over time. Should you wish to remove it immediately, we do not recommend using diluted pool acid to clean cement off paving as it will most likely do more damage than any good. Rather use a wire brush (or stiff bristled brush) and gently brush the cement away.

Concrete and plaster can be removed in a similar manner, or even chipped or scrapped off, depending on the thickness. Should you wish to use opt for a chemical removal, we recommend contacting Cretesol – their experts will be able to assist with a removal solution.

Tyre marks

Tyres leave marks on any type or colour of paving. Darker colours will disguise the marks more effectively although they will still be visible. Tyre marks can normally be removed by scrubbing the area with hot water and a strong detergent followed by a thorough rinse. To make it easier to remove tyre marks and somewhat prevent them, we recommend using a specialised paving sealant or protector. View our article on Sealing and Protecting Paving for more information.


Arguably the hardest stains to remove – rust stains are commonly found around gutter downpipes. Stains develop from water flowing over metal fixtures which carry iron particles. These particles subsequently soil the paver, leaving nasty stains. Rust stains can also form from within the paver – iron rich aggregates can begin to oxidise (rust) and form stains. It is highly recommended to seek expert advice to remove rust stains from paving. For a number of DIY solutions, we recommend referring to or alternatively seek professional advice.

Foods and Beverages

Food and beverage stains are inevitable in outdoor living spaces. From an accidental spill of juice to a festive braai, paving is exposed to numerous substances that can leave nasty looking stains. Most spillages can be cleaned with hot water and mild household detergents. More stubborn stains, such as wine or greasy marks around a braai, may require stronger detergents such as bleach. It’s advised to deal with spillages at the first opportunity. One cannot undermine the value of protecting your paving in such instances. View our page on Paving Sealants and Protectors for more information.


It is a common misconception that weeds grow from underneath the paving. It’s not impossible and 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.

Traditional paved surfaces laid with flexible joints are prone to weed growth. Advancements in resin based jointing materials and jointing stabilisation technologies have resulted in products that can eliminate weed growth altogether. Our sister company, Cretesol, has made such products available to the South African market. Such products include:

  • Resiblock 22 – Imported from the UK, Resiblock 22 is an advanced paving joint stabiliser and sealant. The sealant penetrates the loose jointing sand, begins to cure and subsequently binds the sand together. The end result prevents weeds from taking hold. Resiblock is not only a joint stabiliser, but also doubles up as a high-quality sealer that will protect your paving from stains and scuff marks – click here to view more.
  • Romex Rompox Grouting – Romex are the global specialists of resin based grouting products. Such products bring numerous benefits to the industry, including the elimination of weeds. Used in conjunction with a specially graded silica sand, Romex grouts are rigid once cured, prohibiting weeds from taking hold and ensuring a permanently visually pleasing surface. Romex is an ideal alternative to traditional grouting methods – click here to view more.


Paved areas in close proximity to trees are almost guaranteed to lift sometime. Invasive tree roots can damage the structural integrity of your paving installation if not addressed in the correct manor. Unfortunately, tree roots cannot be totally eliminated without removing the tree entirely. It is highly recommended that provisions are made for trees when planning the basics of the paving installation. Should the tree be a concern in the foreseeable future, remove the tree or plan the installation around it. Should you wish to keep trees nearby, it is recommended to chop the roots out that might become problematic. These roots should be removed from the ground as they will decompose under the paved area which can lead to the opposite effect of sagging. Please note that this is a temporary solution as the roots may grow back. Should the roots return, be prepared to lift and relay your paving.


Are small piles of sand collecting on your paving? If yes, you most likely have digging ants in and around your paving. Ants are common around driveways and garden pathways and their hills begin to look unattractive. Ant infestations can be detrimental to the structural integrity of the paving installation as they remove the necessary jointing material between the pavers. Numerous “home remedies” are available to eliminate ants from getting stuck into your paving. However, for a permanent solution we recommend using either a Resiblock joint stabiliser or Romex grouting product – depending on your application. As previously mentioned, such products ensure rigid joints between pavers which ants cannot excavate through.