A little effort goes a long in way keeping your precious granite investments looking immaculate. An overall clean space leaves a far better first impression. Luckily, granite is regarded to be the strongest of natural stones, boasting excellent resistance to weather conditions among other factors, and as a result, are less costly to maintain. Here are some facts an outdoor space owner should know and watch out for, as well as tips on how to easily keep a garden or driveway spick and span.
Mother Nature is Unstoppable
It is a common misconception that certain ranges of granite setts and edging kerbs for gardens can withstand weeds. This is unfortunately untrue, as weed plants will grow through cracks and crevices no matter what kind of stone you use. They will not, however, grow through the sturdy granite paving itself.
- To help prevent the sprouting of weed, brushing the surface of your pavement can help. This disturbs the growth of newly emerging weeds and nips them at the bud before they become a fully-fledged problem.
- Another solution may to use a weed killing agent. These weed killers are chemical products that are applied to a paved surface after cleaning. The effectiveness and duration of effect vary according product, so some independent research of reading reviews and asking around may help. It is also good to keep an eye out for products that state they kill weeds specifically, rather than purchasing a general herbicide, as this can easily kill more than weeds in your garden or driveway. No one wants to lose their precious foliage and vegetation. Additionally, more and more people are becoming averse to this solution, as some of the chemicals may not be particularly environmentally-friendly.
Preventative measures are probably the smarter route to take than getting rid of growth reactively. Nobody wants to spend their time pulling out weeds. Think of it this way – it’s better to clean while cooking rather than ending up with a daunting pile of messy dishes at the end. Keep your range of granite setts and kerbs looking weed-free all year round.
Weeds are not the only force of nature that may disrupt your granite materials from looking fresh. Moss, lichens and algae are ever so present.
- Algae grow easily in damp areas and thrive especially after rain. The easiest way to get rid of algae is to use some household bleach. Make sure you are tactful when specific when applying to bleach – if bleach can kill algae, and it can also kill other plants you may have in play.
- Lichens are the circular, almost black spots that grow when pavements are left uncleaned for extended periods of time. Biologically, they are a cross between algae and fungus, and unfortunately thy have the characteristics of both, making lichens harder to combat than algae. Using small amounts of a fungicidal wash or a strong bleach frequently may be the answer. Think about it as implementing periodic treatments rather than one big surgery.
- Moss is a more advanced type of specimen when compared to algae or lichens. They grow where debris has been left, so it may be the best choice to be preventative in periodically brushing and cleaning your granite material in the first place. If you are already dealing with a moss problem, get a moss killing agent. Do make sure, however, that it does not contain ferrous sulphate (iron), as it can cause unseemly rusting. If you have more time, physically scraping off moss may also be an option.
Clean is Queen
Sometimes you have to go back to basics. The most simple and safe way to take care of your granite setts or kerbs is to scrub with some soapy water. There are also agents targeted specifically for granite stone that work very well. Just make sure to consider a couple of factors…
- Acid-based cleaning products should always be avoided, as they can do a lot more harm than good. One of the most prominent is hydrochloric acid. It may clean your paving, but there is also a chance this kind of acid will be destructive.
- Chemical free cleaning solutions are probably a good bet. Many chemicals are included within specific granite cleaning products and have the potential to do your granite paving harm. Granite cleaning solutions can also be used to combat both natural and non-natural stains – oil, grime, grease, tire, debris, moss and so on.
- If a stain leans on the more stubborn side, high pressure hydraulic equipment may be necessary to jet off tenacious debris.
And the cherry on top…
Granite sett and kerb owners should always utilise sealants to protect the precious stone. This makes your life much easier when cleaning and removing stains, and in some cases can prevent stains all together. Keep your mind at ease knowing you will be extending the life of your already very hardy granite paving.
It is unmistakable that all kinds of paving need some love and care, but granite may be the most preferable due to its natural ability to withstand abrasion and harsh weather conditions. This undoubtedly makes them a better long-term investment than non-natural paving stone alternatives.