Summer Interlock Cleaning Tips

Beautiful patio

Will your backyard patio be busy with barbeques and parties this summer?

If so, you’ll want to keep those interlocking stone pavers looking sharp, clean and weed-free all season long.

Maintaining a good looking patio goes beyond pulling out the power washer every couple of weeks (even though that does help).

With just a little bit of extra time and effort (and these easy-to-follow tips from Van Beek’s Garden Supplies), you’ll be able to clean your interlocking stone pavers just like the pros do; but at a fraction of the cost.

The tools you need

Take a look around your garage, shed or workshop.

There’s a good chance that you already own everything you need to have your interlock project looking its best in no time.

  • Screwdriver (flathead is preferable)
  • Cup or bucket of water
  • Landscape broom
  • Leaf blower
  • Dollar store spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Rubber mallet
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Polymeric sand

Polymeric sand is importantWhy polymeric sand is so important…

Just like extra triple mix soil or grass seed, having access to a supply of polymeric sand is crucial to interlock stone care and maintenance.

Here’s why:

  • It stays in place: Water, wind and runoff can dislodge or loosen joint sand. Polymeric sand is made with quartz or silica, meaning it binds in place and stays there.

 

  • Fewer weeds: Weeds grow when seeds blow into place and take root. Polymeric sand helps to prevent water and seeds from settling between your stones.

 

  • Ant control: Regular brick sand is a haven for ants to nest and dig into. They’ll have a much tougher time digging into the binding materials of polymeric sand (in fact, they may stay away).

Polymeric sand…and how you should apply it

First, get rid of any weeds or grass that’s growing between your patio stones.

Using the flathead screwdriver, dig deep between the stones and pull the weeds out from the root (otherwise they may just grow back).

And if any moss or grass is growing on top of the stones, use the screwdriver to scrape that off too.

When you’re done, apply the polymeric sand by:

  • Pouring sand into the joints
  • Sweeping any excess into the joints (using the landscaping broom)
  • Tapping the stones to settle the sand (with your rubber mallet)
  • Blowing away excess sand (that’s where the leaf blower comes in)
  • Misting away the stones and sand four times in the next hour (with water and spray bottle or the mist setting on your garden hose)

Lastly, make sure there’s no rain in the forecast and wait at least 24 hours before using your patio.

Weed growing through patio stoneHow to keep weeds at bay

Sometimes, weeds will creep through between your stones.

You could reach for an herbicide or weed killer product. But that’s not very eco-friendly (nor is it safe for children or pets).

A combination of white vinegar and dishwashing soap will do the trick without the cost or inconvenience of an expensive or smelly chemical mixture.

The best part? It can be done in three easy steps:

  • Fill your spray bottle with vinegar
  • Add a teaspoon of dish soap
  • Fire at will at those pesky weeds

To make sure your homemade weed killer is effective, spray the weeds when they’re dry and when it’s sunny outside.

Contact us for all your patio stone needs

Whether you want to install brand new interlocking stones, are looking for pattern ideas or just have questions, we’ve got the products and advice you need.

There are plenty of ways you can start with Van Beek’s:

Contact us to learn more about our triple mix soil