How To Clean Paved Terraces Properly
Before the first snow comes, you should use the warm autumn days to clean the pavement of your cobbled terrace and free from weeds. Thus the cleaning effort in the spring falls less.
Before the winter break the terrace should be cleaned – as beautiful the summer bloom is also. After leaving garden furniture and potted plants, the fallen flower pots, autumn leaves, moss, algae and pot marks remain on the balcony and terrace floor. Since the terrasse and balcony are now vacated as well as empty, this is the perfect time to thoroughly clean the cobbled floor. Freeze the pavement of the weeds and remove stains so that no permanent residues remain which could discolor the stone slabs.
First scratch the joints
In the first step the weed should be removed. On fixed surfaces such as terraces or paths often all sorts of unwanted green spills in the joints. The usual and most thorough method is the scratching with a special joint scraper, which is however very tedious. Cleaning the joints with a manual or electric joint brush is more pleasant. However, only the visible part of the plants is removed, the roots mostly remain in the joints. Depending on the substrate, the use of flame or infrared devices is also possible. Do not hold the device too far over a certain place – three to five seconds usually suffice for the plant to die off, even if there are no signs of burns on the outside.
Electrical joint cleaners remove the weed with a narrow rotating wire brush. There are also wider brush rollers for the cleaning of wood and stone surfaces.
When the weed is removed from the joints, sweep the entire terrace with a broom. It is important that organic waste such as plant residues and foliage are completely removed from the surface. They decompose themselves in the joints to humus and create new breeding ground for the weed growth. In addition, you can ensure that you will not be able to fly larger parts around your ears or block the drain when working with the high-pressure cleaner. If the refuse is not contaminated with plastics or other waste, it can be composted without any problem.
Intensive cleaning for heavily polluted areas
Flower pots often leave edges on the terrace floor through algae deposits, which settle at permanent moisture. Most stone slabs have a rough surface for better accessibility, in which dirt and moss can be particularly well established. Such impurities can generally not be removed without residue by means of a high-pressure cleaner. Better reach a biodegradable stone cleaner and brush the dirt with a powerful root brush by hand. Please note, however, that not all stone cleaners are suitable for every type of stone. Especially in the case of high-quality open-pore natural stone linings, such as sandstone and coated concrete slabs, you should first check whether the cleaner is suitable for this paving material. It is generally advisable not to use household products such as citric acid or vinegar, as the acid dissolves the lime from the stones. The acids can only be used in a controlled manner in order to remove discolorations that have penetrated into the stone. However, you should first test the effect in a hidden place! In the case of stubborn dirt, it is also often necessary to soak the soil with the cleaning solution for two to three hours before grasping the brush.
For the time-saving removal of light soiling, you can use a high-pressure cleaner after the intensive cleaning. The cleaning of the terrace is thus gentle on the back and water-saving. Depending on the covering, you should also inform the stone manufacturer whether the covering can be damaged. This is often the case, in particular, for appliances that operate with high water temperature and additional cleaning agents. Place the cleaning jet over the surface so that the wall of the house and the window panes do not overmold, and do not adjust the pressure higher than necessary. Most contaminants can easily be removed with the unit. A special surface attachment is recommended for sidewalk slabs and larger terraces. The circular nozzles loosen the dirt, and the splash guard keeps legs, walls and windows dry. In addition to the advantage of higher pressure, a good high-pressure cleaner also saves an eightfold amount of water compared to the garden hose.
In most cases the water is washed from the terrace directly into the meadow or the beds and so into the ground water. Therefore, the cleaning agents used should be approved for household use, environmentally friendly and extremely economical. Herbicides may not be used on fixed surfaces in general and most of the green cover remedies harm the plants and animals. If you have a real wooden terrace, you should completely dispense with a chemical treatment because ugly discolorations can occur. Here, warm water and an environmentally friendly detergent are the first choice. Even with the high pressure cleaner, caution is advised in the case of wooden terraces. Depending on the sensitivity and handling, the surface of the wood can be strongly roughened by the pressure beam. After cleaning and drying, wood linings can also be treated with an environmentally friendly care oil – it protects the wood from rot fungi and ensures a uniform color.