Cobblestones provide a touch of traditional design to your outdoor areas. You can use them to pave a driveway, a patio, or even a garden path. They fit in with nearly any outdoor style so you never need to worry about replacing these timeless pavers. There are some maintenance pointers you do need to know, though, if you want to ensure they look their best.
Tip #1: Attack fluid stains promptly
Fluid stains, such as oil leaks on driveways or grease from the grill on a patio, can leave a nearly permanent mark on cobblestone if you ignore it. Fortunately, you can usually fully remove the stain if you act quickly. Begin by covering the stain liberally with clay kitty litter. The litter soaks up the fluid. Leave it overnight and then sweep it up. If any stain remains, invest in an oil remover that is safe for stone. These typically contain an acid, such as oxalic acid, so you will need to follow all label directions for safe handling and use. Do not try to increase the strength of the cleaner – always mix it as directed – since an overly strong acid solution can damage the cobblestone instead of just removing the stain.
Tip #2: Befriend your powerwasher
In damp areas you can expect some moss or algae growth on the cobblestone, while in dry areas dust and dirt can be a problem. Sweeping isn't always enough to get the stones clean, and dingy stones just don't look nice. Fortunately, most cobblestones are sturdy enough to be clean with a powerwasher on the lower PSI setting. Plain water can go a long way toward removing the film of scum and dirt. If you don't own a powerwasher, you can rent one. The other option is to soak the stones and then scrub them hard with a stiff-bristled deck brush.
Tip #3: Stop moss for good
If the greening-black stains from moss and algae are severe enough that you must powerwash frequently, then more drastic measures are called for. Consider using a moss killer designed for use on stone. This will destroy the moss completely so that it is slower to grow back. Soaking the patio in a diluted bleach and water solution and then scrubbing can also kill all the moss so it takes longer to return, but keep in mind bleach can harm neighboring landscape plants.
For more help, contact a cobblestone company such as Harristone.