Cleaning a Bluestone Patio

By Robert Robillard on Home Maintenance, Landscape, Masonry

How to Clean Bluestone

Many homes have concrete and blue-stone walkways, steps and patios.  The problem is leaves, pollen and rust stains that develop can very difficult to remove. This article will address using a pressure washer as best practice for cleaning a Bluestone patio.


Use A Pressure Washer

The most effective and safe cleaning method to remove dirt and residue is with a pressure washer.  Using a pressure washing eliminates the need for a manual scrubbing with a brush and pole.

For this project we used the Generac 3200 PSI with electric Start. Click link to read our tool review or here to purchase: Generac-SpeedWash-7122-Pressure-Attachments

 

Cleaning Other Masonry

People will often ask if a pressure washer can be used to clean other types of masonry. That answer is yes, it’s a great cleaning tool for may surfaces such as;

  • Granite steps
  • Granite posts
  • Pool Deck
  • Fiend Stone
  • Pavement
  • Concrete

We recently used same procedure to clean Granite steps, posts, curbing or other structures.

What You’ll Need

  • Bucket – optional
  • Water – optional
  • Dish soap or liquid stone cleaner for the pressure washer – optional
  • Soft scrub brush with extension pole – optional
  • Pressure washer or hose with sidewalk sweep nozzle
  • Blower or broom

Cleaning a Bluestone Patio – Procedure

  1. Remove loose dirt, leaves and debris
  2. Pull any weeds growing in the paver joints – pressure washer can do this
  3. Wet granite
  4. Apply cleaner if applicable
  5. Clean patio – use brush too scrub or pressure washer
  6. Work in small sections to keep track of your cleaning pattern
  7. Repeat until the entire surface is clean.
  8. Allow either to air dry

Note – when using a pressure washer choose the nozzle that gives you the best cleaning based on time and effort. Use a back and forth pattern to create an even clean look.

Add Sand To Paver Joints

After cleaning a Bluestone patio you will need to refill the paver joints as the power swasher will wash a lot of it away.

The BEST sand to use on patios, walkways or pavers is Polymeric sand is designed to harden after wetting. Once hard it stays in place for a long time, resisting weed growth and helping to hold pavers in place.

Before applying the sand, the space between patio stones needs to be cleaned out and weed free. I recommend washing the patio with a pressure washer and using the pressure washer to clean out the joints at the same time.

Sweep more sand into the joints until the sand is within 1/8” of the top of the paver. Use a  broom or leaf blower to clean off excess dust.

Why Is Wetting Polymeric Sand Necessary?

The wetting process with polymeric sand is necessary to start its hardening process. You need to add enough water to saturate the sand but not so much that you float the polymers out of the sand. The most effective way to water the sand is to adjust the nozzle to a light spray pattern. Water the paver joints until no more water will soak in. Once you wet the sand, the polymer in the sand will begin to set and harden. Read more on using Polymeric sand to recondition a patio here.

 

 

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes the "Ask the Carpenter" advice column in the Boston Globe, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob <a href="https://profiles.google.com/concordcarpenter"

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