How Power-Washing Your Interlock Properly Will Save You Headaches and Frustration Down The Road
One of our three steps in our interlock treatment is power-washing. The power-washing of your interlocking brick is arguably the most important of the three. You may be wondering why this is, considering the polymeric sand and the sealer are the obvious materials that really add value to the bricks. The truth is if your interlock isn’t completely clean and free of dirt and grime before applying a sealer, you will end up sealing in those dirty spots for the next number of years. Even though your bricks will be protected and will shine as though new, on further inspection you will notice the trapped in dirt molecules. No amount of scrubbing or even power-washing at this point will remove this trapped in dirt.
A high-powered pressure washer is the first thing that you will require. Often, the pressure washers that are sold for household use, whether electric or small gas washers, are not exactly appropriate for your interlocking project. Washers of these types are designed for light- to medium-duty clean ups around a residential home. These household power washers will definitely clean the surface your interlock. However, there are several factors to consider before starting up your machine and wasting your time.
First, note the size of the area that you need to work on. Many of these household washers only have the capacity to wash an area the size of a dot at a time, meaning you will have to go over every single part of every single brick to ensure a complete clean. These washers are simply not high-enough pressure to effective wash a large area. If you are working on a very small area (under 100 square feet), you may opt to go with this method, although it may take you a number of hours just for this small surface! It is best to use an industrial strength washer on your interlock, as it covers a larger area and has stronger pressure, which will remove more unseen dirt and grime.
Second, consider the amount of weeds and sand that are stuck in the interlock joints. Your household pressure washer was not designed to remove weeds from between the joints of your interlocking pavers. You will find yourself spending twice or three times as long power-washing your interlock if you are also trying to remove weeds. Low powered household washers will only push the weeds down between the interlocking joints further, making them impossible to remove by hand, with the washer or otherwise. An industrial strength washer has attachments that are designed to remove sand and dirt from between the interlock. Attaching a different washing tip to the power-washer wand that will spin, rotate and use force to lift weeds from between the interlocking joints. Having a professional wash your interlock will save yourself the hours and hours you would spend using your electric household washer.
One of the most important things to consider is the consistency of power-washing. When washing your interlock with a low-powered pressure washer wand and tip, you will notice that it is difficult to maintain a consistent height and length away from the interlocking bricks. This is extremely important for the end result. While you may not be able to notice when the interlock is still wet, by constantly changing the pressure being applied to the stone by being inconsistent with your washing, you will inevitably leave faint washing lines. These lines show where the interlock has been cleaned thoroughly and the parts which weren’t given as much pressure as the others. This is the biggest benefit of having a professional company wash your interlock. We use a circular power-washing attachment for your interlock which allows us to wash the entire interlocking surface at the exact same distance and pressure the entire way through. This consistency in washing will leave your interlocking bricks looking like brand-new, without leaving any lines or a trace of being power-washed.
I have found out the long and hard way that using anything less than an industrial strength high-powered pressure washer will drastically affect the end results of sealing your interlock driveway or patio. If you have not been exposed to pressure washing much, you may be mislead to believe that all power-washers are equal and will do the same job but this just isn’t true. Check out our page on sealing your interlock driveway or patio, watch our video and learn how cleaning your interlocking brick can be done easily and effectively.