Have You Cleaned or Sealed Your Paved Patio, Walkway, or Driveway?

Guidelines for Cleaning and Sealing Hardscape Projects.

Hardscape projects such as patios, walkways, retaining walls and driveways that use concrete pavers will always look better and more professional when a job is both cleaned and sealed after installation.  Cleaning and sealing protects against the naturally occurring salt and mineral deposit leakages called efflorescence that can appear as white areas.  It is a common concern among hardscape installers when efflorescence or mineral deposits appear on pavers or wall blocks once their project has been completed.


What is Efflorescence?

Efflorescence is a white powdery substance (soluble salt) that sometimes appears on concrete products after being carried to the surface through evaporation. It is more common in wet environments like the Pacific Northwest. However, it is a natural condition that occurs in concrete and usually clear up over time and does not affect the integrity of the product itself.

Cleaning and sealing projects immediate upon installation can help reduce the efflorescence effect for new project installations. For long term maintenance and beauty of your hardscape paved projects, seasonal cleaning and sealing is also recommended.

Mutual Materials Has Solutions For Cleaning Paver Efflorescence

The appearance of efflorescence can be quite unappealing though and leave the customer less than enthused about their finished project. The good news is there are solutions to getting rid of efflorescence and other mineral deposits immediately after the installation of a hardscape project. While there are a few known methods, Mutual Materials has recommended guidelines for both professionals and homeowners on how to properly clean and maintain hardscape installations.


Home Projects Hardscape Cleaning

Cleaning and maintaining hardscape projects around the home like patios, walkways, or small retaining walls; doesn’t require the use of a specialized jet sprayer. Using a plastic pump sprayer, a scrub brush, and Efflo Off from SEK Surebond, a customer can remove efflorescence from a hardscape project over the course of a couple of days. Efflo Off is the product Mutual Materials recommends for homeowners looking to remove efflorescence and other mineral deposits. These downloadable guidelines list the 10 steps for properly using Efflo Off as your hardscape cleaner around the home. Efflo Off is available in 1-gallon bottles at Mutual Materials. For more information on Efflo Off, please visit SEK Surebond’s website.

Professional Use Cleaning

Professional grade hardscape installations are generally larger in scale and may require professional tools and a more intensive chemical solution to get the job completed in a reasonable amount of time. For professional grade hardscape cleaning Mutual Materials recommends NMD 80™ New Masonry Detergent along with the EC Jet Sprayer from EaCo Chem for getting rid of efflorescence, halos, and scuff marks without having to use scrub brushes. These downloadable instructions list the 10 easy steps for using NMD 80 properly. NMD 80 is a safe detergent that does not require a respirator and can also be used on masonry projects, including natural stone. Mutual Materials offers it in 1-gallon, 5-gallon, and 55-gallon containers. For more information on NMD 80 visit EaCo Chem’s website.


We always recommend you follow the instructions on the manufacturer website for any chemical cleaning product and refer to the downloadable guidelines in this blog post for more details. If you have any further questions about the use of either product, information will be available on each manufacturer’s website and you can also contact your Mutual Materials sales representative or one of our branches.