Paver cleaning woes

Hey gang,

I’ve recently started doing pavers and my god are they an insane amount of work. Most of my customers have fairly large yards and they are FILTHY. I mean yards not cleaned once in 15-20 years, absolutely covered in moss, lichen, who knows what. And of course the filth has seeped into the pavers themselves. The joints are totally filled with weeds underneath the moss.

I’m in dire need of some tips and pointers. How do you deal with the mud? It feels like - no, I know I definitely spend way more time fighting the mud and trying to control it than actually cleaning. Apart from using a wand to blast the mud around I’ve also got an Unger Aquadozer, but it’s not enough. Do you use some kind of sump pump to haul the mess outside the property? What would you recommend?

Another issue is, well, actually cleaning the pavers and joints. I have a 5.5gpm machine @ 2900psi with a Suttner 20’ Turbodevil and it feels like it’s not cutting it. Is the surface cleaner too large for my gpm? I’ve decided to try a twin head turbo nozzle to blast the moss off first, get rid of it and hopefully that will let the machine actually clean the joints.

I’m hitting the surface with 5% SH first and it feels like that isn’t enough. Suggestions? I feel like the pretreatment should help a bit with getting the moss off.

Sanding: I’m using kiln dried sand, pushing it around with a squeegee and then following up with a 35 inch broom. Any better methods? This is incredibly time consuming.

Thanks for any and all help.

Ed: a few pictures of a customer I just did.

I just hope that you’re charging accordingly.

Why are you not cleaning off the moss first a weed eater and small blower will go a long way and its dry. You cant use a pressure washer for everything unless you want to be on the same job all day make a giant mess and blow mud all over everything. I use 12.5 and brown stuff apply and go be careful of the plants

1 Like

I’ m not, and just cleaning the pictured yard took 11 hours to get in a decent shape although I personally wasn’t happy with everything. Customer was though.

Can you please elaborate - how would a weed eater get the moss off the top? Am I missing something here?

This is exactly what I’ve been doing, lol.

Straight 12.5?
What is “brown stuff”, I’m not familiar with it.

Do you have a weed eater? Its pretty self explanatory. You can do it with a brush also

11 hours? That would mean I’d charge my day rate and then some.

You can use a weedeater and blower to remove any grass, etc. Then 12 volt a HOT mix. Let it do it’s thing and then a low pressure rinse while being very mindful of runoff because it will kill grass, etc. I wouldn’t imagine it taking longer than a couple hours.

Not many pavers in my area. Thank God.

1 Like

OK, I’m not being combative here but I really fail to see how a weed eater would get the pictured moss out:

That was just the cleaning. Another 7 and a half hours today sanding. You don’t want to know what I charged, lol.

Don’t have a 12v. I’ll look into getting one I guess.

You’d do the yard in my first post in a few hours? How the hell?

1 Like

Wait. How are you retreating with 5% if you don’t have a 12v system?

1 Like

I’m XJetting 10% 1:1.

You dont need a weed eater for that one only the moss that is growing on top. You are wasting your time with the x jet. Either build a 12v pump or apply with pump sprayer. NOT A BACKPACK SPRAYER.


Ah, gotcha. If you can, get 12.5%. It works much better. Yeah, with a 12v system you could probably apply mix to that entire yard in 10-15 minutes. Obviously, that’s not a good idea but that’s how much faster a 12v would make it go. I’d probably break it up into thirds and clean one area at a time. The pictures you posted actually aren’t very bad at all. You wouldn’t even really need the weedeater.

Pretreat Hot Mix
Surface Clean
Low Pressure Rinse
Post Treat (not sure if this is a good idea for pavers, someone chime in)

You doing this by yourself?


Can he mix a hot batch in a poly sprayer right quick to get him done with this job,then invest in a 12v ? Just asking, curious as hell to see the other side of the washing industry that y’all do.

Never mind @Firefighter4hire answered that. Didn’t see it. Carry on.

Yes, he can but I was under the impression that this job was “done” although not to his satisfaction. He said the customer was happy though.

Oh, about the sanding part @jcfin: I hate to burst your bubble but brooming the sand in is the only way I’ve ever heard of it being done. Maybe there’s somebody that knows more. Like I said, I don’t deal with them much at all. I’d probably have one guy throwing sand with a shovel and another brooming it around.

1 Like

I’ve done a polymer sand job on pavers back in the early 2000’s before. Neat stuff.


I like to mix the sand with concrete dust you can charge for it plus after you broom it in and wet it mix will harden then keep the weeds from growing. You do what works for you that’s just what I do

1 Like

Oh, now that’s an idea. But doesn’t that limit your opportunity to service that customer again in the near future? How long does that last?

I do have a proper pump sprayer, but it feels like that wouldn’t have enough volume to do these kinds of yards in a reasonable amount of time.

Yep, one man show.
Also, I am pretreating, letting dwell, then surface cleaning. But I have to go over areas half a dozen times to get the muck out, so I’m definitely doing something wrong since I see guys doing 1 and a half passes and getting everything clean.

That’s brilliant. What ratio of sand to dust?

Not really pavers get dirty one way or the other. Sure does make cleaning it the second time alot easier. Customers love when you go the extra mile plus if you do it for one the rest will follow it happens every time

1 Like

50/50 you gotta experiment with what you can get locally

1 Like