Whether you’ve already used travertine pavers in your landscaping or you’re thinking about using them in an upcoming project, knowing how to properly maintain them is key to ensuring they look their best for years to come.
Whilst this stone is durable enough to resist damage from the elements in most cases (including rain, snow, ice and wind), some maintenance is still required. Here are some of our best (and simplest) maintenance and care tips:
Be careful with heavy outdoor furniture
Keep in mind that furniture made from heavy plastics, timber or metal can crack or chip the pavers if they’re dropped onto them or otherwise used roughly. When arranging outdoor furnishings, be sure to move them carefully and deliberately to avoid damage. We would hate for your table or barbeque to be the cause for irreparable damage to your brand new patio or entertaining area.
Keep grass and weeds in check
Nothing ruins the appeal of your new travertine patio faster than grass and weeds beginning to poke through the cracks. Keep an eye on sections that are close to your lawn and garden beds, as early intervention is best. Ideally, you should use a whipper snipper or lawn edger to ensure that your grass is kept separate from your patio. Pull out any random growths when you notice them, ensuring that you get the root if possible.
Seal against the elements
Although travertine is naturally resistant to water, it does require some extra protection when used outdoors – particularly around salt water pools. The use of a sealant can also help to shield the stone against damage caused by ice from repeatedly freezing and sealing during the winter. Whilst it is possible to apply a sealant yourself, this is often a job best left to the professionals as the process tends to be pretty involved.
Removal of common stains
With the correct cleaning product, you should be able to remove most common stains from your travertine pavers with ease. The first step, and often the most challenging, to removing a stain is identifying what it is. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you’ll be able to determine the best cleaning method.
- Fire and Smoke Damage – typically found on travertine that is part of a fireplace or nearby to a fire pit. These types of stains can most easily be removed using a commercially formulated smoke removal product. It’s best to do this often so that smoke damage doesn’t build up on top of each other.
- Oil – caused by grease, cooking oil, tar and basically any other substance that contains oil. These types of stains will typically darken the stone. Begin by wiping away any excess staining agent, then gently clean using a soft liquid cleanser and a wet cloth. A specialised cleaner or homemade poultice will also suffice.
- Organic – caused by leaves, bird droppings, bark, urine and any food that may have been spilled on the pavers. These types of stains are typically pinkish-brown in colour and often disappear once the source has been removed because the sun and rain have a natural bleaching effect.
- Paint – if there is only a couple of splatters or a small spill, it can be scraped off using a razor blade or removed using a lacquer thinner. If the spill covers a much larger area, on the other hand, a commercially formulated liquid paint stripper will be required. Please seek professional advice in this case.
- Water Spots and Rings – caused by the surface accumulation of hard water. These stains can be removed by buffing the affected area using the finest steel wool available (#0000). If you live in an area with hard water, keep this in mind when cleaning or using a pressure washer.
General care and maintenance
To minimise scratches and wear, we recommend regular sweeping or dusting. You can also clean travertine pavers using warm water and a sponge, mop or non-abrasive cloth. Do this at least once a year. If you’ve fallen a bit behind on your maintenance schedule, you can use a pressure washer to remove caked on dirt and grime. Do not use general purpose cleaners, scouring powders and creams, products that contain acids (like lemon), ammonia or bleach.