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Will Vinegar Damage Pavers?

We’ve long believed every household should stock up on vinegar; this stuff has many uses, from weed and stain removal to mould and mildew treatments! There’s no doubt this weak acid can be used as an excellent cleaning solution but will vinegar damage pavers?

Our team of professionals has been installing and maintaining the drives, patios and walkways of the North-East for over 15 years, and in that time, it’s not uncommon for clients to inquire about the tips and tricks we’ve picked up along the way. 

Will Vinegar Damage Bricks, Blocks Or Paving?

Although it’s only a weak acid, see whether white vinegar a good weed killer and if vinegar can cause considerable damage to bricks, blocks and paving stones. The acetic acid in vinegar is a little stronger than acid rain, so exposing your pavers to this substance can lead to bleaching, corrosion and the loss of protective sealant. 

Bricks

The acid content in vinegar is particularly good at breaking down the molecules in clay surfaces. Standard bricks are made mostly from clay, so exposure to undiluted vinegar will quickly result in discolouration and a sticky chemical byproduct coating your bricks.

Block paving 

Once again, acetic acid will wreak havoc with your block paving. Porous stones like limestone and sandstone are more susceptible to damage than most, as the vinegar can seep into the stones themselves, though even sealed and non-porous stones can discolour and bleach.

Read this post if you want the lowdown of the top-rated weed killers for block paving.

Concrete slabs or flags 

Whilst vinegar will not directly dissolve concrete itself, but it will degrade the cement that binds your concrete slabs or flags together. Extended exposure to vinegar will also cause any polish or sealant on your pavers to erode over time, leading to bleaching, stains and weathering.

Will Vinegar Kill Moss On Pavers?

Yes, vinegar will kill moss on pavers, though to avoid damaging the surface beneath, you’ll need to dilute it with water first. The same acid that can bleach your stones can also draw the moisture from moss and burn the plant’s cells, killing these pests in as little as 24 hours.

How To Use Vinegar On Pavers 

Mix vinegar and water

Create a diluted vinegar solution in order to weaken the effects of the acetic acid; equal parts vinegar to water should do the trick; then transfer this solution to a spray bottle.

Apply to pavers

Spray a small amount of your vinegar solution onto the stained or moss-covered areas of your paving; you’ll only need a light misting for the vinegar to do its job.

Allow the solution to work.

Leave your pavers for at least an hour to allow the vinegar mix to break down the stains, moss or weeds. If your pavers are in a high-traffic area, cordon it off during this time.

Wash the pavers

Wash away the vinegar solution using clean water and a little dish soap. Avoid using a wire brush; instead, use a soft cloth or sponge to prevent scratching your stones.

Repeat until satisfied

Tough stains or stubborn weeds may require a few cycles of this method, don’t be tempted to up the strength of your vinegar solution; instead, repeat these steps until you’re satisfied. 

FAQ’s 

What does vinegar do to pavers?

Undiluted vinegar is acidic enough to break down the molecules in cement, clay and porous stones like sandstone and limestone, damaging the material’s structural integrity. This can lead to erosion, discolouration and weathering as the unprotected pavers will become susceptible to rainfall, dirt, errant moss spores and any spilt substances on the surface.

Is white vinegar good for cleaning pavers?

White vinegar is good for cleaning pavers, though it’s also acidic enough to erode the stones’ surface. Diluted vinegar can be used safely to clean paving stones, though it should be used sparingly and infrequently to protect your paving from damage.

Last Word

With that, you should be all caught up regarding the relationship between vinegar and paving stones. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid this acidic substance to protect the surface of your paving. However, if diluted and used sparingly, it is possible to apply vinegar to paving stones safely.

Mild soap and clean water should be your go-to when cleaning most kinds of paving material, though by following the steps in this guide, the odd vinegar cleaning routine may help you remove some of your more stubborn stains, just remember to dilute it first!