Thursday, September 23, 2010

Operation ugly courtyard - stage one

Step one of (trying to) make some improvements on my front courtyard was the tackle the problem of the ugly cream paving.

I was going to borrow a high-pressure cleaner from a neighbour. Unfortunately I was pipped at the post as they had recently lent it to another friend.

Down but not out, I ventured off to good ol' Bunnings to see what advice they could give me. The gentleman working there recommended that I give "30 seconds" a try.

Here are the essential ingredients if you're thinking of trying this for yourself:
(a) A broom (this is important if you have a lot of moss - you'll be scrubbing more than Cinderella);
(b) A sprayer (I picked up a cheapie which is meant for spraying plants, you could just use a watering can); and
(c) The product.

The whole process was exhausting! But I'm pleased with the results. To give you a brief summary of what's involved I first diluted the product with water and sprayed it over the affected areas. I then did a bit of initial scrubbing to start the cleaning process and then left the product for about 20 minutes. When I came back I made another small bucket of the diluted product which I dipped my broom into. This allowed me the chance to add more product on those tougher areas. A lot of scrubbing later, I rinsed the product off my paving.

Here's a before shot (you can see the difference in the bricks from the areas which are sheltered and those that aren't).

Here's the after shot - as you can see, it isn't perfect but it has come leaps and bounds from where it was.

A final note - for anyone who's planning on DIY-ing, 30 seconds is a bleach-based product. This means you have to be careful - wear some old / ugly clothes and if you have plants nearby, it would be best to wet the garden bed before applying the product. This should help to ensure that any product run-off is diluted and doesn't kill your plants.

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