How to prevent and remove Weeds Coming Through Your Block Paving Driveway

Weed growth on your block paving can instantly make your curb appeal dwindle. The key is prevention, but if you have a weedy block paving driveway here are some methods for removal and prevention.

Photo for the article showing weeds coming through the block paving
Learn the steps to prevent weed growth in your block paving

Block paving driveways are a popular choice for homeowners, thanks to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, one common problem that homeowners face is the growth of weeds between the paving blocks. Weeds can not only detract from the appearance of your driveway, but they can also cause damage to the blocks over time. In this article, I'll discuss some tips on how to stop weeds from coming through your block paving driveway.

Preventing weed growth before it gets out of hand is the best method for treating any weed problem you have on your block paved driveway, patio or path.

Keep your paving clean and free of any dirt, ensure that any gaps between your blocks are filled with sand / joint compound - this will prevent weeds starting to grow in the first place.

At a Glance

Category Details
Key Concerns - Aesthetic degradation of driveway
- Potential damage to block paving
- Safety hazards (e.g., tripping)
Common Causes - Insufficient or degraded jointing sand
- Inadequate weed barrier beneath paving
- Overlooked maintenance
Preventative Steps 1. Properly install a weed-resistant membrane beneath paving
2. Use polymeric sand for jointing
3. Regularly clean and seal your driveway
Removal Methods 1. Pull weeds by hand, ensuring root removal
2. Use a natural vinegar-based solution
3. Apply a commercial weed killer (follow safety guidelines)
4. Consider power-washing (re-sand joints after)
Additional Tips - Avoid using salt as it can damage the paving and environment
- Check for early signs of weed growth for easier removal
- Ensure proper drainage to prevent weed-friendly moist conditions
Estimated Time Preventative Steps: 1-3 hours; Removal Methods: 20 mins to 2 hours

Start with Proper Installation

If you've not currently started your block paving project, the initial steps in foundation preparation will save you countless hours in pulling weeds from your driveway.

A well-installed driveway will have a strong sub-base layer, which will prevent weed growth from below the blocks.  Always be sure to ask your contractor what sub base they are using and get it written on your initial quotation.  If you're laying the block paving yourself - be sure to read my "How to Block Pave" guide.

Additionally, it's important to use high-quality materials, such as strong weed suppressant membrane and jointing compound, which will help to lock the blocks in place and prevent gaps from forming where weeds can seed and ultimately grow.

Cleaning your Block Paving

Photo of pressure washing block paving
Pressure Washing your Block Paving to remove dirt

It only takes a few windy and wet days for soil to start collecting in the cracks of your lovely block paved driveway - throw into the mix a few weed spores from next doors garden and you have yourself a problem.

In an article by Lawn Weed Expert, they state that weeds can grow up to 3" in size within 24 hours under the right conditions (source).  Obviously this is not going to be the case for every weed but it is quite alarming to say the least.

Ensuring your block paving driveway swept is essential in preventing weed growth. Regularly removing debris, such as leaves and twigs, from the surface of the driveway will prevent them from accumulating and creating a suitable environment for weed growth.

If you're struggling with an already weed ridden driveway the fastest option to remove them is by pressure washing.   Pressure washing can help to remove any dirt or debris that has become embedded in the joints between the blocks.

How often should I clean my block paving driveway?

Part of your weekly/monthly maintenance should involve cleaning your block paving driveway regularly - this prevents debris and dirt from accumulating on the surface and ultimately forming the perfect breeding ground for weeds between each block.

The frequency of cleaning will depend on factors such as the amount of traffic your driveway receives and the weather conditions in your area. As a general guideline, you may want to clean your driveway once every 3-6 months.

If you're just keeping on top of your block paving driveway weeds, then using the circular head will make light work of any soil between the blocks.

However, if you're battling weeds, then using the standard nozzle and running through the gaps in the blocks will make short work of the weeds.

What's the best way to clean my block paving driveway?

To clean your block paving driveway, start by removing any debris or loose dirt from the surface using a garden brush or leaf blower. Then, use a pressure washer or a hose with a spray nozzle to wash away any dirt or grime that is stuck to the surface of the driveway. Be sure to use a pressure washer with a low-pressure setting to avoid damaging the blocks.

Can I use chemicals to clean my block paving driveway?

It's best to avoid using harsh chemicals to clean your block paving driveway, as they can damage the surface of the blocks over time. Instead, use a gentle detergent and warm water to clean the surface of the driveway.

There are a number of different block paving cleaners available from your local B&Q or Wickes will not only clean your blocks, but will prevent damage often caused by harsher chemicals.

How can I prevent my block paving driveway from getting dirty?

Regular cleaning is the best way to prevent your block paving driveway from getting dirty.  If your block paving touches soiled ground (borders etc), it might be time to put some gravel or other material over the top which will prevent the wind from spreading dirt over your lovely block paved area.

What are the benefits of regular cleaning of my block paving driveway?

Regular cleaning of your block paving driveway can help to maintain its appearance and prolong its lifespan. Removing debris and dirt from the surface can prevent it from becoming embedded in the joints between the blocks, which can cause them to shift or become dislodged over time.

Regular cleaning can also help to prevent the growth of weeds and moss, which can cause damage to the blocks and make the driveway unsafe to use - especially in the winter months.

Using Weed killer on your Block Paving Drives

Person using a weed killer spray
Spraying Weed Killer onto Block Paving to Kill any weeds

If weeds do start to grow in your block paving driveway, there are several weed killers available that can help to keep them under control.

It's important to use a weed killer that is specifically designed for use on block paving driveways, as some off the shelf chemicals can cause damage to the blocks themselves.

When applying a suitable Weed Killer to your block paving - always do this on low wind days to prevent accidental spraying onto flowers / bushes / shrubs. 

Can any weed killer be used on block paving driveways?

Simply - No.

You should always use a weed killer that has been developed for the types of block paving you have.  Using a generic cleaner such as Bleach can actually end up damaging and discolouring your block paving.

How often should I use weed killer on my block paving driveway?

Weed Killers or any other block paving chemicals should be used when you have a weed problem.  When you first start to see signs of weed growth it's time to bust out your weed killer and apply to your block paving.

You can water down some block paving chemicals as more of a prevention method - but always be careful when using chemicals as this can affect the local enbironment.

Can I apply weed killer to my block paving in rainy weather?

Applying Weed Killer to your block paving should only be done on dry days.  However, try to avoid sunny hot days as they can cause the chemicals to evaporate rendering them fairly useless for killing weeds.

Avoid applying weed killer on rainy / wet days. The surface run off can damage any surrounding plants, trees or surrounding wildlife. 

How long does it take for weed killer to work?

The time it takes for weed killer to work can vary depending on the product and the type of weeds you're trying to eliminate. Generally, it can take a few days to a week for the weeds to die off completely.

If you're trying to wipe out "horse tail" then you will need a specific type of weed killer (speaking from my own experience) which can take up to 4 weeks before results are visible.

Is it safe to use weed killer around pets and children?

All weed killers are potentially hazardous as they can be absorbed through the skin, so care should be taken before and after application.  Check the label for any warnings that specifically mention, children, pets, wildlife etc.

When I clean my own block paved driveways I tend to do it at night when I know it will be dry and have limited access.

Re-sand the Joints / Jointing Compound

Photo of brushing sand into the gaps of block paving
Brush Sand into your Clean Dry Block Paving Gaps

Over time, the sand between the paving blocks (often referred to "block jointing sand) can become dislodged blown away therefore creating gaps where weeds can grow.

Re-Applying sand to the joints can help to prevent this from happening by providing a stable, compacted surface that is less conducive to weed growth.

To re-sand the joints, simply sweep jointing sand over the surface of the driveway and use a brush to work it into the gaps between the blocks.

How often should I re-sand the joints in my block paving driveway?

It's a good idea to periodically check the joints between your paving blocks and re-sand them as needed.

Unfortunately there is no written rule on wow often you need to re-sand the joints.   Not only will the type of weather your paved driveway gets exposed to, but how often it's walked on can also have an effect.

As a general guideline, you may need to re-sand the joints every 2-3 years to maintain the stability and appearance of your driveway.

Near to where I live there are quite a few houses with lovely block paved driveways. There is ALWAYS fresh sand on them which makes me believe that over sanding the block paving prevents weeds. I am going to test this theory this year (2023).

What type of sand should I use to re-sand the joints in my block paving driveway?

It's important to use a jointing sand that is specifically designed for use on block paving driveways, as this will ensure the best results. Jointing sand (also known as Kiln-dried sand / Sharp Sand) for block paving driveways is a very dry fine sand that falls between the blocks to prevent weed growth.

Jointing compound is a little different and usually has a cement like mix (still dry) which once exposed to water will harden preventing weeds and making your block paving solid.

How do I re-sand the joints in my block paving driveway?

Re-Sanding your block paving is a 4 step process that begins with the initial cleaning of your blocks.  It's completely pointless to waste money on fresh sand if your block paving still has visual weed growth.

  1. Clean your block paving using a pressure washer or hose
  2. Let the block paving completely dry
  3. Empty out the sand into spots around your driveway
  4. Sweep the sand slowly so it can fall between each block
Any excess sand left over can be re-bagged and stored in a cool dry place for use in the future.

Can I re-sand the joints in my block paving driveway myself, or should I hire a professional?

The choice is completely yours.  Personally I like to re-sand my blocks myself - I find it incredibly therapeutic however there are companies that will completely clean, treat and re-sand your block paving for less than £150 on a standard driveway.

If you feel the weeds have taken control and it's too daunting to tackle, hire an expert who will have high pressure cleaning equipment.

What are the benefits of re-sanding the joints in my block paving driveway?

Re-sanding the joints in your block paving driveway can help to maintain the stability and appearance of the driveway by preventing gaps from forming between the blocks.

This can not only improve the overall look of the driveway, but it can also prevent weeds from taking root in the gaps and causing damage to the blocks over time.

Apply a Weed-Preventing Sealant

Photo of person applying block paving sealant
Applying a Block Paving Sealent not only protects the bricks, but also help prevent weed growth from under the blocks

Finally, applying a weed-preventing sealant to your block paving driveway can help to prevent weed growth. Block Paving sealants work by creating a barrier between the surface of the driveway and the soil beneath (if the blocks have been laid without the correct substrates), preventing weed seeds from taking root.  

Always choose a sealant that is designed for your type of blocks - making the wrong choice could create "cloudy" or "discoloured" areas which would need to be pressure washed to remove.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, stopping weeds from coming through your block paving driveway requires a combination of proper installation, regular cleaning, the use of weed killers, re-sanding the joints, and applying a weed-preventing sealant. By taking these steps, you can keep your block paving driveway looking great and free from weed growth for years to come.

I always feel that prevention is better than action, so if you see a corner of your driveway that has accumulated several leaves - pick them up.  If you're noticing that your borders are getting a little out control and spilling soil into the gaps - fix the border.