The pavers and other hardscaping features you’ve added to your exterior offer form, function, and aesthetic appeal, but it’s a good idea to think even bigger. Think of it as an investment. Protecting your investment means it will last longer and add more value to a home.
Durable as concrete and natural stone pavers hardscaping may be, they’re not impervious to age, deterioration, and discoloration. Fortunately, maintaining your hardscape isn’t as complicated as maintaining lawns and gardens. We’re going to go over several things you can do, ranging from very simple to requiring a bit more effort but still not tremendously complex.
Remember, maintenance and prevention are always easier and less expensive than repair and replacement.
Keep Surfaces Free of Debris
Debris isn’t just unsightly; it can also cause stains or promote mold growth as it decomposes. On a regular basis, perform a sweep of your hardscaping surfaces to clear them of debris. After sweeping, if there is any debris remaining, you can use a garden hose to wash it off. During the autumn months, you will probably have to do this more frequently since there will be more leaves and other yard waste on the ground. Don’t forget to check during the winter, too. Cold weather, and especially ice and snow, can cause weaker limbs and branches to break and fall.
Get Rid of Weeds
Like debris, weeds not only detract from appearance but can also cause harm. For instance, if weeds grow up through cracks or between pavers, they can expand those cracks and spaces over time. They can also spread to other places in the yard.
When you remove weeds, it’s crucial to remove not just the plant you see but the roots as well. Otherwise, the weed will just grow back. If roots are difficult to reach by hand, you can use a screwdriver or nail to get down between the joints and penetrate to the roots.
Aggressively remove weeds at the first sign of them. They’re notorious for quickly spreading and growing out of control.
Check for Loose Sand Between Joints
The jointing sand between paver joints can sometimes loosen up. Such conditions can result in increased erosion and attract weed growth. If you notice loose sand between joints, you can re-sand those spots and use a sealant to make stronger bonds. This is the kind of job you might prefer professional help for, but if you do it yourself, make sure to read instructions carefully and get the sealant product well into the joints.
Also Check for “Creep”
The joints between pavers or stones can sometimes grow in size. In the landscaping industry, we refer to this as “creep.” Sometimes the problem is the result of the edge restraint failing, but other factors include stress from the freeze-thaw cycle during winter months and heavy foot traffic that can cause stones and pavers to push out from their original setting.
This is a situation you need to address as soon as you can because it will otherwise contribute to additional deformities in your hardscaping. If this doesn’t look like something you want to tackle on your own, contact a qualified landscaping expert.
Look for and Clean Stains
Inspect your hardscape surfaces for stains. Minor stains are usually easy to deal with. Just a good pressure washing is usually enough to get the job done. Don’t have a pressure washer or can’t rent one? You can still clean minor stains yourself by using a stiff-bristled broom and a small amount of dishwasher detergent that’s been diluted with water. Commercial hardscape cleaners are also available; just be sure to carefully follow instructions.
For major stains, the best thing to do is contact a professional service. They can use industrial-grade power washing equipment and/or other approaches to get that surface clean again.
Use a Sealant
Following installation or after a cleaning, the best way to protect your investment in both effectiveness, duration, and value is to apply a sealant. This will enhance color and provide protection from stains.
There are options when choosing a sealant finish. High-gloss sealants bring out the color while a matte finish is more a workhorse that provides protection and reduces maintenance. Satin and gloss sealers offer a mix of both.
At LandArt solutions, we install top-quality hardscaping to beautify homes and add to the enjoyment of outside time. We also offer, during the installation process and afterwards, sealers and cleaners and other maintenance services you might need. If you’d rather trust certified experts to help in protecting your investment, contact us today!