You put a lot of time, effort, and money into building the hardscape of your dreams. The last thing any homeowner wants is for all this energy to go to waste when their patio begins to break down. Luckily, with the materials we use today, maintaining your hardscape can be a simple task that with a little elbow grease, will keep your patio looking sharp and staying strong for years to come.
Follow these five simple tips for maintaining your hardscape.
1: Seal It Up
Most hardscapes are made with pavers that come from a variety of materials, from brick and slate to porcelain. While these materials are created to be durable and long lasting, it’s important to add a layer or two of protective sealant to your hardscapes. These seals keep moisture out, prevent cracking during winter months when deep freezes can occur, and delay deterioration due to elemental damage.
Interlocking pavers used to create some hardscapes are often so tightly put together, you may not need a seal, however, it’s always best to ebb on the side of caution and place a layer over them to be extra safe.
2: Clean Sweep
It’s not always second nature to sweep your outdoor spaces. After all, they’re outdoors. However, even with sealers, the materials used to build your hardscape are susceptible to stains, mold, and other disfigurements. Damp leaves and yard debris can leave imprints on your pavers and with enough build up, you can have a mold issue on your hands.
To keep your hardscape looking as fresh as it did when you installed it, make sweeping and even spraying your patio or pathway a regular routine.
3: Check for Cracks and Loose Ends
Sealants are a fantastic way to maintain your hardscape, but they aren’t miracle workers. Over time, wind, rain, snow, and freezing temperatures can impact your hardscape, causing erosion and deterioration to your pavers and the polymeric materials used in between each piece.
To keep up with these hazards, check your patio for loose polymeric sands, eroding areas, and weed growth in between each plate. If you see loose sand, it’s time to re-sand the joints and reseal them for security, and if weeds are starting to come through, this is also a sign you’ll need to strengthen the bonds between your pavers to prevent cracking.
4: Watch Your Walls
If you have retaining walls as part of your hardscapes, or grotto-style wall enclosements, be sure to periodically check that they are draining properly. When walls begin to build up with debris, water can begin to pool which can weaken walls and cause damage to your hardscapes.
Additionally, make sure to check any drains or drainage weep holes for build up to ensure your systems are working as they should.
5: Power Wash
Power washing is a quick and easy way to maintain the integrity of your hardscapes. Materials can show signs of age over time. From discoloration, staining, debris build up, and mold growth. To get rid of dirt and grime and restore your hardscape to its original glory, buy or rent a power washer to deep clean your space. Not only will you get your hardscape back to its beauty, but this makes sweeping and regular cleaning easier.