Spring Cleaning and Maintaining Your Hardscapes
Winter is retreating and spring has sprung which means your outdoor space is ready for a deep spring cleaning! Besides the regular landscaping and lawn maintenance to clear out winter mess and prep your yard for spring, your hardscape will also need attention. Northern winters and the southern sun can do a lot of wear and tear to your hardscapes in one season. Hardscapes made of pavers, stones or concrete can absorb salt, dirt, weeds, mold, mildew, oil and grease.
Neglecting annual maintenance and cleaning of hardscapes can result in hard stains that can decrease the value of your property over time. Not only is it important to clean these hardscapes thoroughly, but many hardscapes should be sealed to protect them from harsh weather conditions throughout the year that cause staining and fading. This is all very important to do to your hardscapes, but where do you begin? Here are the steps to clean, maintain, and protect your hardscape this spring. And if your time is at a premium, then a professional hardscape or landscape contractor may be your answer!
A visual inspection of your hardscape is needed to spot dipped pavers, cracked concrete and stones which should be repaired or replaced. Mold or mildew will develop naturally with weather, but there could be an increase if the hardscape material is being soaked with water by sprinklers or downspouts. If the placement of these items can be changed, it will help prevent the additional buildup of the mold and mildew.
After your visual inspection, make your plan of attack. It is time to start scrubbing! Here is a guide to start cleaning your hardscape. Be sure to wear safety glasses and protective clothing before you get started.
- Pull any weeds that have taken up residence in the cracks, roots and all. Use a weed inhibitor to keep those foes at bay.
- Give a good sweep to remove all large surface debris.
- If there is mold or mildew on your hardscape, choose the type of cleaner for your surface.
- A mixture of one-part bleach to 10 parts water can be sprayed onto the surface. Give the bleach at least 10 minutes to work its magic before rinsing. Remember that bleach can damage your landscaping, soil pH, and anything else it contacts.
- If you prefer an environmentally friendly product, use a premium cleaner and degreaser that is also safe for your surfaces such as Black Diamond Coatings THE BOSSTMto remove grease, oil, and dirt. Use a stiff broom or brush on the area to remove the mold and mildew.
- After either of these steps above, use a high pressure power washer and/or a scrubber to thoroughly rinse the surfaces, being careful to not damage the surface with the pressure.
- If sand is needed between the pavers, now is the perfect time to refill. Make sure to keep the sand 1/8” below the edges of the pavers, using a combination of a broom and a blower to get the excess sand off of the surface.
It definitely takes a good deal of elbow grease to clean your hardscape each spring, which is why it may be a good option to have a professional contractor complete the outdoor refresh for you. The contractor can provide the proper cleaning equipment for your pavers, concrete or stones. Let the contractor know if you prefer a cleaner that is safe for the environment and your surfaces.
If your hardscape products need to be further refreshed and easier to maintain, ask your contractor to seal them with a high quality commercial grade sealer for the appropriate surfaces. Sealing your surface can be a little more complex than cleaning it, although don’t discount the importance of proper cleaning preparation to ensure proper sealer adhesion.
A professional hardscape contractor is a smart choice to perform both the cleaning and sealing process of your surfaces with the best high quality commercial sealer products for your hardscapes. The sealing process offers you the options of restoring the hardscapes to “good as new” while freshening their appearance. This process will also help keep your hardscapes beautiful and easier to maintain in the future.
Most commercial grade sealers don’t require annual resealing, so on these off-years, a simple light cleaning and washing with a hose will do the trick.
Once a year spring maintenance of pavers, stones, and concrete with high quality, commercial products will provide you continual years of enjoyment of the beauty of your outside hardscape areas.
For more information, please contact us:
Office: 800-270-4050 | Email: info@BlackDiamondCoatings.com