6 Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Your Hardscape

Plants often take center stage when planning and designing your landscape. Moreover, these soft scape elements demand most of your time and attention since neglecting them can cause them to dry up, which will make your outdoor space unappealing.

Hardscape, however, also requires the same attention when including it in your landscape design. It adds balance, dimensionality, and focus, creates borders, and functions as decor in your outdoor space, and as such, is an important element of your outdoor space, too.

And when you don’t look after your pathways, patios, retaining walls, and other hardscape elements, they will also lose their functionality and make your landscape unattractive. They can end up becoming hazards in your lawn as well.

Prolonging the Look and Functionality of Your Hardscape

Like your soft scape, your hardscape also needs regular maintenance to look great and serve its purpose. Fortunately, unlike your plants, you don’t have to work on your non-living landscape elements as frequently and as hard to keep them in good condition.

Below are some tips for cleaning and maintaining your hardscape as shared by trusted landscaping pros in Creve Coeur, Missouri:

1.     Sweep your hardscape surfaces frequently

Dust, debris, and leaves often find their way into your pathways, deck, and other hardscape features. Sweeping these regularly is the first and easiest thing you can do to clean them.

During fall, you may have to sweep more frequently since more leaves and other yard waste tend to accumulate more on your hardscape. Moreover, they can decompose faster on the surface, which can cause mold and stains.

By clearing your hardscape, you prevent these molds and stains from appearing and avoid having to deal with them later on.

2.     Wash surfaces regularly

Your hardscape can also benefit from occasional washing. Depending on the material, you can use a brush with soft or hard bristles and diluted dish detergent to restore the color of the surface.

If you see noticeable stains and dirt buildup, try to remove them using a broom or brush with hard bristles and a hardscape cleaning solution first. If this does not work, you may need a pressure or power washer.

A power washer will give your hardscape surfaces a thorough cleaning. It can remove stains and grime that are giving you a hard time.

If you don’t own a power washer, you can rent one. However, this machine is not easy to use. If you have large surfaces to clean and you don’t have any experience operating this equipment, consider hiring professionals that provide this particular service.

3.     Spot treat weeds

When weeds start popping up in your lawn, you shouldn’t only be worried about and protect your plants. You also have to prevent them from invading your hardscape, particularly your pathways.

Although they are small, weeds can make their way through the hardscape surface. This, in turn, can lead to cracks.

As such, remove any weeds you see manually as soon as you see one. Make sure you pull out all the roots to prevent regrowth.

If the weeds are still small or too hard to reach, use a screwdriver or nail to dig them out and remove the roots.

Moreover, include your hardscape when applying herbicide on your lawn. Doing so prevents unwanted plants from sprouting, thereby giving your hardscape features better and longer protection. 

4.     Be on the lookout for loose sand between paver joints

Loose polymeric jointing sand in your pavers encourages weed growth and causes soil erosion. As such, you have to check the joints regularly for sand between the joints to prevent other problems from coming up.

Dealing with this issue is quite easy. Simply re-sand the joints and add a sealant to help bond the polymeric jointing sand granules together.

If you want to use a sealer, make sure to distribute it well into the joints.

You can buy all the materials you need for this DIY project at most home improvement stores.

5.     Check for signs of creep

In poorly installed pathways and other hard surfaces, creep often appears. These are spaces between the pavers or stones that get bigger with the passage of time.

Creep is usually caused when edges or borders fail. Other reasons include environmental stress, particularly during winter and heavy traffic that cause the stones or pavers to push out.

This hardscape problem can lead to other problems if it is not fixed immediately. Unlike loose polymeric jointing sand, this issue is best handled by professionals since a DIY approach may not work that well.

6.     Be on the constant lookout for other defects

Aside from loose polymeric jointing sand and creep, there are other issues that you have to be on the lookout for to keep your hardscape in great condition.

Cracks, bumps or slumps, and washouts sometimes appear on walkways. Cracking is usually caused by weed growth or ice damage. Lumps often materialize when the hardscape starts to erode or expand.

Cracks can appear on patios and decks due to erosion as well. If these outdoor features have slumps in the middle, it is usually a sign that the structure has a poor foundation.

In most instances, your deck or patio has to be replaced fully if the issue is caused by a poor foundation.

If you have retaining walls, ensure these are draining properly. Check the drains frequently to see if they are blocked. If they are, unclog them as soon as possible.

Additionally, check for signs of pooling or overflow along the brim of the retaining wall regularly. Have this issue fixed immediately if you notice this to prevent further damage to the hardscape.

The proper installation of your hardscape can help reduce the work you will put into maintaining its features. When you have pros design and install your walkways, patio, retaining walls, gazebo, and other fixtures, you can be sure they will keep their good condition longer.

And when your hardscape needs thorough cleaning and heavy repair, you will also do well to get help from a trusted provider of landscaping and lawn care services in Grover, Missouri. These pros have the equipment and supplies to do the job properly from start to end.

Moreover, they know exactly what to do to restore and improve your hardscape to turn it into a wonderful addition to your landscape.