The most important feature of your hardscape can’t even be seen – it’s the ‘foundation’ on which your walks, walls, patios, and all hardscape features are built. Proper preparation of the base (or backfill for retaining walls) before installation – using the proper materials – is vital. If done correctly, your hardscape should last for years! That doesn’t mean, however, that it will be completely maintenance free.
Nature being nature, even the most meticulous installations are subject to natural forces and may require additional attention over the years.
Water is your biggest enemy. It can get into cracks of paver surfaces and when it freezes it could open joints and/or make the surface uneven. As little as ¼” is a tripping hazard, and gaps can catch a heel and allow more water to collect, setting the stage for more freeze/thaw damage in the future. Hydrostatic pressure is the enemy of improperly constructed retaining walls. Lack of proper drainage can cause unsightly bulging and eventual collapse.
What can you do?
First and foremost, always hire a reputable professional to install your hardscape features. Once installed, make sure to:
- Maintain a level surface – uneven pavers can be fixed by uplifting the pavers, repairing the base as needed, and re-laying the pavers.
- An occasional power washing will keep your hard surfaces looking like new.
- Keep up the polymeric sand in paver joints. This special sand hardens and ‘locks’ the pavers together, while also protecting against water infiltration and weed growth. It may need occasional re-application (especially after power washing).
- Be careful with the de-icing products you use – rock salt can deteriorate some surfaces.
- Monitor retaining walls – contact a professional if you notice any movement or bulging.
As always, we are here to help with any questions or concerns you have about your hardscape features or your landscaping in general. Please just give us a call!