Many of our clients and property owners throughout the Lakes Region have chosen to install hardscape features as part of their landscape. Features like patios, walkways, driveways, walls, and firepits are wonderful additions to most outdoor spaces. Typically, these features are constructed using concrete, pavers, brick, or natural stone providing them with both beauty and durability, but this durability does not mean they don’t require proactive maintenance.
All hardscape features, regardless of material are susceptible to mold growth, staining, and cracking if they not properly maintained. This is due to a few factors. First, all of these materials are to some degree porous. Water and contaminants can seep into the surface and create problems like cracking and staining. Next, the accumulation of organic materials like leaves or grass on the surfaces often encourages mold and moss growth. Finally, inorganic materials like oils and rubber will wear onto the surfaces and accumulate as grime while attracting other pollutants.
At Belknap Landscape we take pride in installing and maintaining these features, and as a result, we have adopted a hardscape care process that is designed to help reduce and eliminate these effects.
We start our process by inspecting and testing your hardscapes to see what types of materials were used in the construction, and what specific staining or problem areas may exist. We do this to create a treatment plan designed to remove any existing problems, while also taking care to not harm the materials used in the construction.
Once we have completed a plan of service, the next step is to thoroughly clean the hardscape feature. We do this using specially formulated cleansers applied a minimum of two times, pressure washed into the surface and rinsed off. They will remove staining and pollutants from hardscape surfaces and are specifically designed for use on materials including pavers, bluestone, granite, brick, and concrete masonry.
After cleaning, it is important to let the surface dry completely. Based on weather conditions this may be several hours, to over a day. This step helps ensure that when the sealer is applied it will adhere to the hardscape fully and create a lasting bond.
The final step is applying the sealer. Sealers are designed to both protect the hardscape surface as well as return the luster and color to the surface. We typically use a matte sealer for it’s more natural appearance, and we apply two coats to ensure coverage and thickness is adequate to protect the hardscape material for a minimum of 2-3 years. Once the sealer has been applied the hardscape surface may be walked or driven upon after 48 hours of curing time.
Clients who clean and protect their hardscapes enjoy many benefits. The removal of stains and contaminants restores the uniform, attractive look of the materials, giving them a fresh “just installed” look. The sealing process protects against future staining and water or material infiltration which will reduce the likelihood of cracking or damage in the winter. Finally, they receive the peace of mind knowing that the significant investment in this landscape feature is best protected against wear and tear, and mother nature.
We have invested significant time and resources into gaining the capability of providing hardscape cleaning and sealing services because we know it’s an important part of maintaining the features we install and the properties we maintain. Our specially trained technicians look forward to answering any questions you have regarding hardscape care and making meaningful recommendations on if this service is right for you. Please give us a call to find out how to best care for your hardscapes.