Hardscape Tips

Paver Patio & Walkway

  • Fill the cracks between pavers with polymeric sand, which hardens when moistened. This special sand helps hold the pavers in place and prevents weeds from growing between the bricks.

  • Sweep debris and dirt from the pavers. Removing nature's debris from the bricks keeps them clean and reduces the risk of staining to the brick surface. You also reduce the chance of slipping on wet leaves.

  • Wash away grime by spraying the pavers with a hose. Avoid directing the water spray straight into the joints, as it can disrupt the sand, particularly if you use regular sand.

  • Scrub stains using a mild detergent mixed with water. Use a brush to remove the stain. Test out the brush and detergent in a hidden area to test for damage to the pavers before using it in a highly visible area. Wash away the detergent completely after cleaning.

  • Seal the pavers every two or three years using a sealant designed for pavers. Apply the sealant evenly according to the product's directions. Sealing protects the pavers from environmental factors and prevents stains from setting into the bricks.  Know that your paver surface can be slippery after sealing when it rains or you hose down you patio.

Water Features

Whether you have a waterfall or water column, these tips can help you keep it beautiful year-round.

Foam

  • When foam starts to build up in your water feature, the best cure is to use a hot tub de-foamer. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the foam will disappear.

Algae

  • Algae are caused by an imbalance of pH. Use a swimming pool test kit to monitor your pH and apply chemicals when needed. Also, a half-cup of bleach once a month will do wonders.

Winter time

  • A commonly asked question is what do we do to winterize our water feature? The answer? Nothing. The safest bet is to let the water continue to flow. Remove ice when it’s blocking the pump or water outlets. Icicles that form on the rocks look beautiful when the water flows over them.

Evaporation

  • All water features lose water either by splash or by evaporation during the hot summer months. If your water feature is equipped with an Auto-fill Valve, adjust the time of fill according to the seasonal conditions.

Pump

  • A common concern with underwater pumps is cavitation; the sound of mud or air being sucked up by the pump. Cavitation usually occurs when the water level is too low. Unplug the pump and check the water feature for leaks. By turning off the pump, you can assume that if the water level still drips, a leak is the problem. If it doesn’t, then the water is probably being dispersed from the evaporation or splash. Also, check the pump for any debris that might be lodged in the motor.

Fish

  • Can fish be put in your pond? Yes and no. Fish need fresh water to survive, so a filter should be included with your pump to help clean the water. Fish will also add discoloration to the water and attract predators. Raccoons, possums, and blue herons will try to devour your fish and sometimes destroy the liners in the process. The pond liners are not under warranty if annihilated by birds or animals.

Clarity

  • If needed, your water feature can be drained and flushed out to ensure clean, clear water for everyone to enjoy. (Refer to your notes for your individual water feature.)

Pavers

  • Your pavers are made of compressed concrete, which makes them very dense and almost impermeable to water. There are many colors, sizes, and shapes available to make unique patios, steps, and walkways.

Sand

  • Sand “interlocks” the pavers together and also serves as a base. The sand between the cracks can wash out from hosing or a very heavy rain. Ordinary sand can be swept back into the cracks to bring back the beauty. Using an upright broom or a push-broom, sweep back and forth at a forty-five degree angle.

Efflorescence

  • This is a chalky, white substance that can appear on some pavers. It is a chemical reaction between the lime in the concrete and the moisture in the ground. This is usually a temporary situation that can sometimes be removed simply be scrubbing with water and a stiff scrub brush. It will generally wear off over a period of time depending on the exposure.