Since your hardscape is designed to be outside, you shouldn’t have to worry about cleaning it because the rain will wash it away, right? What you may not realize is that being outside is what’s making your hardscape dirty. Just like any other part of your home, you have to do regular maintenance to keep your pavers, retaining walls, and even firepits looking fresh and to prevent heavy stains. Between wear and tear from the weather, especially rain, foot traffic as your family utilizes the area, and nature growing around it, your hardscaped areas can easily get overwhelmed. Regular maintenance will make a huge difference in extending the life of your hardscape. Here’s what you need to do:
Fall Clean-Up: Fall and spring are the best time to clean your hardscape. During the fall get off as much of the leaves, dirt, and debris that builds up as possible. This will protect the pavers when the snow hits from damage and excess staining. Once spring rolls around, you’re able to sweep everything off to reveal your beautiful hardscape. At this point, you would also use a mild soap and water with the broom to wash and stains or dirt away.
Keep Up With The Cleaning: While spring is the big clean, it doesn’t mean that’s the only time it should happen. Periodically, you should sweep off any dirt and debris that might accumulate over the summer, fall, and even into the winter if possible. The hardscape should especially be attended to after storms.
Don’t Let Stains Set: Pavers will soak up stains just like your couch or carpet inside. The sooner you clean up the mess, the less likely it is to stain. Grease, rust, and even wine can penetrate the paver if it’s left untreated. The longer it sits, the harder it will be to remove. If the pavers are sealed, stains are less likely.
Keep Shady Areas Dry: If the sun can reach certain parts of your hardscape, it’s essential that any standing water gets swept away. Not only will standing water damage the paver, if left there for an extended period of time moss or even mold could develop.
Remove Moss Quickly: Moss can be extremely damaging to your hardscape if it grows roots. The roots will take over the sand joint and destroy it when the roots are removed. If you see green of any kind in your hardscape that’s not supposed to be there, remove it.
○ Bonus Tip: To make sure moss doesn’t grow, take a 10 to 15% solution of bleach and water and sweep it along your hardscape. Focus mainly on the areas that standing water is an issue. Doing this a couple of times a season can help prevent moss from growing. This solution will not affect the sealer either.