Hardscape Maintenance

It’s Not So Hard Protecting Your Hardscapes

By John Voket

I talk a lot about improving your home’s landscape. But at the same time we have also focused a lot on integrating practical or decorative hardscapes into one’s property.

According to Surebond, a manufacturer of joint stabilizers, sealers, cleaners and adhesives to compliment and protect most hardscape installations, any surface at risk for staining can be protected with a surface seal application.

This includes interlocking concrete pavers that are used in driveways, patios, pool decks, walkways and many other applications; most types of poured, stamped, decorative and stained concretes; as well as retaining walls and other vertical applications.

Using a professional surface sealer will protect hardscape installations and reduce the threat of future staining from salt and acid corrosion.

Sealing can also protect from water penetration and freeze/thaw damage by reducing the amount of water entering the installation. When frozen, water can force stones out of place, and disrupt the entire installation.

An appropriate sealer will also prevent or minimize oil, food and beverage staining from setting into the stone, also making stains much easier to remove. The folks at Phoenix based Ewing Irrigation offer the following tips to homeowners who might want to tackle a DIY project applying hardscape sealant:

  • Stain Removal: Remove all stains from oil, grease and rust. Apply a cleaner, scrub and rinse clean.*
  • Surface Preparation: To get optimal results when applying a sealer, you should first prepare the surface by removing ground-in dirt. Using a primer allows the sealer to better penetrate the surface of your pavers.
  • Application: Before applying the sealer, make sure the surface has been cleaned and is dry. Sprinklers should be shut off, there should be no rain in the forecast for 24 hours, and the temperature should be between 50 and 80 degrees.

There are four basic options when choosing a sealer, each with a different aesthetic value – either a wet look with a satin or matte finish; or a natural look with a satin or matte finish.