Fall is a season that always seems to go by fast. With the kids back to school and winter quickly approaching, few people consider taking care of their investment. Hardscapes are like any other investment into your home or business, if installed properly it should last for many years with little to no change from the original craftsmanship. With that being said, everyone knows that all aspects of your property need maintenance to protect from the elements. Outdoor hardscapes are particularly vulnerable due to all the outdoor conditions, such as: weather, tree droppings, algae growth, and human/ animal traffic or accidental spills. A little maintenance can help restore your hardscape to its original condition, and lengthen the life of your investment.
Few people understand why it is that when leaves are removed off the surface of there hardscape, there tends to be a marking left by that marks the outside shape of the leaf. This is the natural oils in the leaf that are released from their leaf as it sets on the porous hardscape surface. It leaves behind a stain that is frustrating to remove with normal cleaning procedures. Whether it is a few leaves or many leaves over time releasing their natural oils on the surface, the surface will stain and discolor. This leaves your hardscape changed from its original appearance, for the years to follow.
After all the leaves have been cleaned off the surface, it is not a lost cause. There are procedures and products that are specifically designed to remove a variety of stains off hardscape surfaces. With a bit of know how and the proper products the surface can be restored to its original state. As a caution, whenever a product is used for stain removal; damage can be done to the surface or other parts of the installed hardscape if not done properly.
A few other stains that can be removed include:
- Asphalt and emulsified asphalt
- Cutback asphalt and roofing tar
- Chewing gum
- Clay soil
- Wood rot
- Tobacco stains
- Bird droppings
- Car Wax
- Armor all
It is also important to note that surface sealing is a good preventative measure. By sealing the porous surface of the hardscape, the surface will not absorb the stain like an unsealed surface. So remember, as the months pass by and your hardscape is exposed to all types of different conditions; a little maintenance can save you from having to spend large amounts of money on fully restoring or possibly redoing your hardscape. Fall should be enjoyed for its beautiful colors and nice temperatures, not hated for its lasting effects on your hardscape.