Plants are not the only thing that needs a check-up every year.  Hardscapes can sometimes use a face-lift or even just a quick spray to get them back to looking new.  The winter is tough on hardscapes, heaving and moving as the ground freezes and thaws can cause cracks and chips in cement, and settling in patios and pathways.  We will discuss what can be done, and what solutions there may be to get your hardscapes looking good as new.

Stepping out your back door onto the patio after a long winter is refreshing as the air begins to warm and the snow melts away.  Sometimes patios tend to move in the winter, check these often as it warms up to be sure that it won’t be a bigger problem.  If cement splits and spreads, the best course of action is to replace it.  There are many options to replace concrete, but I like paver patios and would recommend one to replace most cement pads.  Pavers are built to withstand many freeze thaw cycles and movement of the ground doesn’t affect them as much.  Each paver interlocks with each other for a tight bond, and a solid base of crushed limestone allows it to deter any movement that could be caused by moving ground. 

Pathways normally have more problems because of their narrow nature, thus allowing more movement and less resistance to the grounds forces at work.  Pathways are also more important to maintain safety as they are used frequently and normally you are traveling faster on pathways.  Paver pathways are a good option to replace worn out cement ones.  Pavers are more decorative and can be in many shapes and colors, unlike grey dull concrete. Another option is flagstone, a natural alternative, cutting pieces to fit together like a puzzle and creating a path that way. 

This spring, check any hardscapes you may have, driveways suffer from problems too, and see if they need maintenance or replacement.  Allowing cracks to form can cause more problems down the line, and safety is always a big concern with children and elderly.  Keep an eye out and have a good spring!