Pool Deck Check!

Leave a Comment

Pool Deck Maintenance Starts with Checking the Deck

Rain, winter frost, and snow-melt all combine to create issues with pool decks and liners. Check for sinking or cracked concrete decking, or gaps between the pool coping and concrete deck. Concrete decks can be removed and replaced with a variety of low-maintenance stone options to provide a beautiful new look to an aging pool patio. Damaged coping stones may need refreshing or replacing and liners can be changed and attached using side-mount tracks for easy maintenance.

DRAINAGE – Proper Drainage is Essential!

Make sure water does not pool on surfaces, or penetrate concrete decks as this could result in liner ‘bubbling’ and further settling and cracking of concrete decking. Proper grading and drainage prevents damage!

Spring Yard Landscaping Maintenance Time!

Leave a Comment

Use Mulch

Mulch for Spring Landscaping MaintenanceTo prevent weeds, retain moisture, and provide protection for your plants during the summer growing period, mulching your plant and garden beds is recommended. If your soil is rich and heavy with compost, you may be able to simply keep the top of the soil loose over the summer to keep weeds from sprouting. If not, then mulch comes in a variety of textures and colours such as:

  • shredded cedar/pine/hemlock or forest mulch
  • black or red (dyed) mulch.

Whatever you choose, be sure to lay it thick enough – usually about 3 inches!

Top Dressing your Lawn

Top Dressing your lawn can improve lawn health and replenish nutrients. Top dressing once a year in the fall or early spring is recommended.  Purchase by the bag from retail stores and landscape suppliers. Bulk quantities (by the half-yard or yard) are available from some garden centres and are made from compost/peat/loam materials blended with sand (to prevent clumping!).

  • Rake (dethatch) your lawn of winter-kill and/or aerate
  • Spread top dressing over your lawn and rake smooth (a fan rake works best) allowing for about a half-inch thick covering; over-seed if necessary, and water
  • Along with fertilization and watering, you should have a healthy lawn!

Landscape repairs from salt and winter damage

1 Comment

It’s Spring! Time to check for winter damage from salt! Over time, some potent, fast-acting ice-melting products can get into the pores of man-made step and wall blocks and cause staining, cracking and crumbling. You may even notice salt stains on house brick where salt has been spread on doorsteps and porches. It is important to sweep, wash or vacuum excess salt from these areas. Man-made stone products used for steps and retaining walls have varying degrees of durability depending on compression factors and concrete mix ratios used in the manufacturing process. Some ice-melting products are not recommended for concrete with exposed aggregate. Typically, I recommend using a mixture of sand with a small amount of regular safety salt to provide traction and melting. Alternatively, look for an environmentally friendly product at a building supply dealer, landscape centre or big box store. Two winters ago I found a Canadian-made product sold in 40LB pails at a local hardware store. It is fertilizer-based granular ice-melter that performed well!

There is good news!

  • Firstly, there are natural ice-melting products on the market that use nitrogen/fertilizer-based materials while others are made from volcanic minerals. These natural products have effective ice-melting and traction factors, and are much safer for use on concrete and brick, and near vegetation. They are also safer for use where pets are present!
  • Secondly, repairs, replacements and other solutions are available! Matching the color and style of existing landscape materials is usually not a problem. Landscape design ought to include drainage considerations so water and ice buildup is eliminated. Sunken areas which allow for water to pool around walkways, steps and driveways, should be repaired to make them safer during winter and prevent damage from frost.

The first picture shows damage from use (or overuse!?) of melting products. The second picture looked much like the first one before it was repaired with new steps caps on upper steps, and the lower step changed to a natural stone step.