The landscape around your new LGI home plays an important-role in the overall beauty of your property, as well as helps to prevent erosion. Well-maintained landscaping will help increase the value of your property. Part two of our four part landscaping maintenance series discusses Hardscape.
The hardscape around your home may include walkways, patios, and other concrete surfaces. If you add a patio or walkway as an improvement there are several very important things to remember:
Drainage. Provide a drainpipe or other means of drainage when patios or walks cross flow lines. Do not allow water to collect against your house or behind walks or planters.
Underground Utilities. Confirm the location of underground utilities prior to the planning and excavation of any hardscape features.
Expansion Joints. Concrete surfaces such as driveways, sidewalks and patios should generally have expansion joints every 100 square feet or 10 feet in each direction. There should also be an expansion joint between the edge of these surfaces and the face of the foundation of the house. These joints are sometimes filled with 1” x 4” treated lumber that is set between the adjacent concrete. The joints can also be formed with a variety of sealants and or expansion joint filler.
Slope. Always slope concrete away from house (2% slope: ¼ inch drop for every 12 inches of length to drain or swale.
Get Necessary Approvals. Obtain necessary approvals and permits from appropriate governmental agencies and your HOA’s Architectural Control Committee.
Hire Professionals. Contract a professional, licensed contract and soils engineer who are knowledgeable about the soil conditions for your area and can advise you regarding the structural reinforcement necessary for your improvements.
- Hose off walks. Schedule to coincide with mowing or other maintenance.
- Inspect concrete for chipping, lifting, separating and cracking, which can create safety hazard that may result in homeowner liability. Determine if the cause of this condition maybe related to roots that should be controlled or removed, or a drainage-related concern. Resolve the contributing factors to prevent future problems.
- Check walkways adjacent to exterior walls for settling that may change the slope away from the house.
- Examine expansion joints in patios and walkways and replace the joint filler as needed. Ensure that the joint filler adheres to both faces of the concrete, and is not sagging, crumbling, or cracking.
Lawn care tips and information provided by Compendia.