Got that paver dirty with oil?

Dan Polucha Construction, General Information, Tips and Tricks

While concrete pavers aren’t damaged by oil leaking from cars, stains can be difficult to remove.

Stains should be treated as soon as possible since the longer they remain on the surface, the deeper they penetrate making removal harder. Wipe excess oil from the surface as soon as possible and apply liquid detergent. Allow it to soak for several minutes. Then scrub and wash the pavers with hot water. Several treatments may be necessary for particularly stubborn stains.

Cleaners specially made for removing oil stains from concrete pavers are available and yield good results. In some cases, it may be simpler to replace the stained pavers with new ones. Cleaning and sealing concrete pavers early in their life can make removing stains easier since sealers prevent stains from soaking into the surface.

At LANDSCAPE SOLUTIONS LLC, we will help you transform your home with our top quality masonry work and exquisite craftsmanship! We are your go-to local contractor for landscape masonry and construction. Contact us fo your FREE ESTIMATE today! 

Caring for your pavers: “White haze”

Dan Polucha Construction, Tips and Tricks

Efflorescence is a white haze that may appear on the surface of pavers sometime after installation. It forms as a result of a natural chemical reaction that occurs when the lime or water soluble calcium oxide, produced by the cement contained in the pavers, reacts with water.

When water enters the microscopic capillaries in pavers, calcium hydroxide is formed. The calcium hydroxide rises to the surface of the paver, reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air, and forms a white haze of calcium carbonate when the moisture evaporates from the surface. The appearance of efflorescence stops when there isn’t any more calcium hydroxide available to move to the surface. This process sometimes can take several months.

While efflorescence does not damage pavers, However, it can be unappealing. The white haze may give the impression that the paver color is fading but this is not the case. Efflorescence may occur randomly or be concentrated in certain areas. Dark colored pavers show efflorescence more than lighter-colored ones. If efflorescence does occur, it can be removed with cleaners specially made for concrete pavers. Careless or improper cleaning can result in damage and discoloration to the concrete paver surfaces.

At LANDSCAPE SOLUTIONS LLC, we will help you transform your home with our top quality masonry work and exquisite craftsmanship! We are your go-to local contractor for landscape masonry and construction. Contact us fo your FREE ESTIMATE today! 

Not all masonry contractors are the same…

Dan Polucha Construction, General Information
Ready for that landscape project? Dreaming of showing off that beautiful paver work around the pool? Better check the contractor first!

The ICPI writes in its website recommendations for getting smart quotes from masonry contractors.

FIRST: make sure the contractor visits your home before providing a written proposal.  The lowest bid might not always be the best option. To ensure a quality installation, be sure to ask the contractor the following questions:

  • How long have they been installing pavers?
  • Have they been trained by a manufacturer or the ICPI?
  • What percentage of their total business consists of installing concrete pavers?
  • Will they provide you with three references?  Be sure to ask for references from recent and past jobs.  Can you contact their references and inspect the jobs?
  • Do they have a portfolio of photos and letters to qualify themselves?

While the contractor is working on your property, they should be insured for any damage and injuries that may occur.  Check your homeowner’s insurance policy for coverage of the contractor while on your property.

  • Can the contractor provide proof that Worker’s Compensation insurance covers all employees on the job?
  • Do they have current Liability Insurance?  Ask for a copy of the certificate.
  • Will they install the job per ICPI specifications?  Can they supply a copy?
  • Do they provide a written, itemized proposal outlining the scope of work and terms of payment?  It should include starting and completion dates, demolition and excavation, paving and base materials, and taxes.
  • Do they guarantee their work for one year and will they return to inspect it?
  • Are they members of the ICPI or other associations?

Be sure your proposal includes all materials and specifies these installation guidelines.

For a FREE ESTIMATE from a contractor you can trust, do not hesitate to contact LANDSCAPE SOLUTIONS LLC. Let’s do it!

Why Choose Concrete Pavers for Your Home Project?

Dan Polucha Construction, General Information

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) shares in its website 5 reasons to choose concrete pavers for your landscape project.

Five reasons to choose concrete pavers over other options:

  • Attractiveness – Many homeowners consider pavers a much more attractive way to go than asphalt and poured concrete. Concrete pavers come in a vast array of colors, shapes, sizes and textures. Concrete paver colors include beautiful beige, coral, variegated or darker blends, as well as blends with flashed tones to harmonize with a home’s exterior cladding. They can easily be put into patterns that complement the architectural style of your home because there’s such a wide variety of style available.
  • Durability – Concrete pavers should maintain their beauty and strength for a number of years when installed correctly. Other pavements, such as asphalt or poured concrete, typically experience shorter lives.
  • Maintenance – Concrete pavers are easier to maintain and last longer without needing to be repaired. In fact, factory-made pavers last for decades and need practically no maintenance when installed to ICPI guidelines. If a concrete paver becomes stained or broken, it can be easily replaced individually without patches.
  • Cost – The cost of concrete pavers is substantially less than natural stone, and concrete pavers provide an equally as attractive appearance. When factoring in maintenance costs and project durability, concrete pavers are also extremely affordable compared to other outdoor surface choices, such as poured concrete.
  • Safety – Pavers provide a safe, slip-resistant surface for pedestrian, vehicular and pool projects.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: Colorful, durable concrete pavers provide an easy and elegant way to improve your family’s quality of life now and your home’s curb appeal when the time comes to sell.

For project ideas, or for a FREE ESTIMATE, don’t hesitate to contact LANDSCAPE SOLUTIONS LLC. It’s time to remodel that backyard!

Survey: Americans Love their Yards and they are Important to a Home’s Resale Value

Dan Polucha Construction, Projecting, Tips and Tricks 0 Comments

April is National Lawn Care Month so it is a great time to think about what your lawn and landscape do for you. Even in the age of the smartphone and T.V. show binge watching, the love affair with the American yard is not over.

According to an online survey commissioned by the National Association of Landscape Professionals and conducted by Harris Poll in May 2015, eighty-three percent of Americans think having a yard is important. Here are a few insights about the value of our lawns and backyards.

Your neighborhood’s landscaping is important. Americans (91%) want to live in an area where they can see or walk to nice landscaping. So if you want the best chance of increasing the home prices in your neighborhood, make sure the landscaping looks good.

Nice landscaping helps to sell your house. Eighty-four percent say that the quality of a home’s landscaping would affect their decision about whether or not to buy. Great neighborhood landscaping helps, but it isn’t enough; yours needs to look good too.

Your neighbors care what your yard looks like. Seventy-one percent think it is important that their neighbors have well-maintained yards. Perhaps “good landscaping makes good neighbors” should be the new adage.

We want to enjoy our yards. Seventy-five percent of people feel that it is important to spend time outside in their yards.

Despite common misperceptions, even Millennials want to spend time in their yards. Seventy-five percent of Millennials (18–34 year olds) think spending time outside in their yards is important.

People want help with their landscape. A large majority of Americans (67%) agree that professional landscape help would allow them to have a nicer yard.

So, this April, don’t take your yard for granted: make the most of it and it will return many financial and emotional benefits.

HOW TO GET THE LAWN OF YOUR DREAMS

Dan Polucha General Information, Projecting 0 Comments

The National Association of Landscape Professionals shares in its website the following tips for taking good care of your lawn.

 

Are you green with envy… of your neighbor’s lawn?  Rest assured, it didn’t get that way overnight. Having a beautiful, lush and weed-free lawn takes time.

Beautiful lawns share several of the same characteristics. They are mowed correctly and fertilizer and weed control have been applied at the appropriate times. A picture-perfect lawn also receives the right amount of moisture and is aerated annually to relieve soil compaction and give it a breath of fresh air.

Since all lawns eventually tire out, your neighbor’s envy-worthy lawn has likely been overseeded a few times – that is, has grass seed applied – and even had an unsightly bare spot or two thanks to visits from hungry rodents and other pests but those spots have long been patched.

Don’t fret if your neighbor won’t share secrets with you. Lawn care experts will gladly share their expertise and experience. They’ve been trained to identify and eradicate insects and diseases, install and maintain irrigation systems to ensure your lawn receives the moisture it needs and test your soil to determine what nutrients may be lacking.

They know when to mow and how much of the grass blade should be removed at one time, and they understand weed control. The best way to control weeds is to have a healthy, lush lawn, but getting there may require assistance from the application of pre- and post-emergent controls.

Healthy lawns often need some “little extras” to give them a boost. Aeration not only relieves compaction, but it opens up the soils’ pores so moisture and air easily reaches plant roots. Overseeding directly after aeration protects seeds and gives them a better opportunity to germinate.

If your neighbor has a mature lawn, there have likely been some other and possibly more dramatic moves to keep it beautiful. Landscapes evolve, meaning trees and shrubs grow. Lawn grass may now be competing with tall trees and sprawling shrubs for nutrients, water, and even sunshine.  This may require overseeding areas with a shade-tolerant grass, applying more fertilizer, or even reconfiguring the irrigation system to apply water in different.

The key to a beautiful is keeping it in balance with nature. This requires:

  • Mowing at the right time and right height with sharp blades.
  • Applying a fertilizer that supplies nutrients your lawn may be lacking.
  • Keeping weeds, insects, and diseases in check.
  • Aerating to allow air and moisture to penetrate the soil.
  • Overseeding to give tired lawns a boost and fill in bare areas.
  • Making sure your lawn evolves with your landscape.

If you’re dreaming about a beautiful lawn, but can’t seem to make it a reality, it may be time to bring in a pro. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation

Read more “HOW TO GET THE LAWN OF YOUR DREAMS”

Do This, Not That: Pros Share the 6 Best Ways to Care for Your Lawn This Spring

Dan Polucha Tips and Tricks, Uncategorized 0 Comments

From grasscycling to smart lawns, the National Association of Landscape Professionals reveals efficient and effective lawn care practices for National Lawn Care Month in April

The National Association of Landscape Professionals shares in its website the following tips for taking good care of your lawn.

With spring underway and National Lawn Care Month kicking off in April, the National Association of Landscape Professionals shares its top six recommendations to help homeowners and property managers grow and maintain healthy, thriving lawns. As the voice of the landscape industry, NALP’s recommendations draw from the expertise and best practices of experienced lawn care professionals across the U.S.

The list dispels common myths and offers expert advice on new trends to promote more informed, productive lawn care practices.

“Lawns are the foundation of landscapes, but their benefits extend far beyond backyard fun and aesthetics. They serve vital functions — capturing pollutants, producing oxygen and cooling homes — that positively impact our communities and the environment at large,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs, NALP. “Understanding the best ways to care for lawns allows homeowners to maximize the full spectrum of benefits and improve the overall health of their landscapes.”

NALP recommends the following lawn care practices:

  1. Get water-wise. Save water by giving your lawn a deep watering every few days, not daily. Frequent, light watering — as opposed to a deep soak that penetrates the soil — can cause water to evaporate and leads to shallow root growth.
  2. Know before you mow. Keep grass at a longer, finished cut height. Never remove more than one-third of a grass blade while mowing. That typically means a finished height of 2 to 3 inches. Mow in the morning, and not right after it rains.
  3. Consider grasscycling. Keeping some grass clippings on the lawn after mowing allows nitrogen and nutrients to be returned to the soil for a healthier lawn. It also protects against fungal disease. If the grass is long, you may have to double-cut it to properly mulch clippings. Never leave excess clippings on top of the lawn.
  4. Check your balance. Healthy grass starts with the soil. A simple soil test can determine its pH balance, which can help indicate nutrients your lawn may need. Make sure your fertilizer provides the proper nutrients and is appropriate for the season and your lawn type.
  5. Think “smart” (lawns). One of the top landscape trends of 2017, cultivars, or cultivated grass varieties, are selectively bred to withstand the elements while still delivering an aesthetically beautiful and healthy lawn. A landscape professional can help you determine if these grass varieties are best for installing or overseeding a lawn.
  6. Care about more than color. Don’t worry if your grass isn’t always green. A brown lawn does not mean it is dead. It could be dormant due to factors like extreme heat or drought.

Homeowners and property managers should consult with a professional regarding lawn care guidance for their individual properties.