7 Landscaping

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7: Landscaping - Del Webb

7: Landscaping81 | Del Webb Home Care Guide


Concrete PaversThe concrete pavers used in some drivewaysand walks provide a flexible surfacethat expands and contracts with changes intemperature and humidity.In some climates, concrete pavers are usedinstead of solid concrete or asphalt. Concretepavers are easy to maintain and clean. Theycan be used in different decorative patterns,they don’t crack, and they’re easy to replaceif damaged.Care and MaintenanceFollow these care and maintenance suggestionsfor your home’s concrete pavers.To Replenish the Joint SandDuring the course of normal use, dirt will settleinto the sand-filled joints, and driving wind,rainfall, or hose pressure may deplete joint sand.Each year, use dry, clean sand to replenishthe joint sand.To Remove WeedsRemove weeds between pavers by hand or withherbicides. Weeds may germinate betweenpavers from windblown seeds.When you apply herbicides, becareful to avoid damaging nearbysod and landscaping materials.To Clean the PaversUse brass or plastic bristle brushes to clean thepavers. Steel bristles might loosen, rust, andthen leave stains on the pavers. You can also usea soft-hair broom.Treat stains as soon as possible. The longerthey’re left on the surface, the deeper they’llpenetrate the pavers.Oil stains left by cars can be difficult to remove.Use cleaners made specifically for oil stains.Use cleaners that are made specifically forconcrete pavers.Don’t use a pressure washer to clean the pavers,as it may deplete the joint sand. Instead, usea water hose with a light mist.Avoid using acids or acidic materials that candeteriorate or stain concrete pavers.The color of your pavers maychange over time as they wearfrom traffic or weather.Many fertilizers, if left on paversor cement, will stain.If Your Home Is Part ofa Homeowners Association (Hoa)Check with your HOA regarding maintenance,and be familiar with all HOA documentation.82 | Del Webb Home Care Guide


Driveways, Walks, and PatiosDriveways are made from asphalt or concrete;walks and some patios are made from concrete.They require minimal but consistent maintenance.Care and MaintenanceFollow these care and maintenance suggestionsfor your home’s driveways, walks, and patios.Asphalt DrivewaysApply a sealcoat mixture every two years toprotect the surface, fill in crevices, maintainthe appearance of your driveway, and help keepwater from penetrating and deterioratingthe asphalt.Keep the driveway free from gasoline andmotor oil. This will help prevent deteriorationof the driveway.Fill any cracks with asphalt filler as soon asthey show.Never park bicycles or set outdoorfurniture on asphalt. The sharpends of a kickstand or chair legs canput holes in the asphalt.Concrete Walks and PatiosMany walks and patios are constructed fromconcrete. All concrete structures crack slightlyas they expand and contract. Control jointshave been provided in your walks and patiosto minimize this cracking characteristic.However, all concrete walks and patiosdevelop small cracks.Your patio surface treatment is a blend ofportland cement, silica sand, and speciallyformulated resins, and it may also havea 100 percent acrylic topcoat stain. The followingrecommendations will help you maintaina long-lasting patio surface.To clean the surfaceWash the entire surface on a weekly basis toremove surface contaminants such as dirt, salt,and other airborne particles. Don’t use morethan a garden hose and water. Check with yourlocal water authority first to make sure youare allowed to wash these surfaces.Clean the entire surface using a householddetergent once a month, if necessary.Rinse thoroughly.To maintain the surfaceUse plastic, fiberglass, or rubber-coated patiofurniture to reduce damage to the surfacetreatment. Steel furniture can damage the coating.Touch up any damage to the coating right awaywith a 100 percent acrylic topcoat stain.Immediately rinse away any acidic materialsspilled on the surface using plain water.83 | Del Webb Home Care Guide


Consider sealing your concrete surfaces witha good-quality sealer to protect the surfaceand the finish from water, road salt, and oil stains.Improper use of a power washercan damage concrete coatingsand finishes.To repair small cracks in concrete flatwork,follow these steps:1. Roughen any edges of the crack that aresmooth using a tool such as a wire brush orcold chisel.Avoid contact with acids oracidic materials.Don’t apply salt to concrete or asphalt;salt deteriorates the surface of thesematerials. Use sand instead to providetraction in slippery conditions. Use floormats near exterior doors to keep sandfrom being tracked into your home.To fill small cracks in concrete flatworkConcrete flatwork can develop small cracks1⁄8- to 1 ⁄2-inch wide in cases of severe frostor changes in the grade around your home.These cracks are ordinarily of no seriousconsequence; they just detract from theappearance of your flatwork. However, smallcracks can potentially lead to real problemsdown the road if left unsealed. Prevent themfrom becoming a costly repair by inspectingconcrete flatwork in early spring and applyinga concrete crack sealer to any small cracks.Concrete crack sealer is easy to apply andreadily available at any home care center.2. Clean out any dirt, organic matter, or concretechips from the crack using a tool likea masonry brush, heavy paintbrush, orshop vacuum.84 | Del Webb Home Care Guide


3. Measure the depth of the crack. If it isdeeper than 1 ⁄2 inch, fill up the crack with sandor backer rod to within 1 ⁄4 inch of thesurface. If the crack isn’t deeper than 1 ⁄2 inch,just move on to the next step.If Your Home Is Part ofa Homeowners Association (Hoa)Check with your HOA regarding maintenance,and be familiar with all HOA documentation.Landscaping GradeThe grade – the contouring of the landaround your home – is designed to provideproper drainage away from your home;it shouldn’t be altered in any way that couldinterfere with drainage.4. Fill the crack with a concrete crack sealeravailable at any home care center, followingthe manufacturer’s instructions. Overfillthe crack slightly to allow for shrinkage.Landscaping GradeProfessional engineers have establishedthe grade of your homesite to provide drainageaway from the home and, in some areas,a certain amount of water retention on the site,using a system of berms (high spots) andswales (low spots). It’s very important to maintainproper drainage away from the house.Maintain the drainage slope that was establishedduring the landscaping of your yard. Makesure any changes you make to your landscaping,such as adding a new fence or a swimmingpool, don’t alter the drainage of your property.In the case of major downpours, expect somewater accumulation; however, this water willrecede within a reasonable amount of time.Apply concrete sealer when theoutdoor temperature is between 45°Fand 100°F. Also, apply concretesealer only when rain isn’t expectedwithin the next 24 hours.85 | Del Webb Home Care Guide


Maintain the proper slopeTo Maintain Yard DrainageDon’t change the drainage pattern on homesitesdesigned for some water retention.Always maintain a 6-inch minimum vertical spacebetween the earth and any siding or stucco.If you don’t, water can enter the joint betweenthe footing and the wall material, or deterioratethe siding, brick, or stucco.Keep drainage ditches and swales free ofleaves, debris, plants, and other elements thatmay interfere with water flow.Reestablish the original grade of your homesiteif the soil settles over time.TermitesA proper grade away from the home also helpsprevent termite infestation. Subterraneantermites usually live in the soil below homes.When there isn’t direct contact betweenthe wood framing and the soil, termites buildtubes or tunnels to travel from one to theother. The presence of these tubes indicatesa termite infestation.Delay any major landscaping projects untilyour home is at least one year old. Most soilsettlement occurs during the first year.Hire a licensed landscaper to install or modifyyour landscaping.Don’t plant new plants or grass too close to thehouse. Watering plants near the house can causeleaks into the interior and other water problems.Care and MaintenanceUse these care and maintenance suggestionsto prevent moisture and termite damage inyour home.86 | Del Webb Home Care Guide


Drainage problemsSprinklers and IrrigationYour home’s sprinkler and irrigation systemwill help keep your yard beautiful year-round.ExcessmulchLowspotClosebushesChanging the drainage pattern on yourproperty during landscaping projectscould cause serious water problems.Call your local utility to haveburied electrical, gas, water, andtelephone lines located beforedigging in your yard.Check for termites each year in thespring. Look for the remains of wingedinsects. Search the sides of the footingwalls for the earthen tubes termitesbuild to reach the wood framing abovethe foundation. Use the blade of a knifeto test the wood for soundness. If yoususpect that termites are present,consult a professional exterminator.See also Gutters and Downspouts (p. 56) andSprinklers and Irrigation (p. 93).If Your Home Is Part ofa Homeowners Association (Hoa)Check with your HOA regarding maintenance,and be familiar with all HOA documentation.The four main parts of your sprinkler andirrigation system are the sprinkler heads, thesupply lines, the valves, and the backflowpreventer. Each provides an essential function.The sprinkler heads are the fixed heads inyour landscape that spray water in eithera fan-shaped pattern or in rotating streams.The supply lines are the irrigation pipesrunning beneath your yard from the sprinklerheads to the water source. The valves allowyou to shut off the water to your sprinkler andirrigation system. The backflow preventerprevents water within your irrigation systemfrom backing up the pipes and enteringyour drinking water.Care and MaintenanceFollow these care and maintenance suggestionsfor your home’s sprinkler system.Winterize the sprinkler system in the fall. Turnoff the timer, and drain the water from the pipes.Restart the sprinkler system in the spring. Turnon the timer and the master valve.Check for sticking valves.Inspect for leaks at the connections.Check for missing or damaged sprinkler headsand emitters.Flush out the sprinkler system twice a year.87 | Del Webb Home Care Guide


Some areas require adhering to theregular watering schedule determinedby the local water authority. Checkwith your local water authority to makesure you are in compliance.To Prevent Water Damage to Your HomeMake sure the sprinklers don’t spray the houseor the area near the foundation; it coulddamage the exterior or cause leaks.Don’t spray the house!Swimming PoolYour pool will be enjoyed by your familyand guests for many years with proper careand maintenance.Care and MaintenanceFollow these care and maintenance suggestionsfor your home’s swimming pool.InitializationYou’ve received a kit that includes full operatinginstructions, a broom, a vacuum and hose,and a chemical test kit. Please refer to your poolpamphlets for instructions.It’s possible that your pool hasn’t reached itsinitial chemical balance yet because it wascompleted recently. Don’t add any chemicalsto your pool until it’s time to begin the routinemaintenance program per the manufacturer’sinstructions. Adding chemicals too early coulddamage the pool finish.Don’t put floating tablets in the skimmerbasket as a way of adding chemicalsto your pool. They might damage thefinish when the pump isn’t running.If Your Home Is Part ofa Homeowners Association (Hoa)Check with your HOA regarding maintenance,and be familiar with all HOA documentation.88 | Del Webb Home Care Guide


Child BarrierThe fabric child barrier is an important safetydevice. Use it whenever there’s a risk ofa person or pet accidentally falling into the pool.Also, don’t dispose of this barrier, since itcould be required if you sell your home.Make sure your family and guestsare aware that your pool is shallowand unsuitable for diving.Professional MaintenanceYou can hire a pool service company to maintainyour pool. A pool supply company can helpguide you in choosing the appropriate chemicalsto balance your pool water and in servicingthe pool.Chemical BalanceTest the pool water with your chemical test kit.Then, add just the chemicals necessary to bringthe water up to the optimum test levels.WarrantyKeep all testing results with your records soyou can refer to them if you need to makea warranty claim. Your pool’s warranty doesn’tcover the following: discoloring or stainingdue to local water conditions, rust, oxidation,or staining caused by debris in the pool,improper chemicals or chemical balance, andfailure to maintain the pool.Have your pool water professionallytested periodically. If you feel thatyou need more assistance, contactyour local pool supply company.If Your Home Is Part ofa Homeowners Association (Hoa)Check with your HOA regarding maintenance,and be familiar with all HOA documentation.Replace the testing chemicals, called reagents,in your test kit periodically to ensure accuratetest results. You might wish to purchase a moreelaborate test kit than the starter kit.Add chemicals to your pool carefully and evenlythroughout the pool while the pump is running.Don’t pour chemicals in only one place.Pump ClockKeep the pump clock set to run at least sixhours a day in the winter and at leasteight hours a day during the warmest partof the day in the summer.89 | Del Webb Home Care Guide

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