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Getting Your Deck Ready for the Warmer Weather

deck restoration and repair

All Surface Restoration, a division of Jager Landscaping, restores and repairs decks to look like new.

It’s time to get your deck ready for the better weather.
If you have a wood deck that is natural redwood, cedar or a pressure-treated wood, it is important to do a thorough visual inspection first to make sure there is no damage after the winter season. You need to check the entire structure including the underdeck for rot, mildew or nails that have popped out.

In our area where lots of snow has accumulated, there can certainly be some structural issues with the deck with all of the snow loads they’ve held over the course of the winter. And the freezing and thawing of ice creates a bit of havoc on wood decks.

Another reason why decks look worn and tired is from damage caused by ultraviolet rays. To counter it, your deck must be cleaned properly and stripped of all old sealers. You also need to check the surface if it needs to be sanded. After all that preparation, choose a quality sealer to protect your deck from further damage. Your deck will look great and last a lot longer.

Wood rot can appear in a variety of ways. The signs I would look for are soft spots on a deck, discoloration, splintering of the wood and where things have gotten loose. Most areas are not going to pose any life threatening issues except potentially at the structure and deck connection. If you see rot there, it’s time to bring a professional in to double check it.

If you do find wood rot, it might be repairable depending on the scale of the rot. If the damage is only on the edges of the wood boards, you can simply have the ends of the boards cut off and replaced with small sections of new wood. It might not look visually appealing on an aesthetic level but it’s a safer solution. Of course, if the rot is more extensive, you might need to replace part or all of the structure.

Mildew on wood decks can also accumulate over the wintertime but is easier to treat than wood rot. Some people use bleach to clean mildew but this is not recommended because it is a caustic solution that harms plants and can discolor and damage sidings, paint and walkways. You also need to exercise caution if you plan to pressure wash your deck. If the hose nozzle is set at too high a pressure, you can actually damage the deck’s wood fibers.

How to Restore Your Dull-Looking Pavers to Look Like New

Paver Patio

Over time, any type of exterior paver or natural stone will suffer weathering from continual exposure to the elements. While some people prefer a weathering look, others favor the clean look of freshly installed stone. Thankfully, paving stones can be restored to their original state.
Clean the stone with a solution of equal parts of common white vinegar and water. Vinegar is a mild acid that will eat away most common mineral deposits and weathering from the face of tiles and stones. The solution needs to be applied to the surface and then allowed to sit for several minutes, after which you need to scrub the surface with a scrub brush and then rinse it with clean water.
Blast the surface of the paving stone with a pressure washer to remove dirt, grime and other buildup. This is a good option if you have access to a pressure washer, as you don’t need to use any chemicals. There are times when you need something stronger because the pavers have mold, mildew and other grime. Our All Surface Restoration division uses pressure washing with a natural solution that has amazing results.
Of course chemical solutions are readily available in any home improvement store but they should be reserved for the most stubborn of weathering buildup so as to not damage the surrounding grass or natural environment. Follow manufacturer directions for mixing, direct application, washing and rinsing. As a general rule, you will apply it, let it soak, scrub it and then rinse the stone. Our liquid solution at All Surface Restoration will not damage surrounding grass or plants.
If you happen to have a particularly difficult buildup of minerals and weathering on the surface of the stone, you can purchase muriatic acid at a home improvement or hardware store. While it will not harm natural stones, be aware that you cannot use muriatic acid if your paving stones are man-made or cement-based. Muriatic acid eats through anything that contains cement and is ideal for calcium and salt buildups. We really do not recommend the average homeowner using muriatic acid because you have to be very careful as you can ruin the surface of the concrete.

Say Goodbye to Those Nasty Weeds That Wreck Your Lawn

That’s right. You can say ‘goodbye’ to those nasty weeds with these simple and easy-to-follow lawn care tips. The goal is to build a strong, healthy lawn that will naturally battle the weeds. Here are our suggestions:
Aerating the soil adds oxygen to the soil and helps water seep further down. That of course encourages more grass growth. You can rent an aerating machine or ask your landscaper to do it for you for a small fee. It’s surely worth it.
Choose the best grass for your yard. Do you have lot of shade trees? Is your lawn mostly exposed to the sun? Ask the local garden center for help or your lawn care specialist can surely recommend the correct type of grass.
Spread the new grass seeds correctly. You may not realize it but throwing too many seeds in an area can actually crowd the grass and cause more problems. Spread the seeds carefully.
Once you’ve taken the above steps, be sure to thoroughly water the new grass seeds regularly. You’d be surprised how many people ruin their lawns just because they didn’t keep a proper watering schedule.

How to Restore Dull-Looking Pavers to Look Like New

Over time, any type of exterior paver or natural stone will suffer weathering from continual exposure to the elements. While some people prefer a weathering look, others favor the clean look of freshly installed stone. Thankfully, paving stones can be restored to their original state.
Clean the stone with a solution of equal parts of common white vinegar and water. Vinegar is a mild acid that will eat away most common mineral deposits and weathering from the face of tiles and stones. The solution needs to be applied to the surface and then allowed to sit for several minutes, after which you need to scrub the surface with a scrub brush and then rinse it with clean water.
Blast the surface of the paving stone with a pressure washer to remove dirt, grime and other buildup. This is a good option if you have access to a pressure washer, as you don’t need to use any chemicals. There are times when you need something stronger because the pavers have mold, mildew and other grime. Our All Surface Restoration division uses pressure washing with a natural solution that has amazing results.
Of course chemical solutions are readily available in any home improvement store but they should be reserved for the most stubborn of weathering buildup so as to not damage the surrounding grass or natural environment. Follow manufacturer directions for mixing, direct application, washing and rinsing. As a general rule, you will apply it, let it soak, scrub it and then rinse the stone. Our liquid solution at All Surface Restoration will not damage surrounding grass or plants.
If you happen to have a particularly difficult buildup of minerals and weathering on the surface of the stone, you can purchase muriatic acid at a home improvement or hardware store. While it will not harm natural stones, be aware that you cannot use muriatic acid if your paving stones are man-made or cement-based. Muriatic acid eats through anything that contains cement and is ideal for calcium and salt buildups. We really do not recommend the average homeowner using muriatic acid because you have to be very careful as you can ruin the surface of the concrete.

Don’t Let Drainage Problems Cause Damage to Your Home & Landscaping

With the high volume of rain we have had recently, you may have noticed water settling on your property or running downhill.

 

Jager - drainage-problem1

Soggy lawn areas and standing water in your yard indicates a serious drainage problem which is very common these days, says Frank Jager of Jager Landscaping. In many parts of our area, heavy compacted clay soil prevents water from filtering down through the different soil layers.

When the water becomes trapped and cannot run off, it will pool or pond. The location of the pools can often be right next to the foundation of your home.

One way or another the area will eventually cause damage, adds Jager. Standing water can damage the foundation of your home as well as cause disease and totally ruin your landscape plants and grass. Not to mention that standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The key to correcting the problem can be a difficult task. There are several solutions to correct drainage problems. Some as simple as re-grading a portion of the lawn for positive water flow, extending the drain lines from your downspouts or simply adding a French drain system. Either way getting the water moving again and away from your home is essential to maintaining the value of your home and landscape.

Subsurface drainage systems have many different names, but they all do the same thing: remove water and lower the water table away from a building foundation wall or from under a slab.

If you have or suspect that you have water issues around your yard call a landscaper who is experienced with drainage issues. Usually they will find a workable solution. Many masons may recommend distribution boxes but, according to Jager, that does not work for landscaping and soil. Jager Landscaping installs special lawn drains that do not clog while catching water from various areas of the property.

Add a New Dimension to Your Landscape with Hardscaping

You think that your landscaping is complete? Then what about landscaping stones. The artful application of landscaping stone could enhance the natural elements that you’ve already added such as shrubs and flowers. The aesthetic and functional use of stone can even raise the value of your property.

Without the skillful arrangement of stone and other hardscape components, even the most artistic of landscapes would lack a frame to set it off tastefully.

For some hardscape projects, you will need to combine your landscaping stone with mortar — or perhaps use concrete, brick, or tile, instead of stone. These and other variations must be considered when taking on one of the most popular hardscape projects — building a patio.
Whether composed of concrete, stone, or some other hardscape material, patios are a wonderful way to tie the indoors with the outdoors uniting house and landscape effectively and creating outdoor living spaces.

Jager - Rubino driveway circle rev

Some of the hardscape projects popular this year and obviously for years to come:
– stone fountains
– rock walls
– patio floors
– pergola columns
– foundations for gazebos
– stone foundations for porches & decks
– accent pieces for rock & water gardens
– last but not least—outdoor kitchens
Jager Landscaping can custom design a hardscape project for your property in no time at all. Call Jager Landscaping at 201-405-1033 to schedule an appointment.

Ways to Keep Your Grass Green During Summer

The long, hot summer can be pretty challenging on your lawn with all those hot, dry days. Many lawns bake in the heat. But, look around and you’ll notice some lawns in the neighborhood keep looking green all summer long. Wonder how that happens?
First of all, be sure to fertilize your lawn regularly. A well-fed lawn grows in thick, crowding out weeds and cooling the soil, which helps it handle the heat.
Don’t cut your grass short. Longer grass allows the growth of longer roots, which can reach down for moisture even on hot, dry days.
Most importantly, water your lawn thoroughly whether short or long. Frequent, shallow watering encourages grass to grow short roots, causing it to stress out during droughts. But an inch of water a week serves as a good rule of thumb for keeping your lawn green during the hot summer. Be sure to water as early as possible in the morning to help reduce wasteful evaporation.
Finally, older lawns may have types of grass that can’t handle heat. The grass may grow in bunches or have thick, ugly blades. Also, a hot summer can leave bare spots and thin areas around the lawn. New grass varieties have been developed to be able to handle scorching heat and still look good.