Fountains, waterfalls, paths, walls and other hardscape features should be waterproofed during the installation process and as part of your landscape’s maintenance to protect them from potential damage once the rainy season begins. As a homeowner, you’ve already invested a significant amount of resources into your yard. It’ll be a shame if it all washes away.
Protect your investment by following these easy-to-do tips to waterproof your hardscape features.
I. Water Features
You might think hardscape features like fountains and pools are immune to extreme rain and temperature. This isn’t the case. First of all, it’s not advisable to keep water features running when temperatures are extremely low.
However, when it starts raining, you must take into account the possibility of flooding and overloading filtration and drainage systems (especially for pools). It is also advisable to keep in mind that debris can be blown about during strong rainstorms and may land in your pool, clogging up your pump and filter system. Always turn off your water features during a particularly bad storm and check them once the skies clear up for possible debris and other clogs.
II. Irrigation Systems
Irrigation pipes play a huge role in your garden. They are installed 8 to 12 inches below ground—a position that is quite precarious when it comes to strong rains and flood.
Technically speaking, wet ground won’t hurt your irrigation pipes. However, there are a couple scenarios that technicians want homeowners to be aware of. First, ground water can seep into the pipes over time, potentially wearing out the material, causing cracks, and contaminating the water. Secondly, bear in mind that soil is more malleable and vulnerable when wet. Extreme flooding can result in pipes shifting, moving, or risking exposure.
Thankfully, there are methods for homeowners to use, should these scenarios every happen. Which method you should use depends on your area and existing hardscape features. Your best course of action is to learn and discuss your options with a professional.
Heavy rainfall can make pathways slippery, turning them into instant health hazards. Whether you’re using cement pavers, bricks, or stepping stones, the possibility of people slipping or tripping on them increases when they’re wet—even more so if they’re wet and icing over. Plus, water can begin to seep into the material over time, causing wear and tear in the pathway.
Keep your pathways smooth and shiny, and your family accident-free, by immediately dealing with the puddles and water left over after the rain. You can put down old newspapers to absorb the extra water. Alternatively, you can use a mop to seep up the excess water or redirect it to trickle off the pathway and into the grass or soil surrounding it. You can also request a sealant with grit (a sort of sandy material) to be added so that your pavers have traction.
Every homeowner has a unique style of landscaping that requires a personalized approach. At the end of the day, your method will still depend on the exact features of your yard. Always consult an expert to guide you with waterproofing—and weather-proofing—methods that will best fit your needs.