Don King Landscaping News

Concrete Dilemma: Do You Repair or Replace Your Patio or Driveway?

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JUN 8, 2019
Hardscapes Require Some Attention After Years of Weathering Effects
Homeowners consider their driveways and patios to be permanent fixtures at their properties. The material remains hardy for several decades. There will come a time, however, when the material will start to break down. Consider a few tips from a Front Range concrete contractor when it comes to comparing repair versus replacement options. There are key signs that tell any homeowner that it’s time to work on the concrete.

Subbase Issues
Colorado goes through some extreme temperature swings. The ground underneath a patio or driveway may heave over time. In fact, some homes have poorly constructed subbases from the very beginning of a concrete structure’s formation.
If a Boulder landscape contractor suspects a subbase issue, replacing the hardscape is the best choice. The professionals can inspect and repair the subbase, pour new materials and create a surface that will last another 10 or 20 years.
Repairing a hardscape with a crumbling subbase will only lead to further decline.

Salt Pitting
Salting the roadway and driveway are commonplace during the winter. The snow needs to go. However, that salt can eventually settle on the hardscape. Pitting or divots in the material will materialize.

For minor pitting, contractors can repair the damage. Catching the damage early on in the hardscape’s lifespan is the key factor here.

When a patio or driveway has seen too many winters, the pitting or spalling might be significant. There are deep depressions across the entire surface. A replacement project can be the answer for this property.

Material-Volume Considerations
Cracks that crisscross a patio or driveway may require a lot of filling during a repair. The industry guideline suggests a new slab if more than two inches of materials are required for a repair. Homeowners are almost halfway to a new slab with this amount of materials anyway.

Boulder concrete contractor will give the homeowners a quote on both repairs and replacing the materials. It may be less expensive to replace the driveway or patio when every cost is put into context.

Cracking or Chipping
Minor cracks and chips are only aesthetically displeasing. The driveway or patio isn’t vulnerable to major problems yet.

However, cracks that are more than a half-inch wide are concerning damages. The crack’s size indicates that problems are lurking below or within the hardscape. These damages will only grow larger over time.

Allow a contractor to look at the cracks and chips. It may take several seasons to see the damages progress in size. The experts can figure out the best solution with key observations then.

Looking for a New Look
Replace the patio or driveway when the property owners are looking for a new look. Stamping and etching patterns into a hardscape is one of the latest ways to update a patio or driveway. These decorative choices are better served on a new surface.

Longmont concrete contractor can quote new materials and labor costs for the new design. The patio or driveway may not actually need a full replacement, but those new designs demand it. Most homeowners don’t want to put money into a design on old materials when they’ll need to be replaced in the near future.

Outright Age
Hardscapes may be tough, but they aren’t designed to last forever. In fact, most driveways are only good for around 25 years. When a Boulder concrete contractor visits a property, the professional considers the hardscape’s age as a first thought.
Minor cracks in a five-year-old slab are quite fixable, but multiple cracks on a 30-year-old hardscape are another story. The professionals know that they’ll be back to repair an older slab in record time. Replacing the older materials is the smartest choice in this case.

Aggregate Becoming Visible
The patio and driveway have a mixture of materials that make up their surfaces. An aggregate is the rocky substance used in their construction, for example. If homeowners see the aggregate crumbling in one or more sections, replacement may be necessary.

Longmont concrete contractor would discuss the long-term effects of repairing the hardscape. Fixing the crumbling aggregate in one area doesn’t solve the issue. Aggregate decline may appear tomorrow in another section.

There’s an underlying reason why the aggregate is declining. It might be due to the weather, age, poor construction or other factors. Homeowners must think of the bigger picture when it comes to repairing versus replacing the hardscape.

Sunken Conditions
Every patio or driveway should be relatively flat with just a minor slope for drainage purposes. There should never be a sunken appearance to the hardscape. A sinking surface indicates a severe issue occurring underneath the concrete.

The subbase comes into play once again. Soil conditions might create a hole or depression in the ground. The hardscape follows this contour over time.
Drought or flooding conditions also lead to sunken hardscapes. A Front Range concrete contractor can look at the property for a potential repair, but most experts agree that a replacement service should be the go-to answer.

Calling on the Professionals
Homeowners don’t have to make a serious call on their hardscape’s condition. A Boulder landscape contractor can make a serious estimate on either a repair or replacement project. These professionals understand the elements and science that go into a driveway or patio.

Filling cracks, resurfacing the material or replacing it outright are always options. The property also benefits from an analysis of the entire yard. A beloved tree may be causing the hardscape’s issues, for example. Transplanting trees and repairing the hardscape might be the solutions for a long-lasting driveway or patio.

Contact Don King Landscaping for every concern about the driveway or patio. There are solutions to cracks, breaks and chips. Technology and hardscape maintenance are constantly evolving. Allow Don King to find a way to beautify any property today.

Lawn Pests Leave Calling Cards That Reveal Their True Identities

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The grass seems to be growing an inch per minute in residents’ minds as spring continues to warm Lafayette. This astounding growth isn’t limited to just the grass. In fact, everything seems to be generating new life, including the insect population. Pests in and around the yard are commonplace in the spring. Knowing what to look for and how to treat the pests are the smartest ways to eradicate them. Explore the top solutions in controlling pests as spring turns into summer.

Mysterious Lawn Patches
A primarily green lawn that suddenly succumbs to brown patches probably has grubs. These larvae are the juvenile form of beetles that fly around during the Lafayette spring and summer. They don’t actually feed on the grass blades, however. Grubs focus their attention on grass roots where they hide from predators in the soil.

Tilling the soil to upturn the grubs is a simple way to find them. There might be chinch bugs in the soil too. Many pests consume the grass and roots, which leads to the brown patches.

Wilting or Bitten Grass Blades
Armyworms or cutworms tend to focus on grass blades. Louisville residents might notice the blades losing their shapes or suddenly shrinking in size. Both of these pests will decimate the grass while working on other areas in the yard.
Chinch bugs create other issues on the lawn, including wilting and discoloration. They’re often overlooked as the cause for these lawn problems because other factors produce the same results. Overwatering and shady areas can wilt and discolor too. It’s critical for residents to pay careful attention to the grass with a closer inspection.

Noticing Pathways or Soil Mounds
The landscaping has bigger problems when moles or voles have created a home in the yard. Residents will see mounds of dirt piled up in certain areas with moles. As clever rodents, voles form pathways just below the soil’s surface that resemble cracks in the earth.

Because these pests aren’t tiny like insects, removing them takes some professional action. Both moles and voles can grow quite large. Residents can have them humanely removed without dealing with traditional traps.

Tracking Damage With Insect Life Cycles
 residents may have a small mystery on their hands when lawn-damage signs are vague and subtle. Go online, and research which pests are completely active at the moment. Residents can eliminate several types of pests if they’re dormant in May or June, for instance.
Some life cycles may be just starting. In these cases, inspecting questionable areas across the lawn may be necessary. A close inspection might reveal tiny larvae that were imperceptible from a standing position. Use this discovery information in order to create an eradication plan.

Bringing the Critters to Light
Prioritizing lawn care comes with its challenges when residents don’t know what’s affecting the grass in the first place. Bring those critters to light with a drench test. Add two tablespoons of lemon, dish detergent to two gallons of water. Select a problem area of the lawn, and pour the soapy mixture onto it.
The grass won’t be harmed by this test, but the pests hate to be suffocated. They’ll flock to the surface for air. As a result, residents know which pests are in action right now.

Dethatching as a Solution
Dethatching is the process of removing part of the lawn’s lower section or thatch. Pests love to thrive in this area because it’s sheltered and full of nutrients in the soil below and blades above.
By dethatching, some of the pests are actually removed. Their habitat is essentially pulled apart. They’ll look for other areas to replicate in.

Always use equipment that’s designed for dethatching. It preserves the grass above with its mechanical design. The professionals can always assist residents with this service.

Considering a Short Drought
Another clever way to employ pest control strategies is by focusing on resources. Many pests thrive on an overwatered lawn. The moisture feeds their activities. Give the lawn a rest from ample watering. In fact, it’s perfectly fine to allow some dryness to set in.

This short drought might cause the pests to move to another location or die back in great numbers. It may be difficult to tell if they’ve been eradicated so allow the drought to carry on for a few days.

Exploring Natural Deterrents
Pest control doesn’t have to involve chemicals. Natural solutions, such as milky spore bacteria or nematodes, can carefully weed out the pests without harming the environment. Pinpoint the pest types found in the lawn. Consider their predators in the wild. Nematodes, for instance, are parasites for insects. They’ll reduce the insect numbers in little time.

Landscape professionals also point out the benefit of a well-maintained lawn. Grass that’s incredibly healthy cannot die back with just a few pests. The insects may even look for another lawn to inhabit.

Turning to Professional Help
When residents don’t feel comfortable about their landscaping challenge, expert help is available. Professionals can inspect the property and verify which pest is active. Residents might discover that they have several pests working diligently on the grass blades and roots.

The experts come up with a multiple-point plan that can kill off the active pests and deal with the larvae. Residents ultimately approve of the solutions, including pesticides or natural selections. Most professionals today want a natural solution so that they protect the environment with the service.

Consult with Don King Landscaping so that a property’s lawn care is a top priority. These professionals can point out lawn issues and reasonable solutions. Caring for gardens is both a science and an art. Allow the experts to green up the yard for a long-lasting lawn into the summer and fall.

Nontoxic Alternatives to Weed Control

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Weed Control Starts With Key Preparation Steps and Diligent Observations
Spring has sprung, and many Boulder residents are thrilled to get back to the garden. Cultivating an herb garden, encouraging flowers to bloom and other gardening tasks are on the to-do list this season. Pulling weeds, however, isn’t at the top of the list. Don’t turn to harsh chemicals, including the controversial Roundup brand. Explore these nontoxic strategies to weed control. The alternatives are cleaner and easier to implement than spraying questionable substances across those plants.

Employing the Sun’s Help
Start the gardening season out right by initially dealing with the soil. Residents need a clear area to begin solarization. Cover the bare soil with a plastic tarp for about four to six weeks. Be sure to clear away any shading items, such as tall bushes or overhanging tree limbs.

The tarp traps the sun’s heat as the warm days progress. Any weeds or seeds under the tarp will simply die back. Residents are left with a clear area to plant their desired items afterward.

Exploring Landscape-Fabric Options
Almost any garden benefits from landscape fabric. In essence, the fabric is a barrier to any unwanted plants trying to sprout out of the ground. Spread the fabric out across the bare soil. Create slits or holes in the areas where a wanted plant should be growing. The fabric isolates the desired plants while eliminating weeds in the surrounding area.
Keep the fabric covered with mulch, however. The sun can break it down in record time if it’s left exposed. After several years, consider a complete reinstallation of the fabric. It will decline with time regardless of a gardener’s diligent care.

Trying the Vinegar Trick
Create a mixture of 5-percent vinegar, salt and dish soap. Pour it into a spray bottle. Apply the spray to any weeds in a Longmont yard. The vinegar is the main weed killer. It reduces the cell membranes into liquefied tissues, which leads to rapid decline.

The soap and salt just solidifies the vinegar’s job. If any plant sections are missed with the vinegar, the salt and soap will make short work of the weed-elimination job.

Be sure to spray with an accurate aim, however. The vinegar will work on nearly any plants, including the ones that residents want to keep.

Mulching Away
When gardeners first learn about planting and lawn care, they also explore the benefits of mulch. Aside from protecting the soil’s nutrients and moisture content, mulch also drowns out weeds. Any seeds or sprouts under the mulch cannot reach oxygen or sunlight. They die back before they can rise into the light.

Choose organic mulches so that they can add nutrients to the soil as they decay. Replace the mulch as it breaks down. Weed control is an ongoing process as a result.
Going a Bit Overboard With Plants
There’s nothing wrong with planting too many plants. The garden will have a unique appearance while choking out the weeds. In fact, this strategy is one of the simplest ones to employ. If desired plants are taking up all of the real estate, no weeds can have a chance to grow.

Allow the plants to naturally spread with some pruning from the residents. The lack of sunlight on the soil itself will stop most weeds.

Focusing Irrigation
Showering the garden with ample water from the garden hose is a quick way to nourish the desired plants and weeds. Those unwanted plants need to be cut out of this free-resource offering.
Try focused irrigation with a drip system. Hoses wound around the garden with tiny holes will allow a trickle of water to the desired plants. Any weeds in the area will succumb to drought. Simply place the hoses in their proper positions to see a reduction in weeds.

Heating Them Up
Sun solarization works for bare soil, and heat can be used in unique ways after planting a garden too. Look for flame weeders that are essentially mobile, propane tanks with a narrow wand attached to them. Find a weed and apply the small flame to it. The weed will die back in response.

Alternatively, try the boiling water trick. Boil water, and carefully pour it onto the weeds. This trick requires a steady hand. Be aware that the roots will still be in the ground after this alternative. Removing the roots by hand will help with weed control.

Tilling in Corn Gluten
The corn-production industry has a lot of byproducts that are perfectly safe and effective as weed-control alternatives. Corn gluten is one of those handy byproducts. After Boulder residents have sprouted their desired garden, till corn gluten into the surrounding soil.

This unique product actually hinders seed germination. Any weed seeds in the ground will remain dormant. Remember that adding any other seeds to the soil will result in no germination. For this reason, be sure to have everything sprouted well before using the corn-gluten strategy.

Discussing Options With the Professionals
Taking care of the yard is a full-time job at times. If residents need a helping hand, Don King is there to serve every need. A property may simply need some TLC with weed pulling every few weeks. The residents complete the other work. No job is too small or large to handle at Don King.

The professionals offer detailed advice about lawn care and flowerbed cultivation too. A property can look like it’s straight out of a magazine with a few tips from the experts who’ve been working in soil and seeds for many years.

Discuss your garden concerns with the experts at Don King Landscaping. They’re proud to serve the Longmont community and beyond. Create a landscape maintenance plan or draw up a new vision of the garden. The professionals can make that landscaping dream come true.