Tips to maintain your hardscape design System Pavers SuperUser Account Cleaning Tips backyardbbqgrillhardscape designoutdoor lightingoutdoor livingsystem paversturf Aug 16 2016 With the addition of a few outdoor living products, your backyard can become the one-stop-shop for entertainment and relaxation. Getting hungry? Fire up the BBQ and grill some burgers. Feeling a bit chilly? Gather around the warm flames of your fire pit. The sky's the limit when it comes to transitioning your outdoor space into an oasis, and once you've created an amazing backyard, you'll want to keep it that way. From artificial turf to outdoor lighting, every outdoor element can be easily tended to in order to maximize the life of your oasis. Here are a few tips for maintaining the various elements of your hardscape design: Artificial grass Compared to mowing real grass on a scorching hot day or watching bills skyrocket from watering the lawn, the minimal effort required for artificial grass makes it a cool and affordable choice for your home. The only time you actually need to clean this product is if spills or pet messes occur. For Fido, just pick up solid waste and let liquids will drain right through. If sticky substances come into contact with the lawn, simply spray the turf surface with a hose or wipe it with a homemade vinegar and water solution. When fall rolls around and your yard gets sprinkled with foliage, just rake nature's clutter away or use a leaf blower. Custom paver patios and walkways While pavers require minimal upkeep as is, you can reduce the need for cleaning even more by sealing the surface. You can do this at any time, but the best recommendation is to seal right after installation to better protect the stones. Just as cars get a layer of dust when they sit for too long, you might notice the same thing happening to your pavers. Simply spraying the surface with a hose will get rid of any dirt and debris. If an accident occurs, perhaps a spilled glass of wine while throwing a backyard soiree, we recommend using Simple Green to prevent stains. Outdoor lighting design Whether you're aiming to boost the aesthetics of your outdoor space or just want to navigate the yard at night, outdoor lighting is a great addition. To ensure they always shine as bright as possible, wipe down the lenses of your outdoor lights on a regular basis. Today's Homeowner advised using paper towels and glass cleaner. You can even utilize foam paint brushes to clean hard-to-reach spots. Just make sure the lamp is cool before you touch it, and dry the product when done. While you’re out there helping your lights shine brighter, take a look at your landscaping. Are any overgrown bushes or plants blocking your outdoor lights? Keep areas surrounding the light sources clear as to not obstruct their shine capacity. Fire pits If you're looking for a totally maintenance-free fire pit, opt for a gas one. These burn clean and leave behind no trace of smoke or soot. Wood-burning fire pits, on the other hand, might leave behind dark film on the paver stones. If this happens - don't panic! A bit of Simple Green can have your stones looking as good as new. BBQ islands While the bbq’s exterior stone pavers should stay looking beautiful for years with minimal maintenance, you'll need to clean the grill portion of your BBQ island. A grill brush is great for scrubbing away remnants of last night's dinner from the griddle and built-up grease, but you'll need other products to really make your BBQ island shine. We recommend ZEP stainless steel cleaner and protectant to clean a stainless steel grill. Polishing the outside of the product and surrounding cabinets with ZEP not only puts the sparkle in your backyard, but it can also prevent soil and water spots from developing. Water features There is nothing as peaceful as lounging in the shade and listening to your water feature flow. Keeping your water feature clean and flowing smoothly for years to come is easy. When solid debris like leaves or twigs may fall into the fountain, simply skim them out. You should also check that nothing is clogging the pump or blocking water flow. While the constant circulation of water keeps things pretty clean, you can drop in a tablet of chlorine every now and then to prevent algae build-up. To better prevent dirt and debris from falling into the fountain in the first place, avoid installing these features under trees. Consider placing your water feature in an open spot in your garden or make it the focal point of your yard. In theory, a simple wipe down here and a spray of water or Simple Green there are all you really need to keep your hardscape design functioning and looking beautiful.