3 tips to keep your patio and walkway looking like new

July 29, 2015

Your patio and walkway were built to last, and should for many decades. That doesn't mean that nothing will go wrong or need maintenance in the meantime. Here are some ways to help keep your walkway and patio looking like new, whether it's slate, brick or flagstone.

3 tips to keep your patio and walkway looking like new

1. Avoid chipped and cracked patio slates

  • Slate and brick often chip and crack because of inadequate drainage.
  • If this is happening to your patio, lift the slates that are still good and lean them against a wall to dry.
  • Dig up the patio area to about eight centimetres (three inches) deep.
  • Fill the area with crushed stone or sand, and make sure it is level and tamped in place.
  • Then reset the slate or brick. Also consider installing a weed barrier under the stones as described in the next hint.

2. Use weed barriers under slate and flagstone

  • Weed barriers can help keep a patio or walkway looking like the day you installed it.
  • The idea is to use a water-permeable polypropylene landscape fabric under a layer of gravel or bark to keep weeds from sprouting between the slate, brick, or flagstone pieces.
  • Many such schemes fail because the gravel layer is too thin or too thick.
  • If it's too thin, the unsightly fabric is exposed when the gravel is kicked or washed aside.
  • If it's too thick, the gravel layer itself becomes a medium for growing weeds as it accumulates dirt.
  • Landscape-fabric manufacturers recommend a depth of eight to ten centimetres (three to four inches).

3. Banish weeds without herbicides

  • Keep the spaces between pavers, slate, and brick weed-free without herbicides by pouring just-boiled water on them.
  • If you don't want to handle hot water, mix 250 grams (one cup) of salt and five millilitres (one teaspoon) of dishwashing liquid into four litres (one gallon) of vinegar.
  • Pour a thin stream of this solution directly on the weeds.
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