Blockade Hardscaping and Landscaping

What are Hardscapes

Hardscapes refer to the non-living hard landscape material that are used within a landscape.

They include:

Effects
A Deck that is heaving or concrete patio that has sloped back to the house.

This is a concern and something we deal with on a regular basis. Many clients have gone the mud jack route years before and it solved the slope problem of deck and made it look better but did not resolve the water leaking into the basement.

Understanding how hardscapes affect the home if they fail is paramount. Solutions range from removal and correcting failing backfill to de-watering areas with deep trench drain and or swales.

In our climate french drains are only affective in the summer months due to frost. Most Canadian provinces are North of the 49th parallel and they will experience freeze thaw cycles.

Melt water can not flow in a froze french drain. The drain needs to be at minimum below frost level, and in our area "Edmonton" that is typically 4 feet below grade. This is providing it is not a high traffic area where the frost can be driven as deep a 8-12 feet.

Causes
The causes for hardscapes to fail are similar to failed foundations.
    Wrong soil type used for backfill or poor base materials.
    Overdigging the depth and then not compacting correctly.
    Large tree canopies and root systems to close and lifting the structures.
    Chloride contamination of the concrete.
    Pourly maintained grade and gutter downspouts.
    Incorrect building practices when installing retaining walls, including not installing the proper drain material behind the structures.


There are as many causes for hardscapes to fail, Let's design and build the new one better.

This photo below is a good example of replaced retaining walls, and correcting the depth of the deck piles to provide the new deck with ample support and resupport the existing deck.

This particular deck was lifting during the winter months and lowering agian as the frost left the ground. For the client, at first did not seem to be a problem until the realization that the deck was tearing at the structure of the house did it become a huge concern.

By doing some design changes to the deck so deeper piles could be installed and adding a mid-level deck to make the trip to the ground less dangerous and more family friendly.

As well de-watering the area with trench drains and installing topsoil onto a better graded yard before seeding was done.