Preventive maintenance and repair

Most of this work is directly related to activities as described in the sections Infrastructure design and component selection and Build and construction of the integral design in the Specifics on the realization of Tsubo-en chapter (and left menu option) and will often involve a partial re-do of the initial building work.

Preventive maintenance and repair activities require about every tool we have and sometimes tools that we do not have.

Here a small sub-set, probably the tools that are most associated with this work. Hence this selection.
One of the larger cut-granite slabs in the waterside terrace got wobbly.
We expected that it needed some additional sand to get it level again.
To our surprise this was not the case. It was a thick root, probably from the waterside Cotoneaster "dammeri" (see Groundcovers) that pushed it up. We had to take it out and full the hole with sand to get it level again.

The root lies in the position from where we took it out from under the stone.
One of the sprinklers of the irrigation or sprinkler-system was coming out of the groundcovers even in its rest position.

As it will not be easy to lower it, we decided to raise the groundcover. We did this by adding soil in stages, on top of the existing groundcover, and thus force it to grow on a higher plane.
To protect the fresh, young ground cover runners and leafs from being ripped apart by (black)birds, for a couple of weeks we protected it with a piece of insect screen. The type that we also in our window screens.
This photo shows some other components of the Watering supply and irrigation or sprinkler-system.

The components shown are an underground water tap (bottom) and a water switch (top).
The water switch was more or less okay.
The water tap however, was overtaken by ants.
This is how the underground water tap, also known as "water sockets" or "below-ground connection-points", should look.

After finishing this repair action we use an insecticide to prevent this of happening for at least the next months (see Pest & weeds control).

Maintenance of the Ginshanada drainage system

In section Maintenance of the Ginshanada drainage system of the Garden maintenance chapter you can see what happens after a heavy rain-shower.

This section shows some of the maintenance involved to keep the drainage system functioning.

2115 2116 2117 2118 2119
2120 2121 In addition to the gravel area drainage we have a number of drainage pipes laying in the Tsukiyama, in particular for draining the main O-karikomi area. These are not as such under the gravel area but laid in the tsukiyama soil.

Brushing the veranda and duckboards hardwood decking

Good maintenance of the hardwood decking used for the veranda and duckboards is not only a matter of easthetic, it is even more so a safety concern.

We have not treated our wood with any oil to keep its natural colour because we wanted the coloration that it shows when exposed to the elements. This gives it a silver-greyish colour that you now see on our photo's.

Every few months or so we do a basic cleaning of the deck by using a stiff broom.
Over time the surface can still get slippery, especially after the winter period, due to mosses and algae and dirt and debris. To remove this from time to time it needs a thorough brush.
Mostly once every year we use the vinegar trick, a relatively easy but very effective way to get rid of the algae on a regular basis.

Although there are all types of electrical tools and chemicals we do not use any of these. If you like you can give it a jet wash using a pressure washer's wash brush or the like. However when I see my neighbours do that, I also see that it takes them extra hours to clean the house walls and windows afterwards.
Instead I just take a rough hand-brush, general purpose cleaning liquid or soda crystals and a lot of water and even more time and energy, to manually brush the planks, one by one.
I spray water with a hose, scrub by wetting the brush from a bucket with warm water that has the cleansing agent in it, and spray cold water with the garden hose again and then brush away the water with a stiff broom for a final rinse. This gets rid of the green and does not spoil the (new) natural patine colour.

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