- No matter what the size of the property, a pristine and healthy landscape best compliments buildings, driveways, walkways, and roadways that are in good condition. Because of the constant onslaught of the elements, structural components of a property periodically require cleaning, painting, paving, and other maintenance in order to meet aesthetic considerations. Varying weather conditions cause paint to fade and mold to form. tree roots cause sidewalks and driveways to crack. And muck enhances nuisance smudging on concrete caused by tires, shoes, hoses, or any other dirt vector
- Because it minimally affects aesthetics and causes no structural damage, ordinary muck is the least harmful of the elements here in south florida. It is a form of decomposed plant life that is pervasive in south florida soils. Not ancient enough to be coal, muck is sufficiently aged (about 5,000 years old) to be the same black color as coal. Its decomposition is so extreme that muck particulate is 250 times smaller than fine sand and 1000 times smaller than coarse sand, as measured by the United States Department of Agriculture soil textural classification system.
Easily small enough to be picked up by the relatively porous surface of a car tire, rubber wheel, or sole of a shoe, muck particles are readily deposited onto and into any concrete surface. This results in smudging which would not otherwise be a nuisance. While discoloration can occur even during dry conditions, it is especially conspicuous under wet conditions when muck's ligher weight and smaller particle size cause much more of it to surface and stick to passing shoes or the lightest wheeled equipment. Any ensuing smudging of sidewalks or driveways is immediate and temporarily unsightly. Nonetheless, the marking can be diminished by rinsing or it will gradually fade on its own. It does not cause permanent damage to the pavement.
- Unfortunately the only way to completely prevent muck marks is to altogether avoid driving, rolling, or walking on clean concrete. The simple act of pulling into the driveway is going to produce some tire marks. By the same token, personnel performing work on lawns and unpaved areas have to cross the concrete in order to complete their work. While muck smudging can be reduced some by “going around” pavement, the effort is hardly practical as the time required over the course of a working day would add considerably to the cost of service. Since practicality is a function of budget, it compels the economical course of action with regard to muck smudging: Let it fade on its own.
© Thomas J. O'Hara, President
O'Hara Landscape & Maintenance, Inc.