By Alek. Patio. Published at Thursday, September 27th, 2018 - 01:40:28 AM.
Sealing Your Patio Pavers - 11 Keys to Successfully Sealing Your Patio When my neighbor first decided to install a paver-block patio behind his home, he chose paver stones for several good reasons. He thought they would last longer than other materials like wood, or poured concrete, he thought they had a really "rich" elegant look to them and most of all, he thought that they would be maintenance free. Well, he almost had it right. They do look great and theyre incredibly durable, but it wasnt long before he learned that they arent completely maintenance free. After several seasons of rain, snow and sun, the patio just didnt look as good as it first did when he had it installed. The sun was beginning to fade the color in some areas, the sand between the stones had been washed away by the rains and weeds had started growing in the gaps between the pavers. He even began to see ant colonies beginning to form using his precious paver sand as their new home. Well, the solution to his problem was fairly simple. It was time to clean the patio up and seal it for protection. And though he was somewhat reluctant at first to attempt this project on his own, once I began to walk him through the various steps, he decided it didnt sound that tough and he ought to be able to seal his patio himself. I concurred. "Just observe these simple 11 keys", I told him, "and when youre done your patio will look like it was done by the Pros!" 1. First, take your time With every project that I undertake, I cant stress this point enough. From the beginning to the end, with every step in between, take your time. When you rush a project through you make mistakes, and mistakes are what the pros are able to avoid. Sometimes its just a matter of cleaning the surface a little better, or rinsing things off a little more. Maybe its allowing a little more time between coats for your sealer to dry or waiting a few more hours before re-installing your patio furniture. With every step of the process, take your time. The chances are much better that when the work is all done and the tools have been stored, youll look at the finished result and be satisfied that it turned out just as you had hoped it would. 2. Acids can be great cleaners Often times when you inspect the patio, prior to washing youll notice stains. Leaves that have remained on the patio can leave tannin stains. Iron furniture that sits on the patio will most likely leave rust stains. Whatever stains you find need to be removed prior to sealing or they will be sealed in and become permanent, so now is the time to work on them. The simplest way to get the stains out is by using an acid cleaner. Conventional muriatic acid works well and its cheap, but I hate it. If you get it on your skin it burns and the vapors from it are just terrible. Instead, I use a "safer" cleaner, such as Defy Safer Masonry Cleaner. For severe stains, I simply pour a little cleaner at full strength on the stain and give it a few minutes to work before rinsing. If the whole patio is fairly dirty, dilute the cleaner 4:1 (four parts water to one part cleaner) and using a garden-type pump up sprayer, spray the entire surface with cleaner. Allow the cleaner to remain wet on the surface for 5 minutes or so, and then begin the rinsing process using a power washer. 3. Clean, clean and then clean some more In regard to the prep work, sealing you patio isnt much different than staining your deck or painting your house. Much of the quality of the job comes down to how well you prepare the surface. Patios that have weathered will often times have mildew, moss and algae growing on the stones and in the sand between the joints. Weeds that have begun to grow as well as any other foreign debris need to be removed, and for a patio that means a good cleaning. The easiest way to clean things off is with a power washer. Make certain that you select a washer with enough power to do the job. I try to never use anything rated less than 2400 p.s.i. Select a tip that will fan the water out slightly, 15° or so. Also, always work in sections. Patios should be constructed so that water runs away from the home. So begin working near the house or the high side of the slope of the patio. Rinse debris down the patios natural flow, away from the house. Youll loose some of the sand between the joints during the cleaning process and thats ok. Well replace the sand once the patio is cleaned up. Just be careful not to blow out more sand than is necessary while doing your cleaning. 4. Now this ones on the "level" With the patio now cleaned, look around and inspect the condition of the pavers. Over time, paver stones can settle or shift, making them unlevel. If you have some bricks that are out of place, using a screwdriver and a stiff putty knife, pry the uneven stones out. Once removed, you can add a little sand, smooth it out with the blade of your putty knife, and re-install the bricks. A couple of taps with a rubber mallet to make things perfect and voila, the bricks are level once again. 5. Its time to fill this joint The last remaining step in getting the patio ready to seal is to re-grout the joints between the stones with fresh sand. This step isnt hard, but it does take a little time so be patient. To do this, I use a fine grade of run-of-the-mill play box sand. Pour a small amount on the patio and begin sweeping it into the joints using a push-broom. Sweep in both directions; back-to-front and left-to-right to insure the joints get completely filled. As the sand gets used up by filling the joints pour a little more onto the patio and keep sweeping. 6. Break time This is the part youre going to love. Go take a break! Remember when we started I said to take your time? Well now its very important that you take your time. After all of the cleaning that we did, the ground under those pavers is soaking wet and needs to dry out. Give the patio a couple of good, hot sunny days to dry out before applying any sealer. If you dont, you could end up trapping moisture under the sealer and the whole project will turn a milky-white color...yuck! 7. Take a look at Waterborne Sealers Its time to pick out your sealer now and the choices are solvent-based products or water-based products. I hate solvents! "Why?" you ask. Heres why: 1. Theyre bad for our environment. 2. If they get on my grass or flowers, they kill them. 3. They smell terrible. 4. Everything has to be cleaned up with messy solvents. Water-base sealers are a much better choice. Besides being both easy to use and easy on the environment, they offer another amazing advantage. They "stabilize" the sand. When cured, water-based sealers such as Defys Epoxy Fortified Paver Sealer, will harden the joint sand and lock it into place. This prevents it from washing out during future rains. 8. Read the can, follow directions Every manufacturers product can be little different so always read the directions. It only takes a few minutes but it will ensure that you have all the right information before you get started. Pay attention to details such as how many coats of sealer to apply, how long to wait between coats, how to properly apply the product and how to clean it up. There are any number of variations to these questions and more. Read the label first and youll be likely to get it right the first time. 9. This sprayin stuff is easy Now the fun stuff begins...applying the sealer. To do this, I love to use a garden-type pump up sprayer but Ill warn you in advance, dont buy a cheap one! The better sprayers (they usually cost over $50 bucks) have a metal fan-style spray tip and do a much better job than the inexpensive weed sprayers. When youre looking for a sprayer, the key here is to look for a "fan-style tip". The patio edges can be cut-in using a 4" nylon brush and then youre ready to start spraying. Water-based sealers normally require two coats to be applied. Once youve cut-in the edges, spray the entire patio with the first coat. Then wait for the sealer to dry enough that it can walked on, and do the same thing all over again...two coats! If you get things on too heavy and the sealer starts to puddle, use the brush to get rid of the puddling by simply brushing it out. If you want to see what this process looks like, you can visit defyinfo.com where you can find a streaming video detailing each of the steps that weve taken. 10. MORE is definitely NOT better Ok, if a little is good then a lot must be better, right? No! Remember, were sealing concrete paver stones and these stones are sitting on a bed of sand. When the sand gets wet and then the sun comes out, these pavers need to breathe, meaning they need to let any water vapors pass through them. When too much sealer is applied, the water vapor can no longer pass through, which results in a white "blushing" effect or even potentially peeling. Dont be fooled, I know how great this stuff can look if you really lay it on, how cool that high gloss finish is. But it will blush and peel. Limit your application to two coats and you wont have a problem. 11. How about a little maintenance Ok, great job, now just one more thing. How about a little maintenance? Blow the leaves off when they fall to keep them from staining. Rinse the dirt and debris that seems to just show up over time. And as the weather begins to dull down the finish and the patio loses its luster, simply rinse it off and apply a light maintenance coat. Catch it before the patio gets too weathered and its really that simply. So thats it. Thats everything. Eleven keys to sealing your patio. Go ahead and try these eleven keys for yourself. See what the results are when you set out on your next project to do it like a pro. You might just surprise yourself!
How To Protect Your Patio Area From The Elements As a nation we are spending more and more time outdoors on our patios each year as well as spending more and more money on maintaining the appearance of our outdoor garden living area. One way to guarantee that the look of out patio is maintained in tip top condition is to use a patio cover in the winter months or whenever the outdoor area isnt being used to protect the surface from the elements. One problem that occurs on nearly every un-covered patio area is that of moss and weeds growing between the stones of the patio. Although a patio cover will not totally eradicate this problem it will reduce them amount of sunlight and moisture that can filter its way down to the horrible little weeds and restrict their growth. What ever weeds do grow will not be as strong as ones that have been exposed to full sunlight and moisture and will be easier to uproot. One of the most mind numbingly laborious jobs of any spring and summer has got to be jet washing the patio clean to get rid of the debris that have congregated on the patio area over the winter months. This job can be avoided by putting a patio cover in place in the late summer to avoid and debris of moss accumulating on the stones. The moss can especially be a nuisance as this can permanently discolor the patio which is not a good look. As well as these points, if you add a patio cover to your outdoor living area before the autumn and winter months set in you can spend the time that you would have spent cleaning enjoying the patio with your family. You should always look for a strong and robust cover that will with stand the weather and elements over the winter months as well as being easy to un-cover and fold away when the time is needed. If you are not confident at fitting a patio cover on your own it is possible to get a specialist in who will do the job correctly and ensure that the cover is in tip top working order before the job is complete. This is a more expensive option to take but at least if you are not so confident you will know that the job has been completed well and to a high standard. Patio covers can save you a lot of time and money in the long run and are well worth paying out for as soon as youve had a patio area fitted out. A patio cover will prolong the look and the life of your patio area over many years.
How to Design a Patio Area? Plants and flowers have an astounding effect in converting your patio into a more attractive and appealing retreat for a relaxed evening. A beautifully designed and comfortable patio reflects the tastes and aesthetic sense of a homeowner. Patio gardens do not require much space, and can thrive without ample maintenance needs. Patios with some natural light can easily sustain decorative flower plants as well as edible items as vegetables. There are several ways to design your patio with a thriving garden paradise. Advance planning A proper measurement of the perimeter of your patio, amount of sunlight available for the plants, moving space required, and maintenance needs play a vital role in designing a garden patio. • Decide on the purpose of the patio garden, do you plan a decorative showpiece with ornamental plants or as a kitchen garden with herbs, fruits and vegetables. • Measure the exact space available at the patio. • Visit the patio at different times of the day to find the amount of sunlight available to it. • Decide on the graph and placement of plants, considering the moving space requirement. Choice of plants You can make a subtle difference between your lawn and patio, by creating a border of plants with containers or adding raised planters around the edge of the patio. Choose plants that either spill over the patio or grow in a graduated manner along its borders. When purchasing plants, check for sunlight requirement, soil preferences and hardiness specifications. Design of the patio garden The landscaping of a patio mainly depends on the floor type, space available and design of the patio. A vertical garden can be an excellent idea for a totally cramped space. You can create beautiful borders or fences using the concept of vertical gardening. The first step to patio designing starts by creating a focal point for the garden. Wooden wagons can act as a centerpiece of your patio garden. They provide a tinge of depth and height to your patio, apart from adding a striking backdrop for your plants or for elevating plants of your preference. Wagons look best when decorated with bedding plants, tiny potted plants, large bushy plants and hanging greens. You can avail this core to create unique gardening conditions like preparing the soil for acid-loving shrubs and so on. If the patio has some steps nearby, plan a terraced garden. This will help you choose plants of varying height and colors. Use garden boxes to design a patio with railings. Garden boxes aid the growth of plants in an attractive form without much maintenance requirements. Choice of containers Container gardens are the perfect place to exhibit the designer in you. Not limited to stationary plants, you can mix and match plants, colors, flowers as well as textures and move them around till you get the perfect look. Containers placed on pedestals can also set the framework for vertical gardening. There is a plethora of container choices available in the market, and you can choose the perfect color and design to aid your landscape. Select containers with large drainage holes to allow water to seep out and prevent rotting of the roots. The size of the containers also plays an important role in the design of the patio. While larger containers require less water than smaller ones, they can restrict the moving space. Varying the type of containers used in a patio produces a countless range of possibilities for a patio. • Choose containers of different bright colors to add a dash of liveliness in the garden space. • Rustic pots planted with ornamental plants or grass can create a personal design for your home. • A topiary in a Versailles tub can also add to the beauty of the place. • Metal containers are a popular choice for plants as they are versatile. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and range from contemporary styles to rustic cottage designs. However, choose galvanized containers to prevent rusting. • Water-filled containers are the best place for aquatic plants like an arrow-head, ferns, brass lilies and water hyacinths. However, remember to take proper care of the water plants as they tend to entice insects to the patio. You can also get more creative by using cracked pots, bathtubs, rusted wheel barrows, kitchen sinks and wooden planters. You can stagger the pots to add depth to your patio. You can vary the size, shape and color of plants to enhance the beauty of the place.
Affordable Steel Patio Sets Steel patio sets are an affordable addition to any homes backyard. As you look for furniture that will perfectly accent your deck or porch, there are many options to choose from. There will be many aspects you consider when choosing your patio furniture and one of the most important will be cost. Patio Sets for Your Yard You may have different parts of your yard that you are looking to fill with patio furniture sets. One popular area to set up patio sets is near your garden. You undoubtedly spend a lot of time making your garden a tranquil and beautiful spot, and so what better area to place your steel patio sets. Although you have other options like garden teak furniture or aluminum outdoor furniture, steel patio sets may be your best bet. Steel patio sets are often lightweight in comparison to other types of sets. This can be key when setting up in areas that may experience change. For instance, if different portions of your garden bloom at different times of the summer, lightweight steel patio sets will be ideal so that you can change the direction you are facing and experience the joy of your garden year round. Another area of your backyard that can be enhanced with steel patio sets includes your swimming pool area. Outdoor pool furniture is a must - your swimmers will need areas to sit both before and after enjoying their time in the pool. Pool patio furniture should be both sturdy and easy to move, which makes steel patio sets the ideal choice. Classic Patio Sets Whether you prefer modern patio furniture or vintage patio furniture, you can find many terrific options among steel patio sets. Always consider all of your options before making a purchase. You will want to choose patio furniture that last more than just a season, but in fact many years in a row. Keep in mind any long term goal for your yard before purchasing steel patio sets so you can match your look nicely to your goals. One stylish and popular type of steel patio sets is winston patio furniture. A highly regarded brand, this type of outdoor furniture patio sets will enhance any style you are seeking to use within your yard. Steel patio sets are an affordable alternative to other options including adirondack furniture that may be both costly, less sturdy, and much harder to move around. Another classically beautiful set of patio furniture could be purchased from Woodard patio furniture. Coming in many different styles and made of a variety of components, this type of patio furniture will make any homes backyard look beautiful. Steel patio sets are not necessarily made entirely of steel but have a large amount of steel components. Accessories for Patio Furniture Steel patio sets can be enhanced by many types of furniture accessories. These accessories will help to make your furniture more comfortable, more beautiful, and last longer all the way around. Best yet, accessories can be changed out fairly often at affordable costs, allowing you to change the look of your backyard furniture as many times as you desire. One important accessory for steel patio sets are patio furniture covers. Bad weather is inevitable, but with covers to protect your outdoor furniture, you will be able to preserve it year after year without any rust or degradation of the furniture at all. This is very key to making your patio furniture last a life time. If your steel patio sets will be in areas with a lot of direct sunlight, patio umbrellas are a must as an add-on. Why sit uncomfortably squinting into the sun when you can avoid both the light and the heat through the protection of a well placed umbrella? This accessory will also help to ensure that your steel patio sets and other accessories are not bleached by the sunlight. One final accessory that you will need for your steel patio sets are patio chair cushions. Sitting directly on steel or wood surfaces can be quite uncomfortable - but with cushions, youll be able to enjoy your furniture for hours on end as comfortably as if you were inside on your couch.
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