By Alek. Patio. Published at Thursday, September 27th, 2018 - 12:29:28 PM.
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!
Patio Bar Stools Provide the Outdoor Seating and Backyard Design Finishing Touch Space is quite an issue in almost every household nowadays. And if there is a problem, the homeowner always finds a solution. Not enough work space in the garage? Well, just buy a new work bench with lots of shelves and provisions to accommodate tools. Insufficient storage area for mower and other garden tools? Well, you can buy an affordable outdoor vinyl shed. Crowded patio during parties? Well, would you extend your patio just to provide more space? The answer to that is a big NO. Having a crowded patio during patio parties is really a headache, and especially when it suddenly rains and all your guests who are frolicking in the garden would need to seek shelter in the patio itself. For some people, the logical solution to this issue is to simply extend the patio. That would be the perfect solution if you are a millionaire with ample amount of money at your disposal. However, it is not the most pragmatic solution. Why extend your patio and spend unnecessary money when you can have more space in your patio if you have the right patio bar stools. Benefits of Patio Bar Stools: Regular chairs consume a lot of space because of their bulky construction. Patio bar stools, on the other hand, have a narrow built. Thus, they can allow you to have more space in your patio bar. And that is not the only advantage of having stools for your bar. If you have the right patio bar stools, you can heighten the aesthetics of your outdoor bar. It would certainly be awkward if you have regular chairs or stools in your bar. Having matching patio stools would give your bar a more elegant look. Another benefit with having patio bar stools is that your guests would feel more comfortable while they are having their favorite drinks in the bar. Stools for the bar are not just built to provide more space and beauty to the bar design, but they are also made to give maximum comfort and convenience to guests who are fond of drinking. Patio stools are built with foot rests so that drinkers can casually seat on them. Also, some patio bar stools are equipped with arm rests that can hold a glass of beer or wine. Other patio bar stools come with swiveling mechanisms that allow the stools to be turned from side to side with ease. Materials and Types of Patio Bar Stools: The cardinal rule on choosing an outdoor bar stool is that it should match your patios design. Wooden stools are perfect for traditional wooden patios. But if you have a casual-looking patio, you might as well get casual stainless steel bar stools. Stainless stools are definitely a great choice for your home bar. For one thing, you can be sure that it will last for a long time. The problem with these stools, though, is that they are hard to move around because of their heavy construction. If you still want to have the casual look that a metal stool would offer, then you can settle for stools made of aluminum. Known for being ultra-light, you will have no problems moving them around. And because it is non-corrosive, aluminum patio stools would last for a long time as well. Ultra-modern chrome and vinyl padded patio bar stools and exotic rattan and bamboo stools are also available for homeowners with modern-looking and exotically designed patios.
Patio Perfection - Patio Furniture Decorating your home does not stop at your back door. Perfect for outdoor entertaining and for spending some quiet family time, patios are extensions of your home that are open to the outside. Patios can be cozy, inviting and ready for family fun with the simplest of decorating ideas. When you want to decorate your patio, you will want to choose patio furniture that fits your style, your purpose and your budget. Patio furniture comes in a wide range of materials, designs, patterns, and pieces. If you have an enclosed patio, it will be perfectly safe to purchase patio furniture that isnt made of water proof material. In that case, you can rest assured that regular household furnishings can become the perfect patio furniture. If your patio is open to the elements, you will want patio furniture that is waterproof. Your patio furniture can be made of plastic, wrought iron, aluminum, wicker or wood. Plastic patio furniture can be a bit flimsy, but it is light and easy to move. The heavier materials add durability and expense. Your patio, as an extension to your home, can have the same design carried from the home or it can be a stand alone design hideaway. If you would like your patio to have an exotic feel why not choose patio furniture made of wicker? You can lounge on a chaise or daybed lined with cushions woven with bright floral prints. If you prefer that your patio have a more contemporary feel, you can laze away your days on comfortable cushioned chairs made of aluminum and set your iced tea down on your deliciously carved wooden side table. Patio furniture isnt just chairs and tables. You can spend a lavish amount of time deciding on whether you want tables, chairs, ottomans, settees, daybeds, side tables, side boards, rockers or loungers. With all the pieces of patio furniture to choose from you will have a blast decorating to your style. When deciding on the type of fabric you would like to envelope your patio furniture with, you will want to keep in mind the amount of wear, from use and outdoor exposure, your furniture will endure. Your outdoor patio furniture should be sheathed with fade resistant all weather fabric. Dont let the creative juices stop there. There are hundreds of patio furnishing styles and designs. Your imagination can run wild. Not only can you decorate your patio with furniture, but you can add plants, wall hangings (for enclosed patios), and any number of creative pieces. If you really want to create a home away from home feel in an enclosed patio, decorating with an area rug would be your best bet. Area rugs can be woven or braided and can help keep your feet warm if your patio floor is made of concrete. Not only are they useful, they are beautiful as well. No matter what your theme your patio, there is an area rug waiting to become a permanent part of your outdoor haven. Your home away from home doesnt have to be that far away. Your patio should be your home right outside your home. Your patio décor is yours to explore as you watch the sunset from your patio oasis.
Why Would I Choose GRP Patio Canopies For My Outdoor Space? Patio canopies are one of the cheapest, easiest and quickest ways of extending the usefulness of your homes outdoor space, and adding value to your home. Not only that, but patio canopies also let you stick two hot digs up at the weather, as you enjoy a family barbecue, al fresco lunch or evening nibbles with friends regardless of what the weather decides to do. If this wasnt enough, consider the benefits of having an outdoor space you can rely on for getting the children outside to play, away from their rooms and the computer, yet somewhere safe where you can keep an eye on them. Watching your children happily playing outside through sound proof double glazed patio doors is definitely a great way to enjoy them after hours of having them hurtling round the house like jet planes in a hurry. Patio canopies let you use your outdoor space in a way that is much more flexible, much more relaxing, and much more predictable. If theres one thing that can be said for the British weather its that it is interesting. Unpredictable is another word, and highly frustrating are a further two. The weather forecasts in this country may be something of a national joke, and you may well find yourself shivering inside with the heating on in summer or going for a warm sunny walk in winter, or even going shopping in shorts and t-shirt in the morning to get the things you need for a barbecue, only to spend the afternoon wrapped up indoors looking at the rain put a damper on your plans. Patio canopies and patio roofs give you the chance to do what you want, when you want, enjoying your outdoor space when it suits you, rather than when the weather graciously permits you to step outside for two minutes as though on parole. Patio canopies help to protect your patio doors, and depending on the size of your patio and the patio roof you choose, you could be looking at a substantial outdoor area that is now safely protected. Of course, its easy to think of being protected outside from the elements as being solely about keeping dry from the rain. However, increasingly were aware of the bright sun and the damage it can do to your skin and eyes if you sit outside for too long, exposed. Patio canopies and patio roofs offer a degree of shade, helping to reduce the risk, and at the same time increasing the comfort of sitting outside for longer. Whether you enjoy entertaining friends or family outside for al fresco evening meals or drinks, or simply enjoy the chance to sit outside and have a little lunch, or a drink and read the paper, patio canopies and patio roofs allow you to plan what you want to do when you want to do it. If youre considering having a patio canopy or patio roof fitted you may be wondering what the best option is as far as material is concerned. Do you go for a fabric canopy, a wooden beamed construction or a GRP, or Glass Reinforced Polyester patio canopy? Each of these three types of patio roofs offers benefits, but in terms of cost, convenience, maintenance and durability, each varies quite considerably. Firstly, cost: GRP patio canopies are certainly the cheapest, with fabric canopies close in comparison. Timber based constructions will always be much more expensive because of the nature of the materials as well as the labour required to build it. From the point of view of convenience, timber based patio canopies will take a long time to construct, will require building work to your property and in some cases even planning permission. Fabric patio roofs and GRP patio canopies will both be very quick to install, or self supporting and require minimal labour. Maintenance is often overlooked, but its important to remember that youll be responsible for maintaining your patio canopy. Fabric canopies will tend to fade, wear and even rot if not looked after carefully, and replacements or repairs may be necessary ever few years. Timber is strong, but because of the widely varying temperatures in this country, as well as a distinct dampness, external timber can easily start to warp, split or crack, and regular varnishing and repairs will be needed. GRP patio canopies need an occasional wash - just point the hose pipe at them and theyll come up looking as good as new. GRP doesnt warp, twist, crack or fade, and so is largely maintenance free. Finally, as far as durability is concerned, GRP patio canopies are good for many years longer than either fabric canopies or timber based patio roofs, needing very little maintenance, and providing a trouble free outdoor experience. Why not find out more about the range of patio canopies available by clicking the link below and visiting a site that specialises in custom made patio canopies and patio roofs for UK properties?
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