Published at Sunday, August 28th, 2016 - 09:35:53 AM. Patio. By Alek.
Tips For Keeping Your Patio Area Clean And New Looking This Summer It looks like summer may have finally arrived for many of us now the temperatures are beginning to rise and the days are getting longer and the nights shorter, barring any global warming anomalies we hopefully will be in for a lovely bright sunny few summer months this year. After being cooped up in the house for what seems like an eternity over the winter months it is like breaking free to finally be able to go out and enjoy some sun on your skin and warmth on your bones. This is the time of year where we start working outside in our gardens, doing the maintaining of the garden, hedges and the patio area in readiness for the forth coming summer. A nicely kept large patio area is becoming one of the most wanted things that people look for when looking to buy a new property as more and more people are spending larger amounts of time outside in the garden, entertaining and socialising so it is vitally important to ensure that your patio or decking area is always kept well maintained. So what should you do to ensure that your patio is kept looking at its best? The winter months can take their toll on even the nicest and most well looked after patio area so making sure that you get to work on tidying it up as soon as the winter months have passed is very important, the longer you leave the job the harder it will be to get back to its original state and a well maintained, fresh looking patio area can complement the whole garden area and make it look fantastic. Depending on what type of patio area you have is going to depend how you have to look after it, the two main variations are wooden decking and any type of stone patio flooring. Both forms of patio are as popular as each other but either one can look better in certain gardens. If you have a raised patio area a wooden decked patio area with guard rails looks better than a stone floored patio area and likewise a level garden area looks better with a stone floored patio. Both wooden and stone patios have different maintenance needs but both need a similar amount of work to keep them in tip top condition. Wooden decking has a habit of getting very slippery if not maintained properly due to the build up of algae and moss, to eradicate this problem you need to make sure that you have a high pressure power washer with a suitable chemical additive to remove the build up and make the decking area less of a hazard. Because the decking is made of wood it will need an application of preservative every year to ensure that the wood is properly nourished, this can be a very laborious if you have a large area to cover but the rewards are appreciable when the task is completed. Even if you have a pressure treated decking area that has been impregnated with wood preservative it is always advisable to add an extra coat to keep it looking wonderful. As wooden decking is raised off the ground it is very rare to have problems with weeds coming through. Stone patio areas are available in many different types of stone, such as slate, Indian stone, York stone and concrete flags, all of which need similar maintenance. The first problem that most people encounter with their stone patio area is a build of moss and weeds between the flags, this is generally caused by the pointing of sand and cement that joints the flags together has developed cracks to enable weeds and moss to get a foot hold. There are three ways to clear this problem, firstly you can manually get down on your hands and knees and clean all of the joints and then re-apply the sand and cement, secondly you can apply a weed and moss killer and the re-apply the sand and cement when the weed killer has eradicated the moss and weeds of finally you can clear the patio area using a high pressure jet washer, this is the easiest method but can lead to removing more of the sand and cement from the joints. It is recommended to wash down your stone patio area at least once a month to ensure that not weeds, grass or moss can get roots set in and start to create a problem for you. It may be advisable to apply a coating to your patio flooring to protect the flags from the elements and keep it looking fresh; this usually needs to be applied once a year although there are products on the market which claim to do the job for up to 5 years. So there you have it, a few handy tips on keeping your patio flooring and patio area nice and clean that will hopefully help you to enjoy your patio area as much as is possible this summer.
Building Your Patio - How to Select the Types of Patio Materials? Nowadays, there are ample patio materials to choose from for your patio surface. Some of the more popular are available at landscaping centers or home improvement depot. They can be used for the simple and complex projects alike and are not confined just to the patio. These new types of patio materials can also be used for driveways, walkways and retaining walls along with permanent fixtures such as, plants, flowerpots and patio furniture. The materials you choose should always blend with the surroundings and other materials used in the garden or landscape, while providing the right surface for the intended use of the patio. Consider the long term practically and maintenance of patio materials carefully.... Most people only think about materials in terms of the cost but that should not be your only consideration. You dont always require the cheapest patio material. On the contrary, you also need to think about what patio materials are going to last for a long time and what kind of maintenance each type of material needs. When you are figuring out your budget for the patio, you must take into account the maintenance costs of each different type of patio material. You may find that you are better off choosing a more expensive but durable patio materials up front rather than choosing a cheaper one that has a higher average maintenance cost. Also, make sure that you include into your budget for any additional walkways or paths that need to be built. When you are choosing the material to use as a foundation for the patio, think about the long-term practicality of the material before you make a final decision. Here are some common patio materials you can choose from. 1. Real Stone Stone has the most natural outlook, most durable but also the most expensive type of patio materials. It require good skills to install because each stone greatly varies in shape and size. Additionally, mortar compound is used to adjoin these stones and settle as they dry. It is designed to wear well in high-traffic, need little maintenance and could last for decades. 2. Stone Veneer Stone veneer generally contains most of the benefits and advantages of real stone and it is comparatively a lighter type of patio materials and less expensive. Stone veneer can easily be cut with most common types of saws. Generally, most people will lay out their veneer pieces ahead of time so they can cut pieces to fit in odd spots in advance. It is also as durable as most other patio materials. It requires very minimal maintenance. In addition, stone veneers are much easier to find in the market. 3. Plain Concrete Plain concrete sometimes also known as cement is probably the easiest material in terms of upkeep and maintenance. Plain concrete is the most affordable material available. You can begin with plain concrete for your patio and when you are ready for a change, you can basically lay new patio materials over the existing the concrete flooring. Hence, you can treat it merely as a foundation layer for other patio materials discussed within this page. Furthermore, plain concrete can be a strong foundation and certainly prevent surface cracking. 4. Stamped or Colored Concrete This material is gaining popularity and very practical. It often can be molded or stamped to look just like other types of patio material such as brick, cut stone, irregular stone, cobblestone, etc. It comes in various textures and colors and is cheap. Stamped or colored concrete is a very practical solution when working on a budget. Although you will most likely pay more for colored or stamped concrete compared to plain concrete, the amazing transformation will be well worth the investment. A good and creative contractor can render endless array of decorative effects, from rustic earth-toned sidewalks and patios that harmonize with the surrounding landscape or garden to vibrant multicolored concrete floors that double as works of art. 5. Brick Brick is one of the most popular choice for patios because it is easy to install, looks great and is preferred by most DIY enthusiasts. This type of patio material offer a very traditional look in terms of warm, earthy colors and last a long time. Bricks can be installed on sand base or concrete pavements regardless of whether you use mortar or not and extremely durable in cold climates. It can have a variety of patterns as well because of its uniform shape and size, thus add a lot of personality and individually to your patio. The color of brick looks extremely nice and attractive on a patio especially if it is surrounded by a garden. 6. Tiles Tile is an extremely versatile patio material that any patio utilize it will be one of a kind. Please ensure that the tile is designed for outdoor use. Furthermore, unglazed tile is less slippery than glazed tile when wet. It comes in many different shapes, colors, textures. The endless varieties you can choose from is one of the many reasons why it is a good choice for patios. There are various types such as, • Machine-made quarry tiles • Fired terra-cotta tiles • Molded paver tiles • Synthetic-stone tiles They can be used virtually on any type of surface. Tiles are very comfortable to walk on and relatively smooth which makes it safe to use. Hence, there will be little fear of people tripping on any part of it. In addition, patio furniture will sit squarely on the tiles surface, that may not happen if you use another type of patio materials. Its your choice after all All the above mentioned are excellent patio materials to be use for your patio. In addition, you can even use a combination of different types of patio materials to make your patio comfortable. Also, you have to consider the drainage properties of each material. For instance, individual stones, bricks, or pavers will let water through more than a whole slab of concrete. In addition, you may also want to choose the material colors that you can match with your favorite patio furniture and combining different materials is also possible as long as they are properly matched. In any case, it is best to seek professional assistance and advise when using any of the patio material discussed above. Choosing the right patio material will be an added investment to your patio... Bear in mind that your patio is an investment so an up-front higher cost can actually be a better expense in the long term. No matter what patio materials you choose, make sure its easy to clean and maintain so that it will stand up well to the climate that you live in.
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