By Alek. Patio. Published at Saturday, October 06th, 2018 - 02:50:28 AM.
Outdoor Patio - How You Can Enjoy It More An outdoor patio is the ideal spot for relaxing and rewinding after a hectic day. Even though landscaped lawns and gardens do provide relief, it might not be possible to spend your time there during daytime in weekends. The ideal answer for all these problems is the outdoor patio. Patio offers several advantages like exposure to Mother Nature, pure wind and air. Hence, patio canopies had been gaining in popularity of late. Made-to-order canopies are available in all cities and towns, though the delivery time could vary between three and four weeks from date of ordering. Outdoor patio could be arranged either as front area home patio or as backyard patio, depending on the free area available around the built-up area of the house. Outdoor patio would protect you from the rays of sun, rain, snow, and other natural hazardous elements. Modern outdoor patio canopies are equipped with roof tensioning, water proof materials and the other required supports to prevent water buildup on the canopy. Further, most of the modern patio canopy materials are fireproof, UV and waterproof to give you maximum protection and safety. Outdoor patios need not be limited to separate areas. Swimming pools, large outdoor areas in the front, sides, or backyard areas could be fitted patio canopies to protect them from the natural elements for using them as relaxation areas. Many companies offer steel-structured patio canopies with lot of flexibility and retracting ability. You would be able to extend the patio canopies or retract them when you do not need them, like when you wish to take a sun bath and tan yourself to a beautiful golden hue. On the other hand, you might be the type that is allergic to the rays of the sun and your patio canopy might not be able to prevent sunlight from entering into the patio area in the mornings and evenings. If you have such a problem, you would do well to install patio window shades or blinds all around the patio. This would help you to control the light effect in your patio to the maximum without any adverse effect. The patio window blinds come in many colors and you could create a patio that is completely unique. You could even change the color blinds from time to time, since they are not too costly. When people visit your home after some time, they would be really surprised and impressed by your outdoor patio design change. Another advantage with these patio window blinds is that you could lower them and raise them, since they have a clutch system for easy operation. When you use your imagination to use your outdoor area as home patio or backyard patio, the options are plenty. You would be surprised how much you would be able to achieve without spending too much on your patio. An outdoor patio canopy of 10x10 size with powder coated steel frame would cost around $300, which is not much, when you consider the time that you could spend outside your home in clean air. Install your outdoor patio and enjoy your free time in a leisurely fashion.
Adirondack Patio Furniture and Other Materials: Deciding on Patio Sets for Your Home Do not expect to find the ideal patio set without a little forethought. This article will introduce the materials patio sets are commonly constructed of. Some shops specialize in Adirondack patio sets and other Adirondack patio furniture, while others only offer wrought iron sets. Choosing the material is one of the most important parts of finding the right patio set. Additionally, youll find a few questions designed to help you zoom in on the right type of patio set for your yard. Introduction to the Three Main Patio Furniture Materials While a few durable plastic products such as polywood have appeared lately, most long-lasting patio sets are built of wicker, wood, or metal. Advantages and Disadvantages of Wicker Patio Furniture Many consumers prefer the "softer" feel of wicker, which also stays fairly cool in the sun. The fact that wicker (or, more commonly these days, a resin composite designed to look like wicker) is light weight is also appealing - you dont have to throw your back out when moving the patio collection into storage. However, this material has its downsides too: its likely to suffer mold and mildew growth. A pressure washer on a low pressure setting is usually enough to blast away such growth. Advantages and Disadvantages of Wood Patio Furniture Wood is easy to stain and paint, and cool in the sun. However, soft woods quickly rot in wet conditions, and even harder, rot-resistant timbers such as cedar and cypress will decompose over time without proper maintenance. Maintaining patio furniture made of wood (including most Adirondack patio furniture) involves sanding down, staining, and sealing exposed wood every year or so. Advantages and Disadvantages of Metal Patio Furniture Todays metal patio furniture is typically made of aluminum, although heavier wrought iron sets are still available. Wrought iron is long lasting and heavy - it wont blow over in high winds like aluminum or wicker. Aluminum is durable, easy to clean, and less expensive than wrought iron. Metal heats up quickly under sunlight, so its not the best choice around pools. Finally, metal is easy to paint. The only maintenance required is occasional rust removal. Now that weve covered the main materials used in patio collections, lets pose a few questions to help you choose the best metal, wicker, or wood Adirondack patio furniture for your family. 1. Which patio set will best compliment my homes exterior and landscape? No need to think about how your favorite Adirondack patio collection will compliment areas that cant be seen from the outdoor living space. For instance, if your patio is in the back yard, it doesnt matter whether your Adirondack patio collection matches the front of your home. 2. How do I anticipate using my patio furniture? Your outdoor living habits should be considered when selecting a patio collection. For instance, if you see yourself using your patio set nearly every day, Adirondack patio furniture might be a good choice, since it can be left outside all year round in many climates. Or, if you have kids, youll want children-friendly patio collection thats safe, stable, easy to clean, and strong. 3. What kind of money do I want to spend on a patio set? From $4,000 teak patio sets to $100 aluminum bistro groupings, patio sets are available in a wide price range.
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 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.
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