By Alek. Patio. Published at Thursday, September 27th, 2018 - 07:55:28 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 You Can Discover the Best Conversation Patio Sets For Your Patio You really should not be surprised to know that most fashionable conversation patio sets include a comprehensive number of items such as patio furniture, garden objects, seats, tables, and lounge chairs. This kind of classification of furniture is indeed so versatile that various units may even seem acceptable to use during evening dinner parties and social gatherings. Your 1st step for making a decision on just the right conversation patio sets for your home, garden, or patio should be to choose the particular type. By that, I mean that you will want to choose a set which fits your own style. That may well end up being a finely polished, ultra-modern set, or simply an attractive and intimate bistro arrangement. Depending on a style that you might fancy or find desirable, you will want to take into consideration the materials that conversation patio sets are usually made of. Patio furniture material types consist of wickerwork, cast light weight aluminum, extruded light weight aluminum, together with wrought iron, resin, and various types of wood. Of the wicker variations, cane as well as rattan conversation patio sets happen to be the most well-liked. The combination of the over-all pattern of your patio set, along with the actual elements of construction is most important. For illustration, you may be leaning toward the traditional, old fashioned, basic type of conversation patio sets. So, the patio sets made out of an odd color of plastic would probably not be your first choice. On the other hand, that very same plastic set may be just the right set for a casual, less formal application. Wrought iron terrace outdoor furniture is definitely evolving into the preferred and highly sought after design for patio and terrace furnishings in the market place. The versatility and durability is well-known. For example, you may be searching for interesting conversation patio sets which can be used by you for a number of years and then given to your kids for their use. Wrought iron patio conversation sets may possibly be just the option for that. These type outdoor patio sets are low maintenance during the season. Wrought iron sets do not require the user to pull off cushions and move everything indoors time and again, or necessitate a move indoors for the entire off-season. Additionally, wrought iron terrace and patio furniture is flexible as to color. Just about any color imaginable can be used, although the traditional colors are black, white, and dark green. Cedar, red wood as well as teak outdoor patio furniture will most certainly be very good for your out-of-doors use. A lot of people have found that teak wood conversation patio sets are actually a worthwhile investment that is worth making. Since it is warp-resistant and long lasting, teak wood can still look and feel impressive even after a number of years of use. A periodic cleaning and resealing should be all that is needed to take care of teak for many seasons of pleasure. However, sometimes the price point is an issue. Even though teak may be less expensive over the long-term because of durability and long life, for some people the immediate costs are the highest priority. In those situations, the selling price of cedar patio conversation sets make that group a prime candidate. Cedar, or red wood sets can be perfect for those people who love the wooden look associated with teak, but do not love the price tag. Gain most of the advantages of teak, but avoid some of the costs, by opting for one of the less expensive woods. Typically the level of quality of wickerwork is an important factor as to the actual toughness of this type of outdoor patio set. Shelling out a little extra cash upfront can easily result in added seasons of use, making a high quality wicker patio set a more economical choice. Keep in mind that wicker really does have to be repainted and touched up regularly, since it expands and contracts along with heat, humidity, and environment. Therefore the finish or paint may flake off with ease. If the patio set is not made of real wicker but some synthetic material, then the same does not apply. That being said, the attraction of wicker are its natural characteristics and relative durability if it is properly maintained. Yet another factor to think about while choosing outdoor furniture is the amount of maintenance required during the current season, as well as through the years. Nothing can be more challenging than to be looking forward to the spring and summertime and then realize that you need to refinish the outdoor furniture. Who could enjoy the hours put in having to get the terrace furniture in shape and presentable. Even though all conversation patio sets will need a certain amount of maintenance, various types will be able to be maintained simply just a bit of little bit of work. For example, resin patio furniture is particularly durable and lasts for some time without any kind of substantial need of attention. Cedar, red wood and teak patio furniture are generally low maintenance. Wrought iron may require some refinishing and painting after only a couple of seasons. The metal requires sealing to prevent corrosion, and the paint could lose its luster out there in the year round weather. Because of the complex designs in these types of patio sets, the refinishing and painting can be quite a task. If that concerns you, keep in mind that there are some dense resin or synthetic products designed to look similar to wrought iron readily available in the marketplace. The best conversation patio sets for an individual and their home can best be determined by personally balancing the variables of style, cost, how it is going to be used, toughness, and required periodic maintenance. Once you have considered all the particular merits, as well as the downside of each of the conversation patio sets, the right choice for you should be obvious. CL enjoys his time outdoors in the Mid-Atlantic part of the US. Over the years, he has lu
Paver Patio Design - 3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing a Paver Patio In the past a patio was just a patio; a concrete slab at the rear entrance of your home with just enough space to put a patio table and maybe a small BBQ grill. The terms "Outdoor Living Space" or "Outdoor Rooms" werent even heard of and the only people that had these types of outdoor spaces were the rich and famous. Today, with the demand for homeowners wanting to spend more time outdoors these terms have become more a part of daily life. This demand has not only forced landscape contractors to be more creative with their designs, but has created an industry within itself. All of your big box stores are catering to this industry with patio furniture, stainless steel grills, pre-built grill stations, portable fire pits and it is not unusual to see contractors who specialize or only design and install patios. Due to the increasing popularity of brick paving stone or "pavers", homeowners are no longer satisfied with the standard rectangle concrete slab. Pavers allow patio designers to be much more creative in implementing you patio ideas. They can utilize radial and circular designs, different patterns, borders and colors. Also, the introduction of patio block has changed the way patios are designed and used. Each manufacturer has a different name for them, but in a "nut shell" they are stackable blocks that can be used to create seating walls, columns, grill stations, outdoor bars and kitchens. If you can imagine it, you can build it with these blocks. If youre looking for a nice patio; one that you can not only show off, but also one you can use; there are several guidelines to follow to improve your chances of success. There are three questions that you should ask yourself. If you answer these questions honestly you will be able to create a patio design that is not only functional, but also beautiful. "What is my budget?" Some homeowners feel that this is a loaded question, but it is one that a good contractor will ask and one that needs to be addressed. It should be asked, not to prequalify you as a potential customer or to run the price up, but to bring the project into perspective. As a homeowner, you should not be afraid to tell your contractor your budget. A good contractors price is his price and he will design to your budget. "How will I use my patio?" Other than budget this is the most important question to ask yourself. If you plan on entertaining, you may consider seating walls around portions of your patio for overflow seating or an outdoor bar. If you have children you may want to invest in a fire pit area, either a portable or built-in. These are great to spend quality time with your children. Do you like to grill out? Perhaps adding a BBQ grill station or outdoor kitchen might be a nice addition. However you choose to use your patio, you need to convey these uses to your designer so they can incorporate them into the patio design. Make sure your designer draws your patio design to an identifiable scale. Have them draw in your patio furniture and accessories so you can get an idea if, and how, they will fit on your patio. These questions will help you decide what size of patio you need to install. Remember, bigger doesnt mean more functional. Also, keep in mind, if your wants exceed your budget, using brick or concrete patio pavers will allow you to seamlessly add on later. "What do I want my patio to look like?" This is another important piece of the puzzle and one that you should also spend time with. A good patio designer will integrate your uses into a pleasing design. One that will accentuate certain features of your home while expanding your personality to the outside. The most difficult part of a patio design idea is the marriage between functionality and aesthetics. Brick and concrete patio pavers give you a lot of design flexibility. Radial designs typically will soften corners and create interesting curves. Square and rectangle patio designs, whether parallel with the house or on a 45 degree angle, are used to accentuate dimensional features of a home. Using different colors and/or styles of pavers in different areas will help define space on your patio. For example, a circle pattern may define a fire pit area. "Do your homework!" The more time you invest at the front end of your patio project, the easier and more enjoyable the installation will be. Spending a few hundred dollars on a formal design may end up saving you several thousand dollars and aggravation. There are also websites with large libraries of pre-designed patios that you can browse and purchase for a fraction of the cost of a custom design. They typically provide you with additional information such as; material list, color palettes and product details, helpful installation tips and how tos. Remember, do your homework and enjoy your patio!
What Difference Does a Professional Concrete Patio Company Make? Many families enjoy patio time more than time spent inside the house. A patio is the place for parties, playing, pet activities, and special celebrations. Although patios are so important to our home life, they need special and different kinds of maintenance as it is more exposed to internal dirt and to the changing weather. Professional concrete patio companies understand this and have been learned how to anticipate problems and correct them before they even start to pour concrete. When looking for a good concrete patio company, you should make sure that they are bonded and insured. Now what kind of problems do patios typically face? The better companies use experienced help and superior products and make sure that the preparation work is done properly. References are a good idea when choosing a professional patio company. Sub-standard concrete patios due to lack of professional eye: Homemade patios may be less expensive than the patios made by the professional patio makers. This is because homemade patios will show some problems in drainage, as well as seepage onto adjacent floors. Just because mistakes were made in the concrete work. One often has the problem of dirt blocking the patio drainage: Dirt getting into the drainage is inevitable. Many factors, natural and artificial, can bring dirt that can block patio drains causing any number of problems. Again, in order to avoid further hassle and accidents, it would be better to seek some professional help from patio experts. They can performs various ways of clearing the drains, including landscape changes, irrigation lines, grade work, leveling, lawn corrections, and light excavation at very reasonable prices. So have your patios dirt free and your safety ensured. Plummeting of Bricks and Stones: This can be caused by the age of the patio, by soil, or by poor drainage. The problems mentioned above can cause shifting and sinking. A professional concrete patio company is able to stop these problems in a variety of ways. One of which is to properly apply sand and gravel But again, you will have to know the accurate amount of sand or gravel to be used and you are to know the other factors too. Therefore, seeking professional help is a very good idea. A dirty patio: Moss, mildew, and stains can be stubborn problems that develop over time. Sometimes this can be fixed by a good hard scrubbing but other times the scrubbing will damage the patio. It seems like a small problem, but professional advise and practice may save you money in the long run. These are a few of the problems but others exist that we have not even mentioned. A1 Tractor and Concrete Services can help you solve your problems with concrete patios in Dallas TX. They provide fast and effective solutions at affordable prices. A1 Tractor and Concrete Services is also fully insured and bonded. A1 Tractor and Concrete provides concrete patios in Ft. Worth TX And all the DFW area. They are handle projects both large and small. They have been installing concrete patios in Dallas TX for over 30 years.
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