By Alek. Patio. Published at Friday, September 21st, 2018 - 11:34:28 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!
Getting Your Patio Ready For Summer Getting your patio ready for summer does not take a lot of work but in order to get a patio ready for summer one must get the proper patio furniture. There are many patio furniture sets to choose from but not all furniture is created equal. Getting the right furniture is essential for getting a patio ready for the summer. Read on to find out what is the best type of patio furniture to get. Iron patio furniture makes a patio look great. Iron patio furniture is the best type of patio furniture because it is very durable and lasts for a very long time. It is also very affordable as well as very sturdy. A person has quite a few options when it comes to wrought iron patio furniture. Wrought iron patio tables come in a variety of shapes and styles. Finding iron patio tables is very easy to do and finding the right one is quite easy. A wrought iron rectangle table is great for small patios and round tables seem to compliment large patios very well. Rectangular wrought iron tables seem to look good on all types of patios. These types of tables are a great way to get any patio ready for summer. Iron patio chairs are also a great buy and people who want to get their patio ready for summer should purchase some wrought iron patio chairs. The chairs are comfortable, look great and they go with virtually any type of wrought iron patio table. The chairs are typically available in a wide variety of sizes, so finding good size chairs to go with a particular table is not hard. A person must get these types of chairs for their patio. Wrought iron swings are perfect for patios. A person should check out some wrought iron swings because they are important to get when one wants to get their patio ready for the summer. A wrought iron swing can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The good news is that almost any size and shaped swing will look great on virtually any patio, regardless of the size. Swings give patio a relaxing look and feel. They also have a warm and inviting look to them. These are reasons why people should get a wrought iron swing for their patio. They are a great way to get the patio ready for the summertime. The above ways are all ways to get a patio ready for summer. A person should also clean their patio thoroughly before they use it for the first time when summer arrives. If the patio is a wooded patio, then making sure that the wood is in good shape is a must for making sure it is ready for summer. Adding a grill or some sort of cooking device to the patio is another good way to prepare it for summer.
Enjoy Your Patio Furniture Year Round If you enjoy spending time outdoors with family and friends, patio furniture is a very wise investment. The right furniture will not only allow you to entertain in your outdoor space, but it will also enhance the visual appeal of your yard or patio. Good quality patio furniture will enhance the value your property, not to mention your quality of life. The biggest impediment to enjoying your outdoor space is the weather, so its important to equip your yard or patio for your climate zone and seasonal weather shifts. Accessories like garden umbrellas and yard misters can stave off summer heat, while patio heaters, chimineas and outdoor fire pits ensure you can relax comfortably in the cooler months. Incorporating these useful patio products into your outdoor space will allow you to enjoy yourself year round. Patio Products for Sunny Days If you live in a climate zone where temperatures exceed 80 degrees, it is worth investing in some sort of shading. A good quality market patio umbrella will protect you and your patio furniture from prolonged exposure to direct sun, which can result in discomfort, sunburns and faded furniture. Garden umbrellas come in a variety of colors and patterns that can visually transfer your outdoor space. Power base patio umbrellas, such as the Milano Pro Offset Umbrella, are exceptionally easy to use and transport because they have a built in rotating device with foot pedal and two built in hand grips for easy lifting. These top of the line patio umbrellas will keep you cool while you enjoy your light meal or summer cocktail on the patio. If you want to spruce up your patio and extend your patio furniture usage into the night, consider purchasing the auto-tilt patio umbrella with LED lights that provide a soft night time glow. Patio Products for Chilly Mornings or Evenings Some of the most enjoyable times to be outdoors are dawn, dusk and nighttime. Early morning coffee on the patio is perhaps one of the best ways to start the day, and nothing beats a cool winter night, wrapped in a blanket under the stars. These moments, while beautiful, can be prohibitively chilly without the right patio products. An outdoor patio heater will allow you, your family and friends to comfortably enjoy your outdoor space, even when there is snow on the ground. There are a wide variety of heating devices available, ranging in size, composition and price. Choose from gas, electric and propane patio heaters depending on your specific needs. A high value option is the stainless steel outdoor heater by patio comfort. This heavy duty infrared patio heating device has easy on and off tank access and adjustable heat output, so you can set it at the perfect temperature for you and your guests. Hanging heaters are a popular choice among restaurants and hotels. These ceiling mounted patio heaters provide significant warmth without taking up valuable patio space. Wall mounted patio heaters are also an efficient patio heater choice. The Fire Sense wall mounted infrared patio heater operates at 90% efficiency and is substantially less expensive to operate than propane patio heaters. Whichever choice you make, turn on your new patio heater and stay warm while enjoying a relaxing drink or dinner outside. Using a fire pit is another way to stay warm while spending time on your patio at night or in the cooler months. Patio fire pits provide a traditional, rustic appeal as well as warmth to your patio and come in a variety of unique designs. Fire pits offer both style and functionality and often become the focal point of the social gathering. Choose a design that reflects your personality, style or heritage. All of the high quality fire pits bring warmth during the winter months, but can be used year round for enjoyment and décor.
Things to Consider When Building or Remodeling Your Patio Area Having a well laid out patio area will not add extra living space to your home but it can add increased worth to the value of your home. Patio areas are a highly prized feature that homeowners and buyers covet. Buyers are willing to pay premium dollar for a house with a great patio. The National Association of Home Builders have noted that having a great outdoor space is an important home design trend in 2012. They also noted that approximately 12 percent of homeowners either remodeled or added to their patio area. By creating a great patio area, you can have a functional and utilitarian space that is an extension of your home. Patio additions are one of the highest recouping value that you can add to a home. Be Certain To Consider When designing or remodeling your patio, you need to make sure that this space is complements with the rest of your property. Remember, that your patio is an annex of your home and so when drafting this space, ensure that is harmonious with the rest of your home. It is important to balance the patio esthetic and your backyard, so there is a harmony. So do not create an overwhelming large patio area with a small green area and vice versa. Give your patio/backyard an equilibrium or symmetry so that is appears a seamless extension of your home. Also consider having your patio area closely situated to your home or near your patio door entrance. This is especially so, if you have an area for dining or eating because this provide you with a space where it is easy and convenient for prepping, cooking and serving your meals. Another factor to take into account is the weather. If live in a primarily sunny area, you can do pretty much whatever esthetic you chose; however if you live in a more damp or four season area, consider constructing your patio with a covering or install heated areas that will overcome the cold or dampness that might be present. Another option for heating your space is to install fire pits, heated lamps or benches with built in heating. Also consider easy access from your home to your patio area. Whether it be a beautiful set of tilt and turn patio french doors or a large folding glass door with large retractable folding door screen. Accessorize with Plants Plants are an idea way to accentuate and define your patio area. If you have a retaining wall, consider using hanging flowers such as angels trumpet, climbing vines, such as passionflower, honeysuckle clusters or clematis. Planter baskets with geraniums, pansies and petunias Also consider cherry or grape tomato plants, herbs or strawberry planters as they are great decorative feature and edible solution as well. Shrubs and hedges also help to divide up your space and create a definite border between your backyard and patio area. In addition, they can provide an extra measure of privacy for your backyard and patio area. Choosing new plants, bushes or flowers can add a facelift and a new look to your patio area. Additional Thoughts When designing your space to mindful of your budget and what elements that you want to add to your patio area. It is vital that your space looks uniform, complete and well thought out. There is nothing worse for a buyer than a patio area that appears like you skimped or ran out of money or ideas. Also, if you live in a relative sunny area or for those peak summer months, think about a retractable patio screen or a motorized patio screen for larger doors, to help shield the suns damaging UV rays and annoying glare, in addition to protecting you, your family and friends from annoying insects and bugs. This is especially important when you are serving food and drinks. Unique Features Since patios are prime places for entertaining, think about incorporating built in speakers for a home entertainment system. Providing music can be a bonus feature that adds ambiance and helps to create the right mood for your get together Patios also allow you to take your cooking out of the kitchen. Instead of a conventional barbecue grill, think about adding a built-in barbecue pit, patio brick or pizza oven, built-in kitchen with storage cabinets for utensils. A small refrigerator, wine or beer storage area, coolers or even a small dishwasher can be added to keep your patio and kitchen area separate, as well as have everything you need right outside and at hand. If you live in areas where patios are not weather friendly, think about using materials that will withstand the elements or a cover for your cooking area.
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