By Alek. Patio. Published at Thursday, September 27th, 2018 - 03:07:28 AM.
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.
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!
Have You Considered These Patio Ideas? Having a charming patio that you can use in the warm weather is a fun way to extend the living space of your home. But installing a patio can be ambitious since there are many different styles and types - here are some great patio ideas that might help you create a wonderful outdoor living space which might have you finding yourself spending more time outdoors than in! Plants An outdoor area needs lots of lush plants and the patio is just the place to have them. Decorating your patio area with great plants in containers in addition to having a garden area planted near the patio. Use large containers and planters of different shapes and sizes and group them together for effect. You should set 3 or 5 containers together in a group - using an odd number instead of an even number always looks better. Patio Furniture Todays patio furniture is versatile - weatherproof plastic that looks like wicker, painted metal and woods like redwood or teak are popular. While buying cheap patio furniture might seem attractive, quality pieces will save you money in the long run. Be sure to get cushions that are weather proof and pieces that are easy to clean as outdoor furniture does get dirty fairly quickly. Patio Accessories Depending on what your patio ideas are, you can have a small table and chairs or an outdoor grilling station and bar. How far should you go? Consider the space you have for your patio as well as your budget. Depending on your budget, you might think about including a fire pit, seating, cooking area, hot tub, fountain, lighting and an outdoor bar. Patio Surface Of course, the most important aspect of your patio is the surface and this is something you should choose before anything else. Again, you want to keep it in a matching style to your home so if you have a more formal or brick face home then brick might be a good choice. A garden style patio might be perfect with pavers that look like flat stones. You can also use different style pavers, flagstone, sandstone or even marble. When choosing a material for your patio consider the durability and easy of cleaning as well as installation. Patio Style When you are designing your patio, you might keep your overall house style in mind. Your patio design should match the style and age of the house. A Victorian style home might look best with an intricate patio complete with wrought iron furniture. A Spanish style home would look great with a Mediterranean style patio. When designing your patio, think about bringing the indoor style of your home to your outdoor room. Coming up with great patio ideas is as easy as going down to your local home improvement store and looking at the selection of patio blocks, pavers, furniture and accessories. Then take your ideas home and design a patio that will give you an extra outdoor room to enjoy.
Patio Gazebo Sitting outside and enjoying a patio gazebo is sure to be a favorite past time. However, you cant just stick a patio gazebo up and love it. You will want to be sure that you have the patio gazebo somewhere that you will want to be, and that you will want to spend time. The following is five ideas of great locations for your patio gazebo; placing your gazebo in any of these places will help you enjoy, and make the most of it. 1. One of the best places to put a patio gazebo is in your garden. Putting your patio gazebo in the garden is an excellent idea for a number of reasons. Besides the actual patio, the garden is probably the most popular place that gazebos are put. It is especially popular for people that have a lovely flower garden that they love to look at and enjoy. Basically, if you want to put a patio gazebo in the garden, look for the place that you will enjoy looking at and being in the most. Remember, certain flowers attract bees, etc. so you might want a patio gazebo that has a bug screen. No matter where you put your patio gazebo, you will want to be sure that the seating is facing the direction that you want to look towards while you are sitting in your garden. You do not have to worry about finding a shady spot, etc. as that is what the patio gazebo will do for you. 2. The next most popular sport for the patio gazebo is simply to place the patio gazebo on your lawn. This is a great option if you like sitting out on the lawn, and allows for you to enjoy the outdoors regardless of whether you have outdoor furniture or not. So, why not sit on the lawn without the patio gazebo? Well a gazebo will help protect your skin from the sun; also, say you want to read a book, you can go outside and sit and read in your gazebo out on the lawn without the glare of the sun bouncing off your pages and burning your eyes. The drawn back is that you have to move the gazebo to mow the lawn. 3. Another great place to put a patio gazebo is near water. This could be a pong, a river, a lake, a stream, whatever you might have. If you have a pond, for example, on your property, you might find that having your patio gazebo out by the pond will be more than relaxing to you than having it on the actual patio. Why? Well think of it this way, having your patio gazebo near the pond means that you can sit in your gazebo, watch the frogs, turtles, and fish (or the moss, dried leaves, and debris) that are in your pond, and enjoy the serenity and peace that comes with water. The drawback is that with water come bugs, mosquitoes, etc. so choose a patio gazebo with a zipper netting that will protect you from the nuisance of such pests. 4. Obviously another great place for a patio gazebo is actually on the patio. By having your patio gazebo near the house it acts as an extension of the living space, not to mention the fact that it allows for much easier accessorizing and decorating of your patio gazebo. Many people enjoy having their patio gazebo right on the patio because it means a nice convenient place to find shade right out the door, it means you can grill on your patio and have a shaded place to sit, and a place to gather and share fun with friends. Basically, the patio is a great place for a patio gazebo.makes sense. 5. Another great place for a patio gazebo is basically any place you like to be, or want it. The beauty of patio gazebos is their versatility, they provide shade and protection from the weather, and many types even provide an element of protection from the bugs too. So, wherever you want one, put one, a patio gazebo does not have to be limited to the patio.
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