By shelby. Patio. Published at Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 - 13:07:53 PM.
Making the Right Choices When Designing Your Patio Area That time of year is fast approaching where we will be able to spend as much time as possible enjoying the warm summer sun on our patios. For many of us spending time relaxing in the garden or on the patio is the highlight of the summer months, watching the sun go down over the trees as we eat our tea on the patio is enough to make anyone forget about the stresses and strains of the working day that we may have just had. A patio is a simple feature of the home that requires very little maintenance if constructed correctly but getting the make up of the patio correct is an all important factor in getting the most out of the area. So what is the best way to construct a patio area and what should we ensure to add to the patio area to ensure that we get the most out of it? A patio is nothing more than an area at the rear of the house which is either paved in one type of stone or decked with wooden decking planks. Both patio flooring types have their plusses and minuses and depending on the lifestyle that you lead should guide you to what flooring type you should go for. Stone patio flooring is available in many sizes, shapes and styles from traditional York stone and Indian stone to a more modern coloured concrete paving slab. All stone options are very hard wearing and require very little maintenance other than a little weeding between the slabs occasionally and perhaps a coat of sealant once a year to keep the patio flooring looking its very best. Wooden decking is a more modern approach to patio flooring and can look very nice and clean when first laid. There are more options open to you when fitting wooden decking as your patio flooring as you can fit sunken lights into the decking and add walk rails to the exterior of the deck to create a balcony effect. Wooden decking does require more maintenance than stone patio flooring as you should apply a coat of wood preserver once a year and ensure that the decking is cleaned with a jet wash to remove and moss or algae that can make the surface very slippery under foot. When creating your patio flooring area you should consider which direction you would like the focal point to be. If the sun moves over your home during the day and is in the shade in the evening you would be best advised to place as many of the day to day living items such as patio gazebo, patio furniture and patio table in a position where they can receive the sun throughout the day with perhaps a shaded are to keep people out of the midday sun if they so choose. Adding a splash of colour to your patio area is a goods idea to brighten it up a little. Many people make the mistake of having the patio consisting of nothing more than a decking area or an area of stone patio flooring followed by the garden and walls. This can give the impression of being something of a bolt on and look very clinical and not very inviting. By adding a few plants in pots and flowers you can really add a splash of life and colour to your patio making it easier on the eye and more inviting for people to use. So there you have it, a few tips on how to design your patio area including which patio flooring is most suited to your patio area. Make the most of your patio this summer as you never know how bad the winter will be and how long it will be before you can sit and relax, enjoying your patio as the sun goes down.
How To Protect Your Patio Area From The Elements As a nation we are spending more and more time outdoors on our patios each year as well as spending more and more money on maintaining the appearance of our outdoor garden living area. One way to guarantee that the look of out patio is maintained in tip top condition is to use a patio cover in the winter months or whenever the outdoor area isnt being used to protect the surface from the elements. One problem that occurs on nearly every un-covered patio area is that of moss and weeds growing between the stones of the patio. Although a patio cover will not totally eradicate this problem it will reduce them amount of sunlight and moisture that can filter its way down to the horrible little weeds and restrict their growth. What ever weeds do grow will not be as strong as ones that have been exposed to full sunlight and moisture and will be easier to uproot. One of the most mind numbingly laborious jobs of any spring and summer has got to be jet washing the patio clean to get rid of the debris that have congregated on the patio area over the winter months. This job can be avoided by putting a patio cover in place in the late summer to avoid and debris of moss accumulating on the stones. The moss can especially be a nuisance as this can permanently discolor the patio which is not a good look. As well as these points, if you add a patio cover to your outdoor living area before the autumn and winter months set in you can spend the time that you would have spent cleaning enjoying the patio with your family. You should always look for a strong and robust cover that will with stand the weather and elements over the winter months as well as being easy to un-cover and fold away when the time is needed. If you are not confident at fitting a patio cover on your own it is possible to get a specialist in who will do the job correctly and ensure that the cover is in tip top working order before the job is complete. This is a more expensive option to take but at least if you are not so confident you will know that the job has been completed well and to a high standard. Patio covers can save you a lot of time and money in the long run and are well worth paying out for as soon as youve had a patio area fitted out. A patio cover will prolong the look and the life of your patio area over many years.
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!
Covered Patio Designs - The Must-Know Ideas For Best Results! Fortunately, there are some options to consider while deciding on covered patio designs. Here are some ideas regarding the category of patio covers. Patio Covers These are reliable and hard-wearing, since they are made out of canvas. They are very adorable which is totally waterproof. They are excellent for having quick outdoor shelter solutions. A lot of styles or colors are there which you can choose from. But you got to also consider the fact that these covers are by no means permanent solutions. After using, they need to be safely stored when being used. Retractable Awnings These are made out of canvas too. Similarly, they are also sometimes made of sail cloth. Fortunately, they are highly durable as well as resistant in terrible weather. They are meant to be joined to your house or patio frame. They are rolled out crossways the entire patio. They are highly popular since they can be stored easily and simply roll out whenever you want. The Arbor Here is the most generally used cover for your patio. It also comes with a constitution or framework which is made out of wooden or metal frames (i.e. steel or aluminum), which is built around as well as over your patio. And the top edge of your patio cover is opened by simply laying down well constructed matrix featuring extremely lightweight beams which provide sufficient hold up for the roof tiles which serves as efficient patio cover. But you must also understand the fact that, they are not that much hard wearing. They only safeguard you from the sun, rain or light wind. Sun Shade Sun shades will provide you with complete guard against the sun. Such covered patio designs are among the simplest ones to install. They sometimes require lesser chunk of work than what you anticipate! While there is a large variety of sun shades sold commercially, the price could also vary depending on the make and model. It is the best to have the nerve to spend a little bit more on tough sun shades. This means, you will be able to enjoy it over an expanded period of time. Patio Awning Patio awnings are made out of solid and hard wearing cloth, which provides you with full protection from the harsh sun and mild rain. There are permanent as well as short-term patio awnings. Good awning covering could last for some years. Though there are quite a few variations in each category, there are 2 main types of patio awnings. Here is a little something on that! Fixed Patio Awning - Fixed type of patio awning uses semi-permanent or fully permanent structure for supporting canvas overhangs. When it is assembled as well as put into the right place, the fixed awning generally stays right in place throughout the whole season. Retractable Patio Awning - The retractable version of patio awnings is more posh and pricier. But they are usually easier to be used and installed compared to the fixed type of patio awning. These patio awnings use mechanical systems for rolling up their canvas overhang and for protecting that canvas from getting faded and torn when not being used. There are many choices regarding covered patio designs, you can choose the one you like.
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