By Alek. Patio. Published at Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 - 12:48:28 PM.
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!
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.
Things to Consider When Installing a Patio When it comes to installing a patio, there is more to it than just blocking off a chunk of your yard and pouring down cement. These days there are many different styles, paving materials, uses, and sizes of patios. Before you start on your patio, you need to consider the shape and size of your property, how you intend to use your patio, and the style of your home and garden. From there you can determine Placement, Shape, Size, and Paving Materials for your patio. When deciding where to place your patio, it is very important to consider multiple aspects and ask yourself a few questions. What is the purpose for your patio? Do you intend to entertain large groups of people, or host intimate gatherings? Depending on the purpose of your patio, you then need to consider the proximity to your home. If you are installing a fireplace or fire pit, you need to make sure there is a good distance between your home and where the fire will be contained. You need to look at the available space in your yard. An over-sized patio will overtake a smaller yard. Another consideration is the amount of sun or shade you desire. If you plan to use your patio for sunbathing, you need to make sure it is in a sunny spot. Shapes of patios are: Square, Circular, or Free-form. Square patios are the most common and can blend well with formal or contemporary gardens. If you like to entertain a lot of people, a large square or rectangular patio is a great way to go. Circular patios can either be a full circle or a half circle. The full circle patio is generally independent of other hardscapes and usually feature a focal point. Half circle patios abut either a building, such as your home, or another hardscape form, like a garden wall. Circular patios blend well into landscapes since there are no hard edges that stand out. Free-form patios are asymmetrical, less predictable, and great for more informal gardens. Determining the size of your patio is very important. As stated above, a large patio can overwhelm a smaller yard, and vice versa. You can figure out how large your patio needs to be by deciding on how you intend to use it and how many people it should fit. Measure the size of your yard to see how much area you are working with, how much space you are willing to allot to your patio, etc. One good tip Ive come across, is to buy your patio furniture before you install your patio, arrange it where you expect your patio to be, and observe how the space is used, where people walk, etc. This will help you see just how much room is needed for walk space around the furniture, accessories, and more. Once you have the shape, size, and purpose of your patio planned out, you can then move on to selecting appropriate paving materials. Before you jump right in and order slate tiles to go next to your pool, you need to ask yourself the following ten questions: • What is my budget? • What is the area that I need to cover? • How safe is this material for my type of patio? • How durable is it? • What are my drainage needs? What types of materials support those needs? • How long does it take to install this material? • Is this something I could install myself? (good if you are doing a DIY project) • What type of texture do I want? Will people be sitting or standing on this surface? • How easily maintained is the material? • What is the appearance I am going for? Patios may seem like a simple task anyone can take on, but for a great patio that you are proud of and excited to show off, a little bit of time and thought needs to be put into the planning process.
Patio Furniture - What Are the Best Patio Furniture Materials For You? Choosing patio furniture can be a little overwhelming because there are several material types and hundreds or possibly thousands of styles made from those materials. The type of materials that you choose should depend on your personal preference but also on the climate where you live, whether your patio is covered or uncovered, your budget and several other factors. By keeping in mind your priorities and carefully thinking things through, selecting the right patio furniture be straightforward and easy. When you are choosing new furniture the first thing that you need to do is pick a type of material. The most common materials are wood, wicker and rattan, metal, and plastic. Wood Wooden patio furniture is very popular and lasting. In general, wooden patio furniture can stand up to the elements like very hot sun or summer storms pretty well. However, if you decide to use wooden patio furniture you should treat it with a water resistant coating to protect it from drying out in the sun or becoming damaged from being out in the rain. It is a good choice if you do a lot of entertaining because its very strong and rigid, thus can accommodate people of all different sizes. Its also simple to change the look of wooden patio furniture with just a new coat of paint in the color of your choice. Good quality wooden patio furniture can be expensive but if you carry out regular maintenance of painting or protective coating on the wood every few years, the furniture will inevitably last for a long time. Wicker and Rattan If you like to change the decor of your patio frequently and dont want to have to buy new furniture every time then wicker & rattan patio furniture would be a good and decent choice for you. Wicker and rattan is the second most popular type of furniture that is made from natural materials. Both wicker and rattan furniture is durable, light weight and to a certain extent - flexible, making it great for patio furniture that needs to be brought indoors or moved frequently. Wicker is actually not a material by itself. Wicker is the end result of weaving rattan with other materials, usually bamboo slats, to make furniture. Rattan (originated from a Malay word - Rotan) is technically a tree, although it grows like a vine along the ground. They are usually found in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia. The rattan vines are cut and peeled, then steamed to make them pliable, and then they are used as rattan weaving materials. Rattan furniture can be made of stripes of Rattan that are woven together when the wood is wet. It can also be strips of Bamboo or other materials woven around straight rattan slats. Rattan easily accepts paints and stains like many other kinds of wood, so it is available in many colors and it can be worked into many styles. Both rattan and wicker furniture is a less expensive alternative to hardwood, if you want to have furniture that is made from natural sources. These types of patio furniture dont require a lot of maintenance and can be used in or outdoors all year long. Its also possible to change the outlook of Wicker or Rattan furniture by giving the furniture a new coat of color. So, if youre inclined to change the decor of your patio frequently without buying new patio furniture every time, then wicker or rattan furniture would be the best choice for you. Metal Metal patio furniture is often a more economical choice compared to hard wood type especially for people who want the stability of wood but wouldnt want to spend too much. Metal furniture is also great for people that want furniture that has low maintenance costs because most metal furniture doesnt require the kind of maintenance that wooden furniture does. There are three main types of metal patio furniture that you can purchase. They are wrought iron, aluminum and tubular metal. Wrought iron is probably one of the most expensive types in the range. Wrought iron furniture is incredibly popular because its stylish and adds a very classic feel to a patio but its also popular because of its durability. Wrought iron furniture is heavy and requires little upkeep. For instance, just a simple new coat of paint every year or so will keep wrought iron furniture looking beautiful for years. Furthermore, wrought iron patio furniture is sturdy so that it can be comfortable and safe for people of all sizes. It is also heavy which is good in that it wont be blown away in strong winds but not to a point that it is too difficult to move. Aluminum is often used commercially because its so easy to maintain, light-weight and tough. Hotels, public pools, restaurants, resorts, and other types of businesses that deal with the public often use aluminum patio furniture for their outdoor patios. Aluminum is a very much lighter metal than wrought iron so if you will frequently need to move your furniture, aluminum may be a better choice. Most if not all outdoor bars and bistros will quite definitely choose aluminum furniture because of its weight & maintenance cost. Aluminum furniture can be a bit pricey for some people but the cost is negligible over time as aluminum patio furniture will last for a long time. Tubular metal patio furniture is the least expensive type and easily found at discount stores. It has some of the durability that other types of metal patio furniture have although it is not as strong as aluminum or wrought iron. Tubular metal doesnt require a lot of maintenance and can lasts for a long time. It can though become bent and damaged and can never quite be bent back into its original shape. It is also light enough to easily be blown away in strong winds. Plastic or PVC Patio Furniture Plastic or PVC patio furniture is the cheapest option and can be easily found at discount/bargain stores. Stackable Plastic or PVC patio furniture can be found at any discount store, sometimes even at the grocery store. They are easy to maintain because all you need to do for cleaning is simply to wipe the dirt off. It stands up well to any natural elements except strong winds and usually will only last for one season. They are not very sturdy and can break easily. There is a high possibility it becomes a safety issue if you have little children using it frequently because it tends to tip over or break. They also tends to crack and splinter very easily, which is dangerous even to adults. If you are looking for some cheap, quick patio furniture then plastic is the best choice but dont expect them to last.
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