By Alek. Patio. Published at Tuesday, October 02nd, 2018 - 11:59:28 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!
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.
Garden Patio Design - How to Design a Patio A patio is just one element of a garden design, but it is one of the most expensive parts of any garden build. Because the patio fulfills several different functions it needs be given careful consideration. Here are a few pointers on how to design a patio. Location of the patio Most patios are sited immediately adjacent to the rear exit from the house because it is convenient - this may not be the best location for your patio. The back of the house may be shaded all day and therefore not ideal if you wish to like to sit in the sun. Consider a small terrace to the rear of the house with another seating area somewhere else in the garden which gets more sun. When designing a garden its a good idea to include more than one patio.. One patio can be sited so that it catches the last of the evening sun to provide a warm spot for an evening drink or meal. This makes the garden much more interesting and ensures that you are using more of the garden. Intended use of the patio Decide how you want to use the patio. Is the patio mainly for alfresco dining or sunbathing or relaxing with a book or all three? The intended use will dictate the size and location of the patio. A patio mainly for dining is best placed where there is some shade so that diners can keep cool on warmer days and seek the sun when the weather is cooler. A patio intended mainly for sunbathing needs to be in a spot where its sunny all day. If you want young children to safely use the patio, it needs to be somewhere you can see them from the house. Capacity of the patio The patio needs to be large enough to accommodate the correct size of table with room for chairs to be pulled out and for people to move around easily when others are seated. A guide is to allow 1m width for the table, 500mm width on either side of the table for each chair when not pushed under the table, 300mm between chairs down the side of the table, and 700mm width to pull each chair out and sit down comfortably. Including built-in seating Patio designs incorporating built-in seating with pergolas and outdoor fireplaces look very chic and transform the patio into an outdoor room. It is also a great way to make use of all available space in a very small garden. This solution is convenient if you dont want to shuffle around with garden furniture. However, the position of the seating is fixed and restricts how you can use the patio. The space is less flexible as seating cannot be varied to turn a dining area into a lounging area. Creating privacy If the patio is overlooked the patio design will need to include screening. Walls, hedges, pergolas, and fences can be included in the patio design to provide a sense of enclosure and privacy. When building a wall around a patio it is a great idea to include a window through to other garden areas so that the patio doesnt end up feeling to claustrophobic. Windows in dividing walls create an interesting glimpse of the rest of the garden without compromising privacy. The choice of screening will depend on available budget. Walls are expensive to build, wooden screens with posts and trellis panels are much cheaper. Planting a hedge is usually the cheapest option, but may take a while to grow in unless you can afford large plants or an instant hedge. Decide on the budget Installing a patio is expensive but it is worth spending as much as you can afford as the patio is such an important part of the garden. The garden should be viewed as an outdoor room and if you are prepared to spend a little extra on getting it right it will be useable for most of the year. Allow around £120 per square metre as an all-in cost to get a contractor to lay your patio. Choosing the surface material The most common surface for a patio are paving slabs. There are many different types of paving slab with a wide range of price tags. Steer clear of concrete slabs - they are often more expensive than natural stone, will fade over time and always end up looking fake. Indian Sandstone has dominated the paving slab market for years as it is cheap, natural, widely available and looks good. Cheaper Indian Sandstone is not always the bargain it appears as it is thinner, or poorer quality and more porous causing leaching of the minerals in the mortar onto the top surface of the stone. There are some inexpensive granite slabs currently available that make a wonderful surface only slightly more expensive than Indian Sandstone. The more expensive options are Travertine, York stone, Basalt, and Marble. Polished concrete makes a wonderful contemporary surface for the patio. Resin bound gravel is not only great for driveways, but makes an excellent contribution to the patio paving when combined with other materials for textural contrast. Get the best quality stone you can afford then the patio will last longer and stay looking good for many years. A patio should never be designed in isolation without considering the rest of the garden. A well designed garden where all the elements are in scale with each other and the house will connect the house and garden. A balanced design that includes a patio or multiple patios will give the garden coherence and ensure that it is a pleasant, comfortable space in which to spend time.
How to Create a Comfortable a Patio Garden If you enjoy sitting out on your outdoor patio, enjoying those warm summer nights or cool fall days, you might want to consider adding a little more character to your surroundings by creating a patio garden. Patio gardens have become very popular and are not that difficult to create. All you will need is, of course, a patio, potting soil, flowers and plants, rocks or shipping peanuts, water features, flower pots, planters and other accessories you may wish to add to your backyard patio garden. The first step toward creating your patio garden is to record on paper how much sun hits this area at different times of the day. You will need to keep track of this for several days in a row in order to get an accurate idea. The second step is to survey your outdoor patio and determine how you will be able to use this space. If you have a large backyard patio, you will able to use larger pots that are placed strategically along it in different locations. If your patio is relatively small, hanging baskets will work nicely and beautifully. You may even choose to use both, hanging the baskets along the outside, provided you have a cover over your patio, and placing the pots in various locations on the patio. What are the suitable patio plants for my patio garden? Based on the amount of available space, you can choose a wide variety of flower pots and potting soil. You can purchase these items from your local discount store or home depot. You will be surprise that choosing pots of varying shapes, colors and sizes can make a garden that much more interesting. Next, place the pots on your patio, arranging them while they are still empty. You may even want to move them around until the look is one you desire. Now it is time to decide what types of plants and flowers you will grow. This will most likely be based on how much sun your patio area receives since some plants and flowers require shade and others need full or partial sunlight. If you are unsure of what types to plant, consult with someone who works at your local gardening store. If you are creating a vibrant patio garden, bright colors may be used. If, on the other hand, you are going for a more soothing effect, you may choose paler colors. You may refer to our patio plants section to see some examples and pictures of some common patio plants. Once you have chosen the plants and flowers, it is time to take them home and replant them. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions included with them and please seek the assistance of a gardening professional if you are unsure. When you have planted your purchases, you might want to consider adding patio accessories and decorate your new patio garden with some simple patio ideas. Furniture, wind chimes, special patio string lights, fountains all make great accessories. Again, the accessories you choose will depend on the amount of space your patio takes up and how much you want to use on your new patio garden.
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