By Alek. Patio. Published at Thursday, October 04th, 2018 - 08:00:28 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!
Decorating Your Patio - What You Need To Know The beauty of a house lies in a well-kept patio. A patio is one of the best parts of owning a home. It is the most relaxing place one can find. Here in the patio, you can enjoy peace, quiet, solace and the soothing company of nature. Patios are the perfect places to spend a quiet Saturday afternoon or a lazy Sunday morning. It is beyond the patio doors that you hear the chirping of the sweet birds, the humming of the bees, the whisper of the wind and you breathe in the cool air. It is a place where you can be one with nature. Every house should have a patio; patio can be the only place in the house that can be a haven when all hell breaks loose. Nothing can calm people more than the blue skies, the bright cheerful sun, the cool summers air, or the fall of heavens dew. Indeed, patios can be a safe haven even from the rain. You can sit out in your patio even when it is raining and still enjoy the climate without having to get wet or dirty. Patios also happen to be the perfect place to have a barbecue. Barbecues are becoming increasingly popular nowadays. In summer, the best way to spend time with friends or family is to have a nice little barbecue party in your patio. What is great about a patio is, you can keep all your equipment in the patio, you dont need to keep making trips to your kitchen and back. Your patio can be private and away from your house. You can have a patio door and make it like a separate entertainment room altogether. You can even decorate your patio by either putting up curtains or having patio window and patio door blinds. Basically, you can choose to make your dining out as luxurious as you want. Decorate your patio with as much taste as you would decorate one of the rooms in your house. It will make your barbecue parties at home more delightful. For more beauty to your patio, you can add a bar. Now what would be a better way to enjoy a barbecue than to have a bar right out in your own patio? It adds a different touch. To sip beer and enjoy the coldness of the night, simply fantastic and relaxing. You can have shelves that simply use patio door blinds instead of having cabinets. You can use different colored patio doors to decorate your bar. Give your bar a different look, make it yours by giving it a personal, unique touch. Your guests are bound to appreciate its uniqueness. Go ahead and make something different for your patio. Who says that all patios need to look the same? Go experiment and redefine what a patio needs to look like. Make your patio look different. Let it be a place where you can entertain guests and where you can enjoy a lazy weekend, and you are all done close all patio door blinds till the next time you need to relax. Make your patio a place of leisure and beauty.
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.
Adirondack Patio Furniture and Other Materials: Deciding on Patio Sets for Your Home Do not expect to find the ideal patio set without a little forethought. This article will introduce the materials patio sets are commonly constructed of. Some shops specialize in Adirondack patio sets and other Adirondack patio furniture, while others only offer wrought iron sets. Choosing the material is one of the most important parts of finding the right patio set. Additionally, youll find a few questions designed to help you zoom in on the right type of patio set for your yard. Introduction to the Three Main Patio Furniture Materials While a few durable plastic products such as polywood have appeared lately, most long-lasting patio sets are built of wicker, wood, or metal. Advantages and Disadvantages of Wicker Patio Furniture Many consumers prefer the "softer" feel of wicker, which also stays fairly cool in the sun. The fact that wicker (or, more commonly these days, a resin composite designed to look like wicker) is light weight is also appealing - you dont have to throw your back out when moving the patio collection into storage. However, this material has its downsides too: its likely to suffer mold and mildew growth. A pressure washer on a low pressure setting is usually enough to blast away such growth. Advantages and Disadvantages of Wood Patio Furniture Wood is easy to stain and paint, and cool in the sun. However, soft woods quickly rot in wet conditions, and even harder, rot-resistant timbers such as cedar and cypress will decompose over time without proper maintenance. Maintaining patio furniture made of wood (including most Adirondack patio furniture) involves sanding down, staining, and sealing exposed wood every year or so. Advantages and Disadvantages of Metal Patio Furniture Todays metal patio furniture is typically made of aluminum, although heavier wrought iron sets are still available. Wrought iron is long lasting and heavy - it wont blow over in high winds like aluminum or wicker. Aluminum is durable, easy to clean, and less expensive than wrought iron. Metal heats up quickly under sunlight, so its not the best choice around pools. Finally, metal is easy to paint. The only maintenance required is occasional rust removal. Now that weve covered the main materials used in patio collections, lets pose a few questions to help you choose the best metal, wicker, or wood Adirondack patio furniture for your family. 1. Which patio set will best compliment my homes exterior and landscape? No need to think about how your favorite Adirondack patio collection will compliment areas that cant be seen from the outdoor living space. For instance, if your patio is in the back yard, it doesnt matter whether your Adirondack patio collection matches the front of your home. 2. How do I anticipate using my patio furniture? Your outdoor living habits should be considered when selecting a patio collection. For instance, if you see yourself using your patio set nearly every day, Adirondack patio furniture might be a good choice, since it can be left outside all year round in many climates. Or, if you have kids, youll want children-friendly patio collection thats safe, stable, easy to clean, and strong. 3. What kind of money do I want to spend on a patio set? From $4,000 teak patio sets to $100 aluminum bistro groupings, patio sets are available in a wide price range.
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