By Alek. Patio. Published at Saturday, September 29th, 2018 - 13:42:28 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!
Patio Covers - Giving New Life To An Average Backyard Patios are a typical fixture in most American homes. They are often used as a relaxation area where the whole family can gather outside of the house. Parents can sit and read on the patio while watching the kids play in the backyard. Sometimes the patio is also used as an entertaining area when you have family or friends over for a Sunday afternoon barbecue, or even an informal dinner, when the weather is good. The patio can be a setting for many different things, but it all comes down to the weather. If the weather is on any extreme, whether theres a thunderstorm or the sun is scorching hot, an uncovered patio is not much use for anything at all. Something as simple as patio covers can change all this. When you install patio covers, the patio will be usable all year round. No matter what the weather conditions are, theres no need to worry if you have patio covers. Remember the time when you invited your office friends over for a fun patio barbecue, but the weather did not cooperate? Surely you ended up canceling the affair altogether. But once you put up your patio covers, you need not worry about such things. You can do so much more in your patio than when it was left exposed to the elements. Once you have patio covers, you can leave games in the patio without having to worry. Some people even put televisions and other electronic appliances out in their patio. With patio covers, gone are the days when your patio was a typical wooden platform with a table and a couple of chairs. You can make your patio as interesting as you want. You can design it as an extension of the house, or you can treat it as a part of the garden. The great thing is that whatever design you decide on, there will be an array of patio covers that you can choose from. The popular vote is for wooden structures, because they are very informal and blend well with the natural environment in the backyard. However, the maintenance of wood might become tedious as the years go by, so if you are a busy person, you might also want to consider putting up metal frames for your patio covers. Some people also prefer using patio covers that are made from cloth, or some other material that is easy to take down. This choice is also practical for people who like changing designs often, as a mere change of color or fabric can drastically change the appearance of your patio. In the end, the choice of patio covers really depends on your personal preference, and on what purpose you want your patio to serve. One thing is for sure - once you add patio covers, you can start treating your patio as another room of your house, and how you use it is limited only by your imagination.
Patio Bar Stools Provide the Outdoor Seating and Backyard Design Finishing Touch Space is quite an issue in almost every household nowadays. And if there is a problem, the homeowner always finds a solution. Not enough work space in the garage? Well, just buy a new work bench with lots of shelves and provisions to accommodate tools. Insufficient storage area for mower and other garden tools? Well, you can buy an affordable outdoor vinyl shed. Crowded patio during parties? Well, would you extend your patio just to provide more space? The answer to that is a big NO. Having a crowded patio during patio parties is really a headache, and especially when it suddenly rains and all your guests who are frolicking in the garden would need to seek shelter in the patio itself. For some people, the logical solution to this issue is to simply extend the patio. That would be the perfect solution if you are a millionaire with ample amount of money at your disposal. However, it is not the most pragmatic solution. Why extend your patio and spend unnecessary money when you can have more space in your patio if you have the right patio bar stools. Benefits of Patio Bar Stools: Regular chairs consume a lot of space because of their bulky construction. Patio bar stools, on the other hand, have a narrow built. Thus, they can allow you to have more space in your patio bar. And that is not the only advantage of having stools for your bar. If you have the right patio bar stools, you can heighten the aesthetics of your outdoor bar. It would certainly be awkward if you have regular chairs or stools in your bar. Having matching patio stools would give your bar a more elegant look. Another benefit with having patio bar stools is that your guests would feel more comfortable while they are having their favorite drinks in the bar. Stools for the bar are not just built to provide more space and beauty to the bar design, but they are also made to give maximum comfort and convenience to guests who are fond of drinking. Patio stools are built with foot rests so that drinkers can casually seat on them. Also, some patio bar stools are equipped with arm rests that can hold a glass of beer or wine. Other patio bar stools come with swiveling mechanisms that allow the stools to be turned from side to side with ease. Materials and Types of Patio Bar Stools: The cardinal rule on choosing an outdoor bar stool is that it should match your patios design. Wooden stools are perfect for traditional wooden patios. But if you have a casual-looking patio, you might as well get casual stainless steel bar stools. Stainless stools are definitely a great choice for your home bar. For one thing, you can be sure that it will last for a long time. The problem with these stools, though, is that they are hard to move around because of their heavy construction. If you still want to have the casual look that a metal stool would offer, then you can settle for stools made of aluminum. Known for being ultra-light, you will have no problems moving them around. And because it is non-corrosive, aluminum patio stools would last for a long time as well. Ultra-modern chrome and vinyl padded patio bar stools and exotic rattan and bamboo stools are also available for homeowners with modern-looking and exotically designed patios.
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.
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