By justin. Patio. Published at Thursday, September 15th, 2016 - 13:07:53 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!
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.
What Flagstone Pavers to Choose for Your Patio, and What to Think About When Creating Your Design! Every garden needs a patio, somewhere to sit and reflect, enjoy your garden, entertain and relax. Often, a patio will be the focal point of a garden so it is important to not only get your patio design right, but to also use the right materials! Bricks, concrete and pebbles can be used, but often the most popular choice is flagstones as they are generally flat and durable. Choosing what flagstone pavers to use can be a daunting task, as they come in such as vast array of sizes, shapes, colours and textures. Budget will obviously have a big bearing on your decision and you must make sure that whatever paver you choose you are happy with it, because you do not want to have to be taking up and relaying your patio if you can help it!! When purchasing your flagstones get them all at the same time, to avoid variations in texture and colour. Popular choices for flags include sandstone, limestone and granite. There are also a lot of imported stones available like indian stone, which is often a cheaper option to some regional stones like yorkshire stone. Take your time to choose your flagstone pavers. A lot of garden centres and builders yards will have them on display for you to view. Choose something that will compliment your existing style and features. You dont want to spend a lot of money on the in thing only to discover it has gone out of fashion in a few years time! The shape of patio that you choose will depend on your design and the shape and size of your garden. Patios should look natural and flow with the overall design of your garden. Patios can be raised, flat, square, rectangle, round the list is endless. Rectangle and square patios tend to be more traditional and fit into spaces well, so if you have a smaller garden it is often better to choose a patio with straight edges. If you have a bit more space, then you might want to consider a patio with curves to create a soft flowing look. Give consideration as to what you will be using your patio for, and what type and size of patio furniture or ornaments are going to be placed on your patio area. I have often seen people build patios which are going to be used as a family eating area, only for the whole patio to be swamped when a family table is placed on it, making it difficult for people to manoeuvre round the table and leaving absolutely no room for anything else such as pots, ornaments or seating. If you intend to entertain on your patio or eat as a family on it, make sure that your patio is big enough! There is nothing worse than designing and building your patio, only to discover it is too small as does not meet your needs! Another very important point of consideration in any patio design is where to place your patio. Patios really can go anywhere in the garden and more and more people are moving away from the traditional positioning of a patio, which is usually adjoining your house. Consider sunlight. Will the position you have chosen for your patio get the sun? Does that position get a breeze compared to other parts of your garden? Will you have to cross wet grass to get to your patio? Will your patio position be overlooked by your neighbours? Finally, how far is your patio from the kitchen if you intend to carry food and drinks to it? Make sure all these points are considered before choosing a location. There are so many aspects to consider when building a patio, but whatever you do, think about your design carefully and do not rush! Plan carefully so that you end up with a patio that you truly love and can enjoy!
Patio Gazebo Sitting outside and enjoying a patio gazebo is sure to be a favorite past time. However, you cant just stick a patio gazebo up and love it. You will want to be sure that you have the patio gazebo somewhere that you will want to be, and that you will want to spend time. The following is five ideas of great locations for your patio gazebo; placing your gazebo in any of these places will help you enjoy, and make the most of it. 1. One of the best places to put a patio gazebo is in your garden. Putting your patio gazebo in the garden is an excellent idea for a number of reasons. Besides the actual patio, the garden is probably the most popular place that gazebos are put. It is especially popular for people that have a lovely flower garden that they love to look at and enjoy. Basically, if you want to put a patio gazebo in the garden, look for the place that you will enjoy looking at and being in the most. Remember, certain flowers attract bees, etc. so you might want a patio gazebo that has a bug screen. No matter where you put your patio gazebo, you will want to be sure that the seating is facing the direction that you want to look towards while you are sitting in your garden. You do not have to worry about finding a shady spot, etc. as that is what the patio gazebo will do for you. 2. The next most popular sport for the patio gazebo is simply to place the patio gazebo on your lawn. This is a great option if you like sitting out on the lawn, and allows for you to enjoy the outdoors regardless of whether you have outdoor furniture or not. So, why not sit on the lawn without the patio gazebo? Well a gazebo will help protect your skin from the sun; also, say you want to read a book, you can go outside and sit and read in your gazebo out on the lawn without the glare of the sun bouncing off your pages and burning your eyes. The drawn back is that you have to move the gazebo to mow the lawn. 3. Another great place to put a patio gazebo is near water. This could be a pong, a river, a lake, a stream, whatever you might have. If you have a pond, for example, on your property, you might find that having your patio gazebo out by the pond will be more than relaxing to you than having it on the actual patio. Why? Well think of it this way, having your patio gazebo near the pond means that you can sit in your gazebo, watch the frogs, turtles, and fish (or the moss, dried leaves, and debris) that are in your pond, and enjoy the serenity and peace that comes with water. The drawback is that with water come bugs, mosquitoes, etc. so choose a patio gazebo with a zipper netting that will protect you from the nuisance of such pests. 4. Obviously another great place for a patio gazebo is actually on the patio. By having your patio gazebo near the house it acts as an extension of the living space, not to mention the fact that it allows for much easier accessorizing and decorating of your patio gazebo. Many people enjoy having their patio gazebo right on the patio because it means a nice convenient place to find shade right out the door, it means you can grill on your patio and have a shaded place to sit, and a place to gather and share fun with friends. Basically, the patio is a great place for a patio gazebo.makes sense. 5. Another great place for a patio gazebo is basically any place you like to be, or want it. The beauty of patio gazebos is their versatility, they provide shade and protection from the weather, and many types even provide an element of protection from the bugs too. So, wherever you want one, put one, a patio gazebo does not have to be limited to the patio.
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