By Alek. Patio. Published at Saturday, September 29th, 2018 - 15:03:28 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!
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.
Paver Patio Design - 3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing a Paver Patio In the past a patio was just a patio; a concrete slab at the rear entrance of your home with just enough space to put a patio table and maybe a small BBQ grill. The terms "Outdoor Living Space" or "Outdoor Rooms" werent even heard of and the only people that had these types of outdoor spaces were the rich and famous. Today, with the demand for homeowners wanting to spend more time outdoors these terms have become more a part of daily life. This demand has not only forced landscape contractors to be more creative with their designs, but has created an industry within itself. All of your big box stores are catering to this industry with patio furniture, stainless steel grills, pre-built grill stations, portable fire pits and it is not unusual to see contractors who specialize or only design and install patios. Due to the increasing popularity of brick paving stone or "pavers", homeowners are no longer satisfied with the standard rectangle concrete slab. Pavers allow patio designers to be much more creative in implementing you patio ideas. They can utilize radial and circular designs, different patterns, borders and colors. Also, the introduction of patio block has changed the way patios are designed and used. Each manufacturer has a different name for them, but in a "nut shell" they are stackable blocks that can be used to create seating walls, columns, grill stations, outdoor bars and kitchens. If you can imagine it, you can build it with these blocks. If youre looking for a nice patio; one that you can not only show off, but also one you can use; there are several guidelines to follow to improve your chances of success. There are three questions that you should ask yourself. If you answer these questions honestly you will be able to create a patio design that is not only functional, but also beautiful. "What is my budget?" Some homeowners feel that this is a loaded question, but it is one that a good contractor will ask and one that needs to be addressed. It should be asked, not to prequalify you as a potential customer or to run the price up, but to bring the project into perspective. As a homeowner, you should not be afraid to tell your contractor your budget. A good contractors price is his price and he will design to your budget. "How will I use my patio?" Other than budget this is the most important question to ask yourself. If you plan on entertaining, you may consider seating walls around portions of your patio for overflow seating or an outdoor bar. If you have children you may want to invest in a fire pit area, either a portable or built-in. These are great to spend quality time with your children. Do you like to grill out? Perhaps adding a BBQ grill station or outdoor kitchen might be a nice addition. However you choose to use your patio, you need to convey these uses to your designer so they can incorporate them into the patio design. Make sure your designer draws your patio design to an identifiable scale. Have them draw in your patio furniture and accessories so you can get an idea if, and how, they will fit on your patio. These questions will help you decide what size of patio you need to install. Remember, bigger doesnt mean more functional. Also, keep in mind, if your wants exceed your budget, using brick or concrete patio pavers will allow you to seamlessly add on later. "What do I want my patio to look like?" This is another important piece of the puzzle and one that you should also spend time with. A good patio designer will integrate your uses into a pleasing design. One that will accentuate certain features of your home while expanding your personality to the outside. The most difficult part of a patio design idea is the marriage between functionality and aesthetics. Brick and concrete patio pavers give you a lot of design flexibility. Radial designs typically will soften corners and create interesting curves. Square and rectangle patio designs, whether parallel with the house or on a 45 degree angle, are used to accentuate dimensional features of a home. Using different colors and/or styles of pavers in different areas will help define space on your patio. For example, a circle pattern may define a fire pit area. "Do your homework!" The more time you invest at the front end of your patio project, the easier and more enjoyable the installation will be. Spending a few hundred dollars on a formal design may end up saving you several thousand dollars and aggravation. There are also websites with large libraries of pre-designed patios that you can browse and purchase for a fraction of the cost of a custom design. They typically provide you with additional information such as; material list, color palettes and product details, helpful installation tips and how tos. Remember, do your homework and enjoy your patio!
Purchasing Comfortable Outdoor Patio Furniture Options - Planning Your Patio, Pool Or Deck Theme Spring is here and time to plan outdoor activities to suit all your special events. Three important factors to consider when shopping for outdoor patio furniture are: 1) Budget, shop for products that are in the price range you have decided on, shopping on line will give you a good idea quickly. 2) Style of furniture, shop for practical outdoor patio furniture that suits your entertaining requirements, determine if the furniture is designed for residential or commercial use. 3) Material options, what choice of materials is best suited for the climate where you live, research and determine how long the patio product of choice will last, many materials are available such as recycled plastic, resin, polywood, metal, wicker, cedar, pine and assorted hardwoods. More information on cost: There are so many patio furniture options to choose from, ranging from very cost effective furniture to very high end furniture packages. If you have a large outdoor patio area, consider purchasing in bulk, saving you money and getting a better deal. Many suppliers offer free shipping, check with your supplier and confirm if shipping is free, many suppliers offer this service as part of the purchase price. Online shopping is easy and cost effective, shop online for finding the best deals on the net. Planning your patio or deck outdoor area: Determine the size of the patio or deck area you plan to furnish, are you furnishing a small or large patio or deck area? If you entertain a lot, consider patio furniture that is durable and will hold up to high traffic usage. Make sure any patio chairs, patio sets, patio benches or outdoor furniture is comfortable and safe to use. Buying glass patio tables should be shatterproof and verified by the your supplier. Using common sense and researched product information will go a long way, giving you many years of outdoor furniture use. Do some research and create the theme of your dreams, key in patio and garden themes into a search engine, available are many practical patio, pool and garden theme ideas for you to use. More information on location: Where you live and what is the most practical choice for outdoor materials to choose. Choose material patio products that are designed and crafted to resist excessive sun, cold temperatures, and natural elements. Now available are plastic and resin furniture that is fade resistant and have built in UV protection for long lasting color life. Remember help is always available, just email your supplier for any questions you may have. Doing a little research will help you make good patio furniture choices, knowledge is a powerful tool when shopping for outdoor furniture.
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