Installing or restoring patios often comes high on homeowners’ landscaping wishlists, in a bid to create desirable al fresco dining spots and outdoor entertaining areas. The decision to renovate a patio rather than rip it up and start again is ultimately the client's. Informing them of the soundness of their existing patio will help in the decision-making process. If they're happy with the patio's overall aesthetic, size and condition, renovation is an excellent option.
Cleaning and restoring old patiosPatios can get extremely dirty and some marks are notoriously hard to get rid of. Power washing can be a good start, stripping off most of the dirt. But a suitable product is required to remove the deepest stains and to rejuvenate the slabs. Landscapes Direct's Paving Cleaner helps remove oil, grease and rubber – considered the most challenging stains to remove. For particularly troublesome black spots and algae, a specialist product, such as Pavecare Black Spot & Algae Remover, will deeply clean natural stone, concrete and porcelain paving of black spot, lichen and moss without pressure washing. Treating patio slabs properly once they’re clean will also help resist grime and algae from re-establishing. For black limestone and dark paving, Pavecare Restorer is a water-based sealant with a dark pigment that brings a new lease of life to faded limestone, slate, and concrete.
Laying a new patioWhether laying a patio in a new area, replacing an old patio in poor condition or updating the style, there's a range of patio installation equipment that every landscaper needs. Aside from the pavers themselves, make sure you have:
- Jointing compounds Choose a quick and easy compound to fill the joints between paving slabs that can be laid in all-weathers. Consult your client on the colour, then select a paving joint compound for natural stone and concrete or a high-performance paving grout for porcelain slabs.
- Sealers Porous natural stone and concrete slabs must be sealed after fitting. Opt for a professional-grade solution to achieve the best results. PRO-410 Paving Sealer is breathable and enhances the stones while it protects. Vitally, it's UV stable and helps resist dirt and grime for a low-maintenance finish.
- Blades Inevitably, some paving slabs need cutting to fit the design and contours of a patio. A diamond blade is the best tool to ensure a clean and effortless cut when cutting paving slabs. An essential bit of masonry kit, these multi-purpose blades are also handy tools for the landscape gardener to have on hand for other hard landscaping jobs.
- Spirit levels It goes without saying that a patio should be precisely level. Ensure there's a heavy-duty spirit level in your kit at all times.
- Trowels and jointers A decent trowel and jointer help to achieve a clean finish on grouting and jointing. A high-quality brick trowel and bucket trowel should be at hand, along with a decent brick jointer, for a professional finish.
- Squeegees and brooms For a quick and controlled application of jointing compounds and grout, a good quality squeegee with a flexible rubber blade is essential. Some landscapers prefer a full-length squeegee, but it's a personal choice. Finally, a hardy broom completes the kit.