How to Clean and Protect Your Stonework This Fall and Winter

How to Clean and Protect Your Stonework This Fall and Winter

 

Stone structures such as retaining walls and outdoor living spaces are extremely durable, long lasting investments. However, like most things around your house, stonework needs a little bit of maintenance if you want to keep it in the best condition. What you specifically need to watch out for is any degradation to your stonework that could be caused by the changes that Winter and Fall bring. With that in mind, you’ll need to know how to properly protect and clean your stonework as we enter into that season.

Protect Your Stonework by Removing Leaves and Debris

Trees around stonework can create a beautiful effect. However, if leaves, twigs, and branches are left on stone for too long you could find more than just an aesthetic problem come Springtime. If you leave organic matter on stonework, a couple of potential problems can arise. As the leaves begin to decay, mold and mildew form, which can lead to moisture and dirt getting trapped in the mortar or staining the stonework itself. Moisture will work its way into the mortar and won’t be able to escape if heavy amounts of leaves remain on the stonework. The next time a freeze hits, that moisture will expand in the mortar and could lead to structural problems with your stonework patio or retaining wall.

Clean Your Stonework to Ensure That They Last

After you have removed any organic material that might have fallen onto your stonework, it’s time to clean. Cleaning stonework requires time, patience, and proper knowledge of how to do it safely. Improper cleaning can lead to aesthetic and structural problems with your stonework. Following industry guidelines is recommended.

Stonework Cleaning Process:

  • First you are going to inspect your stonework for damage. If there is substantial damage to either stonework or mortar, consider calling an expert before attempting a repair or cleaning the area. Improper cleaning of deterioration or cracks can lead to further issues with your stonework. Avoid cleaning structural damage if you aren’t an expert.
  • Begin cleaning with water in a small inconspicuous spot. If this cleaning is to your satisfaction continue onto larger areas.
  • Only use gentle water pressure when cleaning stone or mortar. Pressure washing can remove mortar easily. Only use a pressure washer on a low setting while constantly moving the nozzle.
  • If cleaning with water alone is not enough, you can add a mild detergent to a water mixture. Additionally, use a soft nylon brush to spot clean trouble areas, such as discoloration or encrustation formations.
  • If you are still not satisfied with your cleaning progress, there are specific chemicals and abrasive cleaners for stonework available. Please use caution and consider calling an expert if this step becomes necessary.

If you have followed these steps and feel that your stonework could use expert care, look to Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls. Hiring a professional can save you time and money in the long run. Stonework maintenance is often something homeowners can take care of themselves, but if you ever feel you could be doing more harm than good, it’s time to call Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls. Call 636-861-1530 for service in the greater St. Louis area or learn more about Fritz Stonework here.

Beat the COVID-19 Blues by Updating Your Outdoor Space

Beat the COVID-19 Blues by Updating Your Outdoor Space

Stonework outdoor spaces have long been held in high esteem for their durability, added value to a home, and, most importantly, the beautiful gathering place it makes for family and friends. During COVID-19, there has been a dramatic rise in home improvements. As people spend more and more time at home, they have seen the need to adapt their homes into more than just a living space. A home can be a destination in itself. A place to entertain family and friends without the need for going to a restaurant or a bar. Stonework such as patios, walkways, and fire pits can give your home that extra touch that makes your family and friends feel as though they are visiting a destination rather than someone’s home.

Why Should I Choose Stonework for My Outdoor Space?

Stonework is long lasting and has a timeless appeal to it. Where wood degrades and styles change, stonework will endure and have lasting appeal long past current trends. Here are four reasons why stonework is the best choice for updating your outdoor living space.

  • Low Maintenance: There’s very little maintenance to be done with stonework patios, walkways, and fire pits. If installed correctly, stonework not only last for decades, it will look good for decades. Stonework keeps its appearance throughout the years with basic maintenance that most homeowners can accomplish. Simply keep leaves, twigs, branches, and other organic material from accumulating on your stonework. Keeping organic material from decaying on your stonework prevents any discoloring on the stones and prevents moisture from entering into the mortar.
  • Weatherproof: Stonework performs well in any season and looks the same all year. Where wooden deck will expand and contract with the seasons, stonework does not move seasonally. Where ground contact will eventually rot even pressure-treated lumber, stonework will not rot. A stonework patio will also never get blown away in a tornado or in strong winds like a wooden deck can. The weight of stonework, and it being flush into the ground, prevents wind from ever uprooting your investment.
  • Design: Stonework comes in a variety of styles and colors. Expert stonework installers can help you decide on a design that fits your home and needs. Merging stonework pathways, patios, and fireplaces can seem like an impossible task to a homeowner, but experienced professionals can help bring your dream backyard alive.
  • Adds Value to Your Home: Stonework is one of those few investments that you can make to your home that will age gracefully. The material itself is permanent and the aesthetic of stonework never goes out of style. If you ever decide to sell your home, buyers will pay more for a home that has a stonework outdoor space. Stonework won’t be a liability if you go to sell your home like a decaying and dilapidated wooden deck would be. But the “value” of an outdoor space doesn’t have to be solely in its resale value. If you decide not to sell your home, you still have the value of an outdoor space that you, your friends, and your family can benefit from. You might find yourself spending more time outside enjoying the fresh air and the people important to you.

COVID-19 isn’t stopping others from getting the most out of life at home. In a season where home improvement is on the rise, make your home improvement one that lasts. Choosing stonework for your patio, walkway, or fire pit is an improvement that you won’t come to regret. Choosing trusted professionals in the industry is just as important as making the right choice in your home improvement options. Serving the greater St. Louis region for over 30 years, Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls is the best choice if you’re considering updating your outdoor space. Call Fritz Stonework at 636-861-1530 or learn more about Fritz Stonework here.

3 Reasons Why Stonework Rocks

3 Reasons Why Stonework Rocks

Rocks are pretty much everywhere, but when they are artfully arranged by an expert mason, they can make your home into something extraordinary! Beautiful stonework is a way to customize your home and make it uniquely yours while increasing its value as well!

Outdoor kitchens, stone pathways, fountains, and other functional and elegant implements in your outdoor space can provide you with a perfect place for social gatherings as well as a placid escape from the hustle and bustle of life indoors!

Aesthetic Appeal

We’ve all seen incredibly beautiful homes and estates that have incredible interiors and even more impressive exteriors. They radiate a sense of class and civility that seems out of reach for most people, but let me tell you a secret, your home can become the brightest in the neighborhood by hiring an experienced mason!

For millennia, people have been building stone structures to decorate their living spaces, and during prosperous times the stone installments became incredibly ornate! Now that we’re in modern times, you can beautify your home in ways that the Romans could only dream of!

Stonework is incredibly pleasing to the eye- it brings your home closer to nature by highlighting the natural beauty of stone and arranging it in a way that is functional, creative, and permanent. When paired with other natural elements, such as shrubs and trees, you can create a natural oasis in your own back yard!

Whether it be improving your driveway, building artful retaining walls, installing a firepit, or stone poolside seating, an experienced mason can design handsome and practical additions to your outdoor space!

Increased Home Value

Owning a home is a big responsibility, but it is also an incredible opportunity to customize it and make it your own! Installing stonework is a way to artistically improve the exterior of your home which in turn improves its value!

Investing in your home by adding stonework will pay off greatly by increasing curb appeal which is basically the face of your home. This would be incredibly useful if you are ever considering selling your home, as beautiful homes are more likely to be sold quickly!

Stonework can also be incredibly beneficial to your home by adding increased stability through the implementation of retaining walls. Retaining walls provide support to the ground and can prevent settling and other damage to your home.

Whether it is beauty or practicality you seek, stonework can offer both! This can increase the value of your home by providing a unique and low-maintenance feature to your property!

Customizability

There are unlimited options when it comes to installing stonework. You can work with an experienced mason to design an attractive and distinctive feature to your property that will show off your own personal style!

Making your home suit your preferences is one of the amazing virtues of owning your home. Your home is supposed to be unique and lovely, and this is something that can be accomplished by working with an experienced mason.

Final Thoughts

Stonework rocks (pun intended), and it can make your home look absolutely fantastic without breaking the bank! Fritz Stoneworks is an incredibly experienced team of masons that can provide you with beautiful and functional natural stone additions to your property.

Fritz Stoneworks has over 31 years of experience creating customized outdoor spaces! Call them at 636-861-1530 to learn more about all the wonderful stonework they can add to your home!