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.

Ways to Stay Warm on Your Patio

Ways to Stay Warm on Your Patio

Once you have a beautiful patio built to your specifications, you want to be able to enjoy it all year round. Or if you are thinking of having a patio or outdoor living space built, then you might want to think about some items to include for the winter time to help you stay warm. Here are a few ideas that could help you enjoy your time outside all year round.

Invest in a Fire Pit

Fire pits are a very common way of staying warm and toasty as the temperatures drop. They create a practical, warm atmosphere that you can enjoy with friends and family. Fire pits now offer a smoke-free gas flame and different structures, shapes and designs to match any patio. Masonry and stonework projects can also provide a nice decorative addition to your fire pit.

Put Out Blankets

Adding blankets to an outdoor space is not only simple, but also inexpensive. They can create a warm, comfortable outdoor retreat that will make you want to sit on your patio with a warm drink in your hand. Invest in warm blankets that will have you enjoying some quiet time or time with friends and family.

Create a Cover

Creating a cover for your patio can offer some much-needed refuge from the cold weather. Covers for your patio make cold temperatures more tolerable and help keep out the rain, snow, and wind. Covers can enhance your outdoor living experience and increase the amount of time you spend outside.

Soak It All Up

What’s more relaxing than a nice warm soak outside while you star gaze? Adding a hot tub to your patio can make spending time in the cooler temperature more enjoyable. If you’re not a fan of the water, try adding a sauna. Saunas also provide shelter and make an attractive addition to your outdoor space.

Patio Heaters and Fireplaces

If you are unsure about a fire pit, an alternative option would be a patio heater or built-in fireplace. Even though a fireplace is a bigger investment than a fire pit, they do produce a large amount of heat. A fireplace is the most expensive option; however, they are very attractive and available in gas or wood-burning. Patio heaters can be mounted or stand-alone and are offered in electrical or propane. Electrical patio heaters are expensive to run but easy to use.

It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing, or the sun is out, you want to be able to use your patio and outdoor living space as much as possible. The winter months make it difficult to do so; however, by adding things to make it a more warm, comfortable, and welcoming environment, you will want to spend time all of your spare time outside. Here at Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls we take pride in what we do and have provided quality service for over 31 years. Contact us today at (636) 861-1530 so our expert staff can help you design a beautiful outdoor living space that meets your needs.

Clayton Landscaping – The Benefits of Patios

Clayton Landscaping – The Benefits of Patios

Almost everyone has a backyard, but most of them aren’t as nice as they could be. A simple way to upgrade your backyard is to install a unique patio to revamp your outdoor living space and turn it into an artful extension of your home!

Stonework is a great way to take advantage of natural rocks and turn them into something that is uniquely yours! In Clayton, MO, it’s easier than ever to have a fabulous backyard designed by experienced masons!

Benefits Of Patios

Nature is a scientifically proven mood booster, but that doesn’t mean you have to get your hands dirty to experience it! Patios are a perfect way to get some sunshine and fresh air without leaving the comfort of your own home. They provide an excellent space for winding down or having fun in the company of family and friends!

In addition to the social and emotional benefits of having a patio, implementing stonework can greatly increase the beauty of your home! A patio space can make your home stand out, and when it is well designed, the aesthetic value of a lovely patio is hard to beat!

The most solid benefit of having a patio is that the bank value of your home increases! Stonework is beautiful, but it is also a fairly permanent upgrade and this is extremely desirable in the housing market today!

Not Your Average Patio

When most people think of patios a concrete slab with some lawn chairs comes to mind, but a patio can be so much more than that! In Clayton, MO, you can have the patio of your dreams!

There are many ways to customize your patio, but one of the most aesthetically pleasing patio designs is one made out of stone! One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by using pavers!

Pavers come in all colors, shapes, and sizes are a type of brick that can be arranged in a variety of ways to suit your home best! Pavers are versatile and combine a natural look with the benefits of brick!

Kick the concrete slabs to the curb and invest in something that is far more beautiful and more weather resistant. Patios made out of pavers can provide you with the perfect outdoor space for entertaining guests, or just relaxing in comfort!

Upgrade Your Backyard

There are multitudes of benefits that a patio can bring into your life and home from providing a perfect place for outdoor gatherings, to increasing the value of your home. However, the most exciting aspect of installing a patio made from pavers is the customizability.

Pavers can be arranged to fit your unique tastes and preferences and make your home and outdoor space uniquely yours in a permanent way! Installing an awesome patio is sure to make your property extremely popular in Clayton, MO.

Final Thoughts

With people spending more time online, it’s a nice refresher to get outside for a while! With an elegant patio, you can go outside without leaving the comfort of home! With Fritz Stonework you can make your outdoor space something special!