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.

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!

Hard Truths about Retaining Walls

Hard Truths about Retaining Walls

You are looking at your home in all its homeliness and just think to yourself, “This house is the best house in the world, and nothing can possibly destroy it.”

Well, not so fast. There is a secret menace that lurks in the wind and water that is plotting to destroy your home.

This villain’s name? Soil erosion, and it can wipe your home off the face of the earth in a matter of minutes.

But how does soil erosion work its horrible magic? When torrential rain comes falling, it lands on the ground, right? Well, when there is a slope in your yard, that water goes down that slope, taking soil along with it, which can cause your abode to be flooded with water, causing thousands in damage to your home.

But do not fear, as there are many things you can do to keep your house safe. One of the most effective of these is the use of a retaining wall to keep that soil from being swept away.

But what is a retaining wall? Think of a retaining wall as a sort of dam for soil that keeps it where you want it to be. Most of the time, they are used to prevent water from sweeping soil and nutrients down a slope and careening towards your house, causing severe damage to your home. Essentially, they are a simple way to prevent flash flooding that can wreak havoc on your house.

They can be made of just about anything that is strong enough to keep soil at bay, so anything from simple bricks to large rocks is fair game to make a retaining wall with.

But retaining walls do not just keep soil from moving. A good retaining wall needs to satisfy the following requirements:

  1. It can hold soil in place
  2. It can drain away water and channel it properly

If your retaining wall satisfies both, your defenses are nice and strong, and you can rest assured that your house is safe. They can also serve a decorative purpose as they can be used to create multiple terraces on which you can grow a garden to give yourself another layer of protection. If you are still anxious after using these techniques, you can use other methods like natural barriers to keep water away from your home.

So, retaining walls do sound like a good idea, but should you build your own retaining walls? It can be done given the right amount of time and lots of research, but you should seriously consider what is at stake: your own home. An improperly built retaining wall can make the problem worse than it already is and lead to severe damage, particularly to your basement and foundation.

It is a much better idea to enlist the services of a respectable contractor like Fritz Stoneworks. Contact them at 636-861-1530 to enlist their services to help you keep your home safe from soil erosion and its horrific effects.

Top 5 Benefits of Retaining Walls

Top 5 Benefits of Retaining Walls

Happy to be home right now? What if your home just disappeared suddenly?

Unfortunately, this happens quite often due to an unlikely foe: soil erosion. On average, 75,000 Americans are driven from their homes due to flash flooding from soil erosion every year.

This is an appalling statistic that should not exist. Luckily, there are things we can do to keep things like this from happening. One thing we can do is install a retaining wall that holds soil in place and channels water away from your house, keeping you and your family safe from flash flooding. 

But what is so special about retaining walls? Here are five reasons why you should invest in a retaining wall installation as soon as possible.

They are a great decorative feature.

Retaining walls do not have to be boring and bland. In fact, it is encouraged to make retaining walls look good in whatever way possible. Whether it be a terrace garden, LED lighting, or interesting materials, anything that does not sacrifice the ability to hold soil in place or channel water away from your home is fair game.

They prevent sinkholes.

Let’s face it, sinkholes are terrifying. At the drop of a hat, one could open under you and you could never be seen again. One man was swallowed up by a sinkhole while he was sleeping, never to be seen again. 

Thankfully, retaining walls are particularly good at preventing things like this from happening. They do this by keeping soil where it should be and by keeping pools of water from forming, which makes sure the conditions needed for a sinkhole do not happen in your backyard.

It can make your property more manageable.

Getting a retaining wall for your property is one of the best ways to prevent soil erosion from wreaking untold havoc on your property. It does this by not only keeping wet soil in one place, but also channels water in a way that directs away from your house, keeping any erosion that takes place away from your home and out of mind, giving you confidence that your home will be safe from a flash flood.

It raises your home’s resale value.

Since retaining walls can be dolled up to look as good as possible, they can help your home attract far more prospective buyers when it comes time to sell. It shows them the property was well cared for and that it is a safe place to live, driving up its value as a result.

It can create more space.

If your yard is very hilly, a retaining wall can free up space for you to use. You may be thinking, “Wait a minute, wouldn’t that reduce the space you have?” Well, there are many outdoor activities that require a flat piece of land, like gardening. A retaining wall can open up flat land your gardening partner or relative can use to train their green thumbs.

So as you can see, retaining walls have plenty of benefits that you will definitely appreciate in your life. If you want to learn more about other benefits like these, contact Fritz Stoneworks at 636-861-1530 to learn how a retaining wall may be just the thing you need.

How to Clean and Protect Your Stonework This Fall and Winter

Enhance your Property Value with Stone Pathways

The value of your property is based on location, amount of property, and improvements on that property. When the majority of people consider the improvements on a property they consider the home or structures like storage sheds and buildings. They also think about amenities like pools and hot tubs because those items make a property more appealing to buyers, and thus the property becomes more valuable.

One of the things you can do to increase the value of your property is to create stone pathways from the major points of interest. When you leave out of the front door to walk to the driveway or to the street in front of the property you do not want to walk through the grass or across an unlevel ground.

If you create a pathway from the front door to the street by laying brick or stone pavers you will create a level walkway that allows you to not get your feet wet or dirty when you are traveling the path. Even if it has just rained outside you can travel the stone path and not get dirty doing so.

The benefits of a stone pathway

  •         The stone path is level and will allow you to walk safely and take fewer chances of falling, tripping, or turning an ankle.
  •         The inside of the home will stay cleaner because you are not walking through dirt or grass before you walk into the home. You track in less dirt          because your shoes pick up less dirt.
  •         The lawn looks better with a stone path than it would with a beaten-down trail that you make by traveling over the same area repeatedly.
  •         You can add interesting lighting and borders to stone paths to dress them up even more
  •         Your home instantly has increased curb appeal when you create the stone pathways

Stone pathways are alluring to prospective buyers because they can see all of the benefits of having these paths that are level, safer to navigate, and cleaner to travel.

Where to place stone pathways on your property

The obvious places for stone pathways are from your front door to the most frequently traveled places like the driveway or the street in front of the house. It there are flower beds, gazebos, or areas of particular interest in the front section of the lawn you can also create a stone path leading to those areas.

When you exit the back door of the home you will want a path that leads to any storage buildings you may have in the back section of the property. You also want a path leading to any outdoor attractions like pools, tennis courts, patios, outdoor kitchens, game areas, or particular places of interest that you might frequently travel.

To learn more about stone pathways and all of the options you have in making them contact the experts at Fritz Stoneworks at 636-861-1530. The friendly staff will be able to answer all of your questions and help you make the best choices according to your location, budget, and ideas.

 

Patio trends for 2020

Patio trends for 2020

It is that time of the year! Where coats are put back into the closets, and the outdoors begin calling. Patio furniture does not go out of fashion as fast as other home items. Nonetheless, the aspect of your patio can be drastically modified with simple touches or radical additions. New year, new patio! Here are this year’s patio trends:

  • Lighting. A significant player in any courtyard, your lighting can set the mood for a friendly gathering or a romantic encounter. LED technology has brought a new option in custom LEDs: with the appropriate design, LED lights can highlight certain features of your outdoor space. The best part? You can control shade and intensity with just a few clicks on your phone. And speaking of light, shade umbrellas are a great facet on outdoor patios. Look for those that will maximize your outdoor space to give it that extra pop!
  • Mixed Materials. Mixing different materials would have been a no-no in the past. Nonetheless, this trend continues to gain popularity in the last several years. Are you looking to make your patio shine with a bit of sparkle? Then unleash the creativity! Forget about one color, one material patios and step out of the comfort zone to impress your guests. Some of the most refreshing combinations are copper and birch, wicker and aluminum, concrete, and oak. This will also make it easier for you to find outdoor furniture that matches.
  • Fire pits. Outdoor fireplaces have a dual purpose: first, it allows you to enjoy your patio despite cold weather. Just imagine yourself on a chilly afternoon, enjoying a family gathering around comforting flames. Even on warm summer nights, fireplaces make the thought of spending some time outside feel like a great idea. The second purpose is decorative. No doubt, a beautiful fire pit is a focal point in an outdoor space; our decoration experts assure that firepits make any patio look larger. The idea of an outdoor fireplace can be intimidating, but at Fritz Stone Works, we have the best techniques to install and maintain a fire pit. All you have to do is enjoy it!
  • Darker, bolder colors. Having a colorful patio makes it unique and also trendy. Don’t be afraid to go darker, or even charcoal grey. Bold colors make a patio look modern and sleek. Stripes are also a big trend for 2020 and should not be limited to furniture as stripes can be mixed in your materials as well!
  • Sustainable areas. Patios are such a versatile space in one’s home as they are not only a decorative section of the house, but they become a place for memories. This space will be the area your kids will learn to care for plants or the site you’ll host a memorable party or the setting for a romantic moment. But remember, beneath those moments lie a host of tiny ecosystems existing under your feet. So be sure to build your patio with sustainability in mind for the flora and fauna residing under and around your patio. The trend for this year is to make your outdoor areas as sustainable and functional as possible.

If you are looking for inspiration or an expert’s advice on how to make the most of your patio, then call Fritz Stone Works at 636-861-1530 or visit our website at https://fritzstonework.com/ for more information about our services.