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Why Permeable Pavers are a Growing Trend in Outdoor Design in Orange County, CA

Words like “sustainable” and “responsible” continue to grow in importance with today’s consumers as we collectively become more conscientious about how our actions affect the world around us and the legacy we leave behind. However, we still wish to enjoy our time on this planet.

Enter the permeable paver. Permeable pavers give homeowners the opportunity to create eye-catching, livable outdoor spaces that actually improve the environment and allow us to leave the world better and more beautiful than we found it.

The technology is ingeniously simple. Permeable pavers are laid on multiple layers of crushed stone, and the joints between each paver are filled with smaller aggregate. This design allows water to instantly drain through the joints and percolate through the layers of aggregate below, where any impurities are trapped before water seeps into the ground and returns to local waterways. To create the ultimate sustainable patio, walkway or driveway, the system can be designed to collect and recycle rainwater for irrigation and other purposes.

And here’s the best part…in many states and municipalities with water conservation and stormwater management initiatives, there are often grants or tax incentives available for installing permeable pavers or a water harvesting system, which makes the idea of installing a permeable patio, walkway or driveway all the more attractive.

 

PERMEABLE PATIO DESIGN IDEAS
 
PERMEABLE WALKWAY DESIGN IDEAS
PERMEABLE DRIVEWAY DESIGN IDEAS

 

Article by Belgard Hardscapes

Paver Sealant: To Seal or Not to Seal

Sealant is an important maintenance tool to keep paver patios, walkways, driveways and pool decks looking as beautiful as they day they were installed.  However, “too much of a good thing” can come into play, and you should be wary of over-applying paver sealant by reapplying too often, which could create a haze. This week’s blog offers tips for knowing when it’s time to seal and how to best achieve the desired look.

Should all concrete pavers be sealed?

Yes. Concrete is porous and will absorb stains if not sealed. Sealants can also protect paver color from fading.

Do all sealant brands offer the same basic protection?

There are definitely some poor products on the market. Don’t trust the fact that you bought it at a big box store or that it’s a high-profile brand. Just because a brand is good at one product category (like paint) doesn’t mean they are the best in another. Belgard recommends Techniseal® sealants. Techniseal® is a pioneer in the industry has a robust R&D department, resulting in effective and durable products specifically created for paver installation and maintenance.

Is any one sealant finish more protective than another?

There are basically two types of paver sealants: film-forming (gloss or semi-gloss finish) and non-film-forming (matte finish). Film-forming sealants, Wet Look and Clear Look, offer the ultimate protection because they create a physical barrier on the paver surface. However non-film-forming sealants, Natural Look and Color Boost, still offer excellent protection and last a bit longer.

Techniseal Concrete Paver Sealer

How long should new pavers cure before they are sealed for the first time?

If using a non-film-forming paver sealant, wait one week before sealing. If using a film-forming sealant, wait 30 days to avoid trapping moisture under the protective barrier.

Is there a prep process before applying sealant?

Even new pavers should be cleaned with Techniseal® Paver Prep prior to sealing. Not only will it clean the pavers, but it will open the pores on the surface to allow better penetration of the sealant. Older pavers will also benefit, as Paver Prep will remove any efflorescence (or whitish salt buildup) that has accumulated. Any stains should be removed prior to applying Paver Prep, using the specific stain remover for the type of stain. 

How long should pavers dry after being cleaned and prepped?

The answer depends on your climate. In warm, sunny climates, the pavers will be dry and ready to seal in a few hours. In cooler climates or shady areas, it’s best to wait about 24 hours.

What are the ideal weather conditions for sealing?

Ideal conditions would be 75 degrees and sunny; however, anywhere between 50-90 degrees is generally fine. Take note that solvent-based sealants evaporate faster, so lower temperatures are better for application.

How often should sealant be reapplied?

The basic rule of thumb is every 3-5 years. For film-forming sealants, you will be able to notice when the physical barrier is showing signs of wear. For non-film-forming sealants, you will begin to see a significant color change of pavers during a rain when the sealant is wearing thin. Keep in mind that in cases of a really heavy rain, even well-sealed pavers may darken for a couple of days until the water fully evaporates, which is not an indication of sealant failure.

PAVER SEALANT APPLICATION TIPS:

  • Like with painting, it’s best to keep a wet edge on a continuous area. In other words, don’t let a section dry before you finish. Once you start working, keep working.
  • An application sprayer (available at any hardware store) makes it easier to work faster.
  • Apply paver sealant to saturation. Get the pavers good and wet to make sure all crevices are covered. Then use a dry roller to soak up the excess to avoid lines and drip marks.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Visit Techniseal’s website for more DIY paver sealant application tips. When in doubt, hire a professional. 

 

Article by Belgard Hardscapes

Product Spotlight: Belgard's Tandem Modular Grid

TandemGrid

Tandem Column Kit

The Tandem Column Kit coordinates with Tandem Modular Grid and is specifically design to quickly and easily install around existing posts or construct independent columns to enhance driveways, entrances and outdoor living spaces.

Designer outdoor living spaces are literally a “snap” with the versatile new Tandem Modular Grid system, which can be used to enhance existing structures or construct an unlimited number of outdoor living design elements — such as planters, built-in furniture, outdoor kitchens, garden walls, benches and more. The textured Tandem veneer creates the look of natural chiseled stone to coordinate with Belgard pavers and create striking designs that compliment any architectural style.

Dress up an existing deck or patio with an eye-catching skirt, hide unsightly garbage cans or air conditioning units with a privacy wall, or enhance your outdoor living space with an inviting gas fire pit. Construct virtually any structure up to 6 ft. tall, or higher with proper engineering support.

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Tandem Modular Grid Components

GridComponents

123The Tandem Modular Grid system consists of three basic components: modular galvanized grids, connectors, and textured stone-faced veneer units.

Creating beautiful outdoor living structures with Tandem Modular Grid is as easy as 1-2-3!

1 – Build a wooden frame. Tandem Modular Grid can also be used to dress up existing structures, like a porch, new wood deck or existing concrete deck. The system can be affixed to nearly any wood, concrete or metal structure.

2 – Attach the Modular Grid to the frame with provided hardware. The Grid can be installed either horizontally or vertically. Simply cut the grid as needed and affix to your frame or existing structure.

3 – Attach Tandem Veneer units to the grid with the provided Connectors. Veneer units are available in three sizes for ultimate design flexibility. Color options vary by region.

Column kits are even easier to install and do not require a wooden frame, but are instead filled with crushed 3/4″ aggregate during the installation process.

Outdoor Living Holiday Gift Guide

For many people, outdoor living has become so much a way of life, they spend more time on their back patio than in their interior living room. For those outdoor living enthusiasts in your life, here are some of our favorite gift ideas this holiday season.

imageRain-Drum Accent Table

Rain drums, named for the pleasing sound they make when hit by raindrops, have existed in Asian cultures for thousands of years. This cast-aluminum version from Pottery Barn adds old world charm to an outdoor living room and works well as a coffee table, side table or accent table.

. . .

imageColorful Hanging Lanterns

Decorative outdoor lighting adds ambiance to any outdoor living area. This colorful tabletop display of hanging globe lanterns from Pier 1uses either standard wax or battery-operated tea lights to add a festive glow to any outdoor kitchen or living room. The decorative handcrafted set includes a sturdy iron base and handblown glass globes.

. . .

imageCountertop Brick Oven

With four versions to choose from, the countertop Belgard brick oven can easily turn any outdoor kitchen into a gourmet cooking space without the time and expense of a full custom brick oven installation. The countertop oven is available in copper or silver finish with either a pyramid (shown) or dome roof line.

.  .  .

imageCajun Turkey Fryer

Cajun cooking is all the rage, and no Cajun holiday is complete without a marinated fried turkey, crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside. This whole-turkey deep fryer package from Home Depot has the tools to turn the average homeowner into an outdoor Cajun chef, including pot, stand, propane regulator, turkey stand, and meat thermometer.

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Hardscape Meets Artificial Grass

Water restrictions are getting harsher as Orange County tries to figure out ways to conserve its water supply. Many homeowners across southern California are getting letter notices requiring us to reduce our water usage...and for good reason.

Fortunately, residents no longer have to settle for an unattractive, waterless yard for the sake of saving water to help our community. Many people are turning to hardscape, which is the usage of stone, pavers, tiles and other materials rather than grass and plants. It provides a very attractive, convenient option to conserve A LOT of water, as well as substantially cut down on your utility bills.

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Complete paver backyard remodel in Brea, Ca.

Moreover, artificial grass, or "synthetic turf," has come a very long way since its inception a few decades ago. It looks so unbelievably authentic that the only way residents know their neighbor has artificial grass is probably because it looks so lush and green while their grass lawn is turning brown. This takes "going green" to a whole new level.

 

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Hardscape and artificial grass truly go hand-in-hand, serving as the very best option in conserving our much needed water, while maintaining some of the most welcoming yards California has to offer. Contact us today for more information and free samples to find the right pavers and artificial grass to fit your home.

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