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Resurfacing Decks and Patios

"A porch or patio can be one of the most useful exterior areas of your home if covered with an attractive surface material, cleared of all excess junk and with a little thought given to landscaping the area."

Resurfacing An Old Concrete Patio

Website: www.ezydeck.com

A porch or patio can be one of the most useful exterior areas of your home if covered with an attractive surface material, cleared of all excess junk and with a little thought given to landscaping the area. Unfortunately these spaces are all too often covered with bland concrete which as well as looking rather dull and dreary, may have developed cracks or become stained with grease, oil etc over time. Restoring such areas to a place you would be proud to use for entertaining, outdoor dining or just relaxing may seem like a daunting task. And indeed if the concrete is badly cracked and the surface uneven, generally there is no satisfactory alternative but to rip the lot up and re-lay it.

However if the surface only has hairline cracks and you can be certain that reinforcing mesh was installed when the concrete was laid, it is probable that existing cracks will not open up further (unless your concrete pad is suffering from root damage due to nearby trees). In this case there are a number of alternatives that could be considered to enhance the appearance.

Ceramic, slate or terracotta tiles have traditionally been seen as the solution to enlivening a dull patio of porch. But unless you could be reasonably confident that any existing cracks in the base concrete slab would not open any further, it is possible that any tiles laid over these cracks could also suffer the same fate over time. It may be possible to minimize this problem by using a flexible adhesive when installing the tiles rather than a mortar based product, but you should seek expert advice beforehand.

Due care should also be taken with terracotta tiles or ceramic tiles that the tiles chosen are suitable for the prevailing conditions. Terracotta or ceramic tiles can vary considerably in water absorption properties and tiles with high water absorption can crack in freezing conditions. Highly glazed tiles generally have lower water absorption properties but are more prone to slipping in wet conditions.

Clay pavers can be another useful alternative and are generally less susceptible to frost damage but are typically thicker and may not suit all applications where the height of the pavers would result in the patio surface being raised too much.

Natural stone - sandstone, granite, slate etc. can be very attractive but generally requires more skill in laying and thus a higher installed cost. Slate and sandstone may also need to be sealed to avoid the possibility of staining, especially if installed around BBQ or other exterior cooking areas

Perhaps the best option for covering old concrete is to use interlocking modular deck tiles. These are simply placed over the surface of the patio or porch and require no adhesives, nails, screws or special surface preparation. Not only are these tiles quite forgiving of small cracks and slight unevenness of the surface, but they can be laid both quickly and easily by anyone without any special skills or tools being required. And as they are not permanently fixed to the concrete base, they can be taken up, moved or added to at will. If you decide to move house you can simply take the tiles with you and lay them in your new location.

Modular deck tiles are available in several wood species as well as different styles and recently an interlocking ceramic version has been introduced with similar design features and simplicity of installation, giving additional opportunities to mix and match to create your own unique exterior space.

Copyright 2005 Intex Pacific Pty. Ltd.

Go To Part ll >> Modular Wood Tiles

Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.

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