Topic: Blog

Pool Deck Paint Vs Stain: What’s Best for Concrete Pool Decks?

Enhancing a pool deck doesn’t have to be something that involves the use of expensive materials and complicated work. A mere layer or two of concrete pool deck paint or stain could immediately enhance the look at a more comfortable price. While these two share the same goal, they are two different options. Which one should you choose and why?

Pool Deck Paint: Pros and Consstamped concrete pool deck philadelphia

Painting is a traditional method of adding color to any concrete surface, both horizontal and vertical. It comes in a wide range of colors and paint experts can even mix them to create a custom color that matches your preference. The paint dries to an opaque finish, covering up any unsightly stain or blemish that the concrete deck may have. Patterns and designs can be customized to make the deck a creative work of art. This method of adding color to a deck is one of the easiest to apply. However, it can be quite messy so make sure that surrounding areas are protected.

The downside to paint is that it creates a thin film of color on top of the concrete deck, but does not penetrate the slab. It traps moisture in and when that happens, there is a possibility that the layer of paint would separate from the deck, causing it to bubble, flake, and peel. 

Acid and Water-Based Stain: Pros and Cons

Concrete staining is a popular refinishing method that is similar to wood staining. It comes in two types: acid and water-based. Acid stains create random shades and effects that make it look like marble, stone, or even leather. No two concrete slabs react the same way so every surface is unique. Water-based stains are more consistent. Both dry to a finish that leans more to semi-translucent than opaque. Concrete stains last longer than paint because it penetrates deep within the slab. This means it won’t fade, peel, or flake off. 

The process of staining is not as simple as painting the deck. It is highly recommended to hire a pro to apply the stain. For acid stains, the deck needs to be prepared to ensure proper adherence. The only minor downside to staining is how unpredictable the results are. The acid stain look will depend on how much lime and mineral the slab contains. The color may not also dry exactly as it looks on a color swatch. Make sure to test a bit of the stain on an inconspicuous spot to see how dark or light it will be when fully dry.

 


Top Free Design Software for Pool Deck Plans

Designing pool decks nowadays, be it a new install or a remodel, is a lot easier to plan with all the innovative tools available today. Aside from making it easier for designers or architects to create pool deck plans and present them to customers, it also gave property owners the opportunity to be able to create the plans themselves. Here are the top software for designing pool decks:

  • Azek Deck Designerazek designer

This is one of the best for use both on desktops and tablets. It is fast and very easy to use and navigate. It presents many options and the details are definitely impressive. These are great for designing above-ground pool decks. You can choose the height, number of tiers, and even other things like a hot tub or furniture.

  • Decks.com Deck Designerdecks dot com deck designer

This is a fairly good software that allows you to look at the design in 3D view, aerial view, or side view. This, however, is a bit slow and the design does not look as real as the Aztec software. Images can be cartoonish.

  • Lowe’s Deck Designerlowes deck designer

This is one of the most highly recommended options by designers but it is quite difficult to access and too complicated to get it to work. First, it only works with Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. It also requires a hard-to-find plugin to make it work.

  • SketchUpsketchup

This is one big player in the world of design software. It can be used to design almost anything and the options are many, even with the free version. You can view your design from the top, side, or at a certain angle. You can also move the decks or tiers you have designed to help you work out a layout.

If you are really interested in designing a pool deck, try to look up paid software that do just that. It is important that you should know now that these are not cheap. However, if provides you all the tools and options you need to efficiently create a pool deck plan that you can apply on your property, then it would be a worthwhile investment. But do not rely on the software to guarantee the results you yield. It is always best to consult a pro and to hire a reliable contractor who can help you out every step of the way.


Top 3 Driveway Resurfacing Options for Autumn

brick stamped pattern PhillyThe myth is that you can only resurface a concrete driveway during summer and spring because of their favorable weather. However, autumn is also a great time of the year for a concrete resurfacing project. Aside from the fact that it is easier to book a concrete contractor at this time, most resurfacing coatings and overlays can be installed in this climate and temperature, such as:

Stamped Concrete Overlay

A stamped overlay is not at all temperature-sensitive. It is also an ideal overlay because it promotes better traction and grip, all thanks to the stamped patterns involved. The grooves from the stamping process make the driveway safer to tread on even when rain falls hard. The great thing about this overlay is that it requires minimal cleaning and maintenance, which is a huge blessing for homeowners especially when the time comes to winterize the entire property in preparation of fall and the winter season that comes after.

Spray Knockdown Texture

This is a spray-on coating system that can be used on any outdoor surface, concrete driveways included. Instead of being poured, this coating is sprayed onto the surface before being knocked down with a trowel. The effect creates a texture that is highly slip-resistant. This coating is also not sensitive to temperature so it can be installed despite the cooler temperature associated with autumn. This comes in a wide range of colors and it can also be stained with custom shades.

Concrete Staining

If you prefer a more subtle update to the concrete driveway, staining can do the job. Acid stains can bring out unique effects that can never be replicated on any other concrete surface. It creates a look similar to leather or natural stone. Water-based stains come in a wide selection of hues from earthy tones to pastels. Both can be installed in autumn and the change in weather will not affect the results it yields. If you need more traction on a stained concrete driveway, it is highly recommended to integrate it with another overlay, like a stamped one, or to add fine abrasives to the sealer. The sealer will enhance the color, add a bit of shine, and help enhance grip if added with abrasives.

Driveways vary in size, length, and slope angle. If you are unsure if any of these would work on yours, consult an expert contractor so they could recommend the best option for you at this time of the year.


3 Pool Deck Options Perfect for Autumn Weather

pool decking PhiladelphiaThe Fall season is one of the preferable seasons of all because of the rich Autumn colors on the trees and the cooler climate. Unfortunately, it is not really the best season for using the pool, unless you have a hot tub, then it is the perfect time of the year for a soak. So, what else can be done to make the pool decking an equally enjoyable space even during Fall? Here are some ideas:

Integrate Fall Colors

If you have trees around the pool deck that feature the colors of Fall, then you are lucky. However, you can further enhance it with flowers in similar colors or other autumn hues like pink, magenta, purple, and blue. You may also want to opt for resurfacing pool deck area with concrete overlays in Fall-like colors. It could be a red brick surface or a travertine patterned overlay hand-stained with the colors of the season. If you have deck chairs or beds, add some orange or yellow pillows or throws. Not only will these create a trending look, it also provides the necessary stuff to keep warm while outdoors.

Heat Up the Deck

The deck may seem like a colder area, thanks to the drop in temperature as the season slowly shifts to a winter. So, why not add heat to the cool decking? Adding fire pits or outdoor fireplaces provide a means for warmth and illumination in this time of the year. You can hang out all you want at night time, watching the stars, and not freeze to death. A working fire not only provides heat and light, it also allows you to roast some barbecue or some plain marshmallows. That and the throws and pillows you have prepared will definitely guarantee a warm and cozy outdoor experience.

Enhance Outdoor Lighting

Lights are always essential, regardless of the season. However, during these cool months, it would be nice to have enhanced lighting to make the surroundings look warmer and brighter. Lighting fixtures can also be a decorative solution to make the pool deck area more Autumn-like. Hanging a string of Christmas lights or small lanterns around and across the trees will bring a bohemian vibe to the pool deck. It provides subtle lights that seem to twinkle like stars where they are. Intricately designed lamps can be hung on posts or branches or simply placed on the deck beside some chairs or by the pool. Using tea lights is also a great way of adding drama while keeping the area warm and cozy.


5 Kid-Friendly Pool Deck Ideas

Most homes nowadays have swimming pools. There are so many concrete pool deck designs nowadays that feature stunning aesthetics and innovative concepts. However, if you have kids in the house, not just any design is enough. It is important to make the pool deck as safe and kid-friendly as it could possibly be. If you already have an existing pool deck, here some things you could do to make the pool area more enjoyable for kids:

stamped concrete pool deck philadelphiaSlip-resistant Pool Deck

Kids love to run around the pool deck in between swimming and taking dips. With wet and bare feet, it could be very dangerous. Stamped Concrete or spray-down concrete resurfacing are some of the most efficient solutions to improving slip-resistance on a pool deck. A stamped overlay or knockdown texture on concrete provides just the right texture without making the surface difficult to walk on especially with bare feet. The great thing about stamped overlays is that it comes in a variety of patterns and designs to choose from. A spray texture, on the other hand, features a stucco-like look but with a more subtle texture.

knockdown texture phialdelphiaCool Deck Surface

Concrete and most pool deck materials have the tendency to turn into really hot surfaces when exposed to sunlight for long hours. Asking kids to wear flip flops every time they need to walk around the deck can be quite challenging for parents and inconvenient for kids. Instead, hire a contractor to install a spray knockdown finish on the existing pool deck. This resurfacing material is known for its heat reflectivity. Instead of absorbing heat, a knockdown finish reflects it back, keeping the surface 30% cooler.
 

wading are for kidsWide Wading Area

Extend the pool deck a bit into the pool but make it about 6 or more inches deeper. This area is not only great for sunbathing, but also great for smaller kids to enjoy the pool at a safe distance from the deeper areas.

 

 

swimming pool shade for kidsAdd Some Shade

Kids can stay out in the pool area the whole day if they want to but parents fear that they would acquire terrible sunburn. Adding some shaded area gives children a place to lounge and play without getting burned under tremendous heat. You can use a big umbrella or some fabric hanging somewhere near the pool.

 

swimming pool towel and toy areTowel and Toy Area

Make towels and pool toys accessible for kids. When kids get out of the pool, it would be nice to have towels they can use immediately right on the pool deck. It would be a lot easier also for parents to fix pool toys because they just put it in one spot near the pool instead of into the garage or back in the house.