Staying out for the summer

Staying out for the summer

The boom in the landscaping sector looks set to continue as people still want to use outdoor areas as an extra place to entertain and relax. Whether a customer wants to create an inspiring outdoor space for the new season or bring an unloved and neglected garden back to life with a bit of TLC, getting the products right makes the job a walk in the park. Mariam Maqsood, Product Manager from Sika Everbuild explains how to guide your customers through the range of patio adhesives, sealers and cleaning products to suit their exact project requirements.

One of the key trends shaping the landscaping sector at the moment is the idea of the garden as another room. Here, the use of porcelain tiles rather than traditional paving stones continues to be a popular means of lifting the space from being a patio to a comfortable and stylish outdoor living or dining room.

This trend is all about ‘bringing the inside out’ to make the garden feel connected to the interior, as well as creating an additional socialising space outside. It is particularly effective where bifold doors are also installed and tiles which complement the indoor flooring are used, providing an excellent way to create cohesion between the two areas.

And so when your customers are installing porcelain tiles for a garden patio, it is vital they opt for exterior grade jointing compounds and adhesives to ensure the tiles will withstand all the elements including UV rays, heat, frost and rain as well as standing water. A strong bonding primer — such as the SikaCeram FlowFix bonding primer and jointing compound system — is essential to prevent the paving system breaking away from the mortar bed, and is typically applied by brush or roller to the underside of the paving during installation.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that jointing compounds will be visible between tiles, so colour is also a factor. Manufacturers like Sika Everbuild offer a range of colours — with SikaCeram FlowFix available in Light Grey, Dark Grey, Buff and Ivory — to give customers the choice of coordinating or contrasting with their chosen tiles.

Set in stone

Of course, while porcelain tiles are a key trend, there is still an appetite for traditional stone patios. And though your customers may prefer to wait for perfectly dry conditions before they start a new patio installation, there are products available which can be applied in less-than-ideal conditions so there’s no need to wait until spring has sprung.

Sika Everbuild explains how to guide your customers through the range of patio adhesives, sealers and cleaning products to suit their exact project requirements.

As the name suggests, Sika Fastfix All Weather self-setting paving jointing compound is one of these hardy products which can be easily applied in all weather conditions, including rain. With its Active Resin Technology formula, it is hard-wearing, durable and won’t shrink or crack over time. And as it’s now available in a choice of five colour options — Stone, Flint, Charcoal, Dark Buff and Deep Grey — it can match many stone finishes from slate to sandstone.

Jointing compounds like this also act as a natural barrier to prevent unsightly weed growth, helping to create low-maintenance patio areas.

With customers increasingly concerned about the sustainability of the products they use, it’s helpful to be able to signpost them to more sustainable options available. For example, the fact that Sika FastFix can be stored in water once opened and reused on future projects reduces waste. The product also now sports new packaging which is manufactured using a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic — a change which Sika anticipates will save more than 400 tonnes of virgin plastic this year alone — demonstrating how small changes really do add up.

Revitalising unloved patios

Sometimes a good clean is all a patio needs to restore it back to its former glory, making a garden inviting and somewhere people want to spend time in. Pressure washing removes a lot of dirt and algae from paving and patios but can be back-breaking work.

Thankfully there are plenty of products formulated to take the strain out of patio cleaning and leave them gleaming. For instance, Sika Mould Buster and Everbuild Patio Wizard can both be applied and then left to get to work on their own. Within a few days they will kill and remove mould and algae and help to prevent re-growth.

Once thoroughly cleaned, a quick check of the integrity of the joints will show whether fresh jointing compound will need to be applied to prevent patio flags coming loose.

It’s also worth investing time to protect porous natural stone from stains. If customers are keen to retain the natural aesthetic of the stone, then a product like Sika Stone Protector with its invisible finish will provide stain resistance without changing the appearance of the stone. Other patio sealers are formulated to protect natural stone, concrete and block paving from the effects of sunlight, water, oil, petrol and fungal/moss growth to keep areas looking pristine through the seasons.

Point of sale material is available for merchants to use and there is a host of resources on the Sika Everbuild website, including a handy ‘how to’ application video and a coverage calculator to help work out quantities needed for specific projects.

Click the link to find out more about Sika Everbuild’s extensive range of products and support services for merchants.

A version of this article appeared in the April edition of PBM. Click the link to read the full digital issue.

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