The proper repair and maintenance of pebble stone decks is critical if you are planning on keeping your deck for a long time. Neglecting these decks is a sure path to future failure and disastrous results. Many of the calls that we take in our technical services department concerning stone decks are always at the point where the stones are loose and popping off. A good preventative program and not to loose stones is to seal the deck every 2 years. A good maintenance schedule is:
1. Wash the deck with 1 part of Fabulene biodegradable detergent cleaner and 1 part of bleach and 2 parts of hot water.
2. Use a spray bottle or pump sprayer to wet out the surface. Allow this mixture to saturate the surface for 5-10 minutes.
3. Rinse the detergent, bleach solution off the stones with a garden hose. Using a powerwasher can loosen stones, so don’t even try it. For stubborn stains use a stiff broom to scrub stained surfaces and rinse with a garden hose.
4. Allow the stone deck to completely dry, generally 24- 48 hours depending on the air temperature and humidity.
5. If there are no repairs to be made now you are ready to seal the deck. Here is the tricky part. What do I seal the deck with? From experience, we have found that our 100% Epoxy Seal MV is the best, and the reason is that this product will bond the stones back down to the subsurface and to each other. Acrylic sealers don’t have the adhesive quality as 100% epoxies. Acrylic sealers make the surface shiny but offer no adhesion to the stones.
6. Solvent modified Epoxies also offer adhesion and do also hold the stones in place but these products don’t last as long as a 100% solids Epoxy. For more info call 1-800-922-4623 or go to www.chargar.com See our other post on how to repair a damaged stone deck. Written by: Giulio Fraenza