During this years delayed and all-too-short summer we had plenty of work to do outside. The biggest was re-grouting the paths. “So what”, you may think, or “Why are they vacuuming a path?”(bottom photo). Let me explain.
When we bought The Gazebo in 1997 the terrace and paths were covered in older concrete in varying conditions. Over the years they became less attractive due to age so in 2007 we embarked on a project which was to absorb far, far more hours than expected.
We purchased 23 pallets of concrete pavers in three shapes/sizes. I wish I had counted them at the time (it would have justified the hours of work) but we estimate there were 15,000 to 18,000 pavers. Over many weeks with help from friends we placed them over a layer of sand. Most of the path edges required pavers cut to size. Eventually this element was complete. Next we grouted the joints with polymeric sand and then commenced sealing.
I chose a very hot day which caused lines to appear where passes of seal overlapped. The solution? Remove the seal with a pressure washer. Result? The seal was removed and so was much of the sand. So naturally we re-grouted.
Last winter was a bad one for moss in the area so we decided to remove it with a special pressure washer which resembled an old rotary lawnmower. Result: more sand removed, though not quite as much. This brings us to the strange photo below.
We scrubbed paver by paver, joint by joint and then removed loose dirt with a dry-vac followed by a gentler clean up with a regular vacuum cleaner. These two tools were Linda’s idea and the first was good though I think the second over-kill. So you see her sister Pam doing some strange exterior cleaning while I am standing ready to sweep fresh polymeric sand into the exposed joints.
It was at this time that a lady remarked of the still-unfinished terrace “It’s clean enough to eat off!”. Later it certainly was.