Decorative Stones Uses For Landscaping

One of the benefits resulting from the diminishing rainfall now being experienced Australia wide is the growing realisation by the community that there are alternatives to the vast areas of lawn traditionally found around suburban houses. The new trend toward smaller property sizes has also caused people to look at more practical uses that could be made of the surrounds to their homes. One of the fastest growth areas experienced over the past 5 years has been the increased usage of decorative pebbles. Landscapers and homeowners basically have two main sources for these pebbles and stones.

Natural coloured stones can be sourced throughout Australia, under licence, from old river and creek beds where their removal does not harm the ecosystem. These stones are quarried, then tumbled to give a smooth rounded edge which adds a touch of class wherever used. Local decorative pebbles are increasingly being used throughout the landscaping of new display homes to provide a low maintenance, low water requirement home environment. Attractive exterior inorganic mulches like pebbles suppress weeds and retain soil moisture when applied over already moist soil. They don’t break down over time and with the wide range of colours available can look great providing a modern stylish garden appearance.You may want to check out decorative stones for more.

The alternative source of decorative pebbles is the growing range of colours and sizes available in the imported pebbles. Whilst the initial major source of these was from non enviro-friendly areas of beaches and rivers in India and Indonesia, the recent trend had been to the wide range of natural coloured pebbles which are manufactured particularly in China and Italy. The two types of pebbles sourced are either polished and waxed or are manufactured stone that is tumbled from quarried rock to the desired size.

Polished pebbles are sourced from huge mounds of pebbles produced as a by-product to sand mining operations. Stacks up to 4 metres high and covering areas as large as a football field provide the pebbles that are hand picked for the colour required (usually black). These pebbles are then taken to local villages where they are polished by tumbling, then waxed and bagged.
Imported decorative pebbles are increasingly being used in a wide variety of applications including interior and exterior landscaping, roofscaping and the latest trend in decorative concrete – “seeded exposed aggregate”.

One of the many aspects drawing landscape architects and designers to this finish is the complete versatility in design and colour produced by the product. With over 100 different colour oxides available to select from for the concrete colour the wide range of over 40 different colours pebbles available provide a limitless colour combination to work with.

Apart from colour selections, designers can also incorporate exciting features in the project works. Polystyrene cut-outs which are set in the concrete when the initial pour is done can be subsequently removed and replaced with a contrasting feature concrete/pebble combination. Side borders can vary, from the many decorative pavers and bricks available, to hand laid pebble borders using any of the 100+ colours and sizes available.

A particularly popular range of pebbles are sourced from an Italian marble manufacturer who tumbles marble off-cuts to provide a colourful range of smooth edged marble pebbles. These environment friendly pebbles contain all the variations naturally found in marble providing an exceedingly decorative and appealing appearance.

The Steps Of Tuck Pointing

Everyone with a brick home knows how annoying and unsightly it is to have structural damage on the brick foundation. This type of damage is dangerous to your home, as well as expensive to repair. It is very important to call a professional to fix the damage as soon as you notice any problem. Waiting will cause the damage to spread and get worse. This will increase the cost and the difficulty of repairing the foundation. It is a good thing that foundation damage on brick is easy to spot, just as long as you know what you are looking for. If you leave this type of damage alone and ignore the early warning signs, the damage will get worse very quickly. If left unchecked, this type of damage will be devastating. It will cost you more to rebuild than to fix the foundation damage.

Brick pointing is the process of repairing the mortar between the bricks. Bricks are used for many different construction applications. They are used to build homes, sidewalks, retaining walls, decorative walls and commercial buildings to name a few things. They are held together using mortar, which is placed between them so that the bricks will hold together. Mortar hardens after it dries. In some cases when it is exposed to the elements over time mortar actually becomes brittle and starts to crumble, leaving large spaces between the bricks. This of course leaves them some what less than stable. When the mortar starts to give out, brick pointing is the only solution, because it only gets worse with time, so if you do not attend to it and repair it the bricks themselves will start to fall apart. Brick pointing requires several tools to be used to be carried out effectively. There are several tools of the trade that are used. Trowels, picks, pointers all are hand tools that are used in the process.more information:tuckpointing chicago.

Steps: The first step is to scrape away any loose mortar that has began to crumble, as you scrape you will get to a point where you can not scrape away any more mortar. Once you have reached that point, move on to the next area that needs pointing. Continue the process until all the areas have had the loose mortar removed. You may have to use a hammer and chisel. Tap the chisel gently to loosen the old mortar. A small paint brush will come in handy for brushing it away as well. After clearing away the old bits, it is time to mix up the new mortar. The consistency should be kind of grainy. Using your pointing tool, fill in the joints where the old mortar was, take care that there is no moisture trapped between the bricks. You can use a hair dryer, to blow air in between them to be certain that the area is dry. Clean up your tools and you are done: Brick pointing can easily save a structure from ruin. The process is a quick simple fix that requires a little patience and some elbow grease. Virtually anyone with the right tools can learn this task. The tools are relatively inexpensive as is the mortar mix.