Thursday, Sep 27, 2012

How to keep your built-in BBQ clean
More sizzle and less stains
By The Kingston Whig-Standard

The trend towards outdoor entertaining and extended livings spaces has led to the popularity of the built-in BBQ center. You've seen them. They're the big, bold, permanent structures that create the feel of an outdoor kitchen and make summer entertaining easy and enjoyable.

The beauty and permanence of these hardscape stone, concrete or brick centers have become the focal point of backyards across the country. Unfortunately, these BBQ grills also come with a smudgy reality -- they can accumulate grease and stains unlike any other home appliance. Also, being outdoors they are subjected to harsh weather conditions and the elements.

As a result, homeowners looking at the state of their built-in BBQ centers hardscaping after a few years can often be a tough site to bear. The grease stains, dirt, grime, general wear and tear, and the effects of the elements can cause pavers to lose some of their original luster.

The good news is thanks to the latest technology in stain removal and sealants you can freshen up and restore the beauty of your built-BBQ center hardscaping and preserve it for years.

According to Rick DeMarchi, director of marketing for Techniseal, the leading manufacturer of treatment products for the concrete paver industry, the cleaning and sealing of pavers is typically a three-step process.

* The first step is the removal of obvious stains and dirt with the appropriate spot cleaners. Not all stains require the same cleaners. For example Techniseal designed specific cleaners for ground-in dirt, rust, tar, oil, and grease stains.

* Step two of the process is to even the appearance of the entire surface after spot cleaning. For this step DeMarchi recommends Techniseal's Hardscape cleaner, a more gentle phosphate- free formula created specifically for pavers. It's ideal for removing general grime and dirt. It ensures even cleaning and brightens up the color prior to sealant application.

* The third and final step is the application of the sealer protection. Sealants can be broken down into a few key categories: you have film-forming versus non film-forming; color enhancing (wet look) versus non color enhancing (dry look) and solvent- based versus water-based. All are stain-resistant.

The selection of a sealer will depend on certain criteria. For example, for pool deck applications a non film-forming sealer that has no impact on slip and skid resistance would be best. If you want distinct paver colors then a color-enhancing sealer will best make the colors stand out. Or you may prefer a natural or an invisible sealer to preserve the natural look of the paver colors. You can expect these sealants to repel countless stains for the next five years and avoid prematurely aging your pavers. More information on sealant technology can be found at

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