What surface for terrace on north side of property?

We have a terrace on top of a bank on the north / east side of our house that leads to French windows that open into what used to be a gite and may one day be our front hall.

The terrace gets no sun through much of the year and also has the garage wall along one side which tends to make the whole area dank.

When we bought the place the terrace was just gravelled and that meant gravel tended to come into the house. So we had the area concreted - big mistake! The concrete just looks awful, black mould / slippery after rain.

Before we just make the decision to dig up the concrete and go back to gravel, I wondered if there is any other solution that would look smarter and cope with the general dampness , give that one day we hope this will be the entrance to our property.

I’d be very grateful for any ideas please. It’s a part of the property that 15 years on we still really don’t know what to do with. Thanks.

Resin bound stone in lots of colours and patterns can be done as well, very good water drainage potential.

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Resin bound stone can look lovely but can be expensive, have you tried pressure washing the concrete and keeping it mould/moss free with vinegar spray or soda crystals.

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Vinegar on concrete? Serious erosion issue. At least bleach or antimouse wont damage the surface.

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I have a terrace all along the N façade of my house, I put about 50cm of rammed castine on it with a geotextile membrane and gravel on top. 20odd years later it has stuff growing in it but I just pull out what I don’t like and let the rest get on with it. It is 210m2 which is why I haven’t the strength to be too fussy about it.

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Using every so often diluted in a spray to get rid of stains will not damage concrete, I wouldn’t be using bleach with any animals around, I’ve seen what it does to cat paws.
Vero is castine the stuff they use on Pétanque courts, crushed limestone ?

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Have a look at ‘Grasscrete’ or similar.

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I’m like @vero - there are so many other jobs to do I haven’t the strength to be too fussed by it. If it gets pressure washed once a year that’s a miracle - and the black is back within weeks.
I’m aiming for a surface that looks after itself. Thanks for the suggestions @Corona @PhilCAM . I’ll investigate further.

Yes, it comes from the quarry up the road, they even everything out as much as possible then put down different grades of it going over each layer with a whackerplate as far as I remember.

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Thats used on a costal path where Mum used to live, horrible to walk on but good for vehicle access

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some ideas here

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If you have concreted does that mean you need a solution that takes up a very small depth? As that’s hard to think of.

Paint it and spray with bordeaux mixture every few months?

Otherwise if there’s depth then maybe reinstate gravel, but stabilised with formers to stop it coming in.

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From what you’ve said, any hard surface will be prone to mould (and/or be slippery). If you’ve got the depth then Jane’s suggestion would probably be best. Personally, I wouldn’t go for the tout venant/castine option, the smaller bits will stick to your shoes, dogs feet etc and get in the house, car, everywhere…

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It seems that it may help to create a more porous terrace that allows moisture to soak through rather than lay in top.

I can recommend stone cobbles laid without grouting between.

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I’m afraid that would mean taking up all the concrete earlier put down and having at least a depth of ~2” but thereafter you will not only have good drainage but something that looks traditional and original :slightly_smiling_face:

The courtyard of my farmhouse has limestone cobbles over part. (Pic taken during our recent single snow day!) Everything around here is limestone. The advantage is that they are pale but the 4 ton car does sometimes crunch one, so we have spares to just drop in.

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:sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses:
You have a 4 ton car, is it made by Daf or Scania :hushed::wink::yum:

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I don’t know what those are! It is a Range Rover Vogue and big enough for a dedicated doodle back space

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For anyone who’s querying what we might do - yes, quite prepared to dig up the concrete so we can have a reasonable depth.

I like the look. Good job I don’t wear stilettos any more :grin:

Don’t you find they are very uneven to walk on though Susannah?

At least with the resin bound you wont need to and that would offset the cost against tons of concrete being removed.

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Very flat top surface, although gently undulates with the land. Gave up stilettos when I departed Hong Kong. The village walkways would give another reason if one were needed.

Never slippy. Never flooded, even when the garden is. The only other thing is that little wildflowers and grass tries to grow between but my husband needs a hobby. I would leave the evocative abandoned palace look but my husband pulls all the greens out as soon as they appear.

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