Winter can be hard on a patio, whether your home features an attractive cedar wood structure or an elaborate colored stone paver arrangement. All types of patios get dingy, dusty and gather a layer of algae or mildew over a wet winter. Spring cleaning is essential to get these outdoor living areas ready to be shown off during summer barbecues, family celebrations and holidays such as Independence Day. Make sure your patio is ready for the big time with these simple steps.
Deep Clean to Start
A year’s worth of accumulated grime, leaf stains, food residues from parties and more can’t come off with a hose and a bristle brush alone. Trying too hard to scrub a wood patio will leave the surface fuzzy and absorbent of water while scrubbing too much on concrete or stone makes the surface dull if you do get it clean. Pressure washing, also known as a power wash, is the best way to get a thorough clean to start the season off right. High pressure or incorrect cleaning chemicals can also cause damage, so it’s a task best left to the professionals.
Sealing and Protecting
Once the surface of your patio is clean thanks to a thorough power wash, it’s best to seal it with a product designed for the material. Wood patios especially need annual sealing, while concrete and stone pavers often last five years or longer between coatings. Check the recommendations of the manufacturer of the sealant to figure out what schedule to follow. Sealing is a job you can do yourself, but if you have a lot of space to cover, let a professional do it instead to ensure an even coating.
Dealing with Weeds
When grass, dandelions and other weeds pop up between the slabs of concrete or stone paver patio, it’s a problem you can DIY safely. If you’re not a fan of chemical herbicides that can harm the environment, try sprinkling a thick layer of cornmeal gluten in the cracks of the pavers and watering it in lightly before anything gets a chance to sprout. This acts as a natural pre-emergent herbicide that breaks down quickly with no residues or risks to kids and pets. Established weeds need to be yanked out by the roots or smothered with a layer of black plastic spread over the patio for a few weeks at a time.
Recruit a family member, even a motivated kid or teen, to take on the chore of giving the patio a monthly cleaning throughout the summer. A simple routine can take just twenty minutes and include tasks like:
- Sweeping off leaves, fallen branches and other debris
- Spot treating food spills, grease spots and other stains
- Rinsing dirt and debris off of the surface with a hose
- Checking for signs of damage like rot or cracking
Ready to start cleaning your patio? Get in touch with us today here at Indiana Roof & Exterior Cleaning for any assistance you may need!