Having a backyard patio means having a space to entertain guests, spend time with the family and enjoy the outdoors. Keeping your patio clean and looking great isn’t hard to do, and routine maintenance will ensure you’ll be able to use it for years to come. Properly cleaning your patio depends on the material of the floor.
Concrete is a very durable, but also porous material, making it prone to stains and discoloring. Therefore, proper maintenance is necessary to keep a concrete floor looking good.
To maintain your patio, sweep away any leaves or debris and then hose it down with water. If done routinely, this should be all that’s required.
If you haven’t cleaned your patio for some time, or you have tougher stains, use a mixture of soap and water and scrub the patio with a synthetic bristle brush.
You shouldn’t use a wire brush because it can scratch the concrete surface.
Sometimes, you’ll find concrete stains that are quite tough to remove. There are a few tricks to getting rid of very tough stains:
- Oven cleaner can be used to lift stains. Spray it directly on the stain and allow it to sit for 4 hours, then rinse it off with a hose.
- Sprinkle laundry detergent mixed with bit of water and scrub with a brush until the stain breaks apart, then rinse off with water.
- Cat litter can even be used to get rid of oil-based spots. Grind the cat litter into the stain with a block of wood or something similar, and allow it to sit for a few minutes to let the litter absorb the oil. Then you can sweep it up and rinse the area down.
Stamped concrete is protected by a sealer, which makes it waterproof and stain resistant. A stamped concrete patio is much easier to clean than a poured concrete one, and requires minimal upkeep.
Start by sweeping away any leaves, grass, dirt or other debris. This is an important step which should be done regularly. Decaying leaves and wood can stain the concrete if left on too long and make it harder to clean your patio.
To remove residue, use a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water. 1 cup of soap for every half gallon of water should be plenty. Pour the solution and use a nylon bristle brush to scrub any stains away.
Use a garden house to rinse and let it dry for 24 hours. A pressure washer can also be used to take off stains and debris. Stamped concrete should be resealed every 2-3 years to keep it protected and looking new.
Natural stone is another good, stain-resistant material, and cleaning should be fairly simple.
You can mix 1 part bleach with 1 part water, then scrub the stones with a strong brush. This solution can kill grass and plants, so be careful when rinsing. If you’d like a green solution, white vinegar is a popular choice.
Use the same formula as the bleach and allow the solution to set before rinsing. Scrubbing is often not even needed. But if you have tough spots you can scrub them off. Pressure washing is another good option to keep your stones looking like new.
Some stones also have special cleaners unique to their brands, and you should check with your manufacturer to see what they recommend. Additionally, stones can also be given a sealant, protecting them and making cleaning very easy.
Known for being a low-maintenance paving solution, paver stones won’t require a lot of work to keep clean, and chemicals are usually unnecessary.
Just use some regular dish soap mixed with water and scrub any tough stains with a deck brush.
When rinsing with water, just be careful not to wash away the sand, as this is what keeps the pavers locked. For this reason, it isn’t recommended to pressure wash a paver stone patio.
If you have to pressure wash you still can, you’ll just need to sweep in new joint sand afterwards, to replace the sand you lost.
One benefit to paver stones is that if 1 or 2 stones are badly stained but the rest are fine, those 2 stones can easily be replaced and your patio is back to looking like new.
To learn more about patio maintenance or for information about installing a new patio, fill out our instant estimate form or give us a call at: 818.244.4000.