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How to Prep Your Patio For Fall
All over Roselle and the Chicagoland area, patios tend to be the universal meeting spot Whether you have an existing patio or have an idea in mind to make one, More Pro Inc is who to call.
Just like any other chores around the house, like keeping it clean, you need to keep your patio clean as well. We spend a lot of money having the perfect outside space to enjoy the nights. But for first timers, there are a few things that you should know.
- DON’T feel obligated to seal your patio. It will give your patio a permanent wet look and you will need to reseal it every 2 years non stop. Materials like slate and bluestone tend to self-seal under foot traffic and generally don’t need the extra layer unless you just like the glossy aesthetic.
- DON’T overdo washing a stone patio. Since natural stone tends to flake, overzealous washing can actually wear the surface away. It’s generally better to wash as needed rather than on a regular schedule. Use a mild household detergent occasionally if you see heavy grime or stains; stubborn stains and mildew can be removed with a dilute mix of muriatic acid and water. (Which can be found at hardware, big-box, or pool-supply stores; just be sure to wear protective gear)
- DO be careful with power washing. Too much pressure can damage stone surfaces. Too much pressure can cause for divots or marks to be left behind. Sometimes, it’s best to hire a profession to preserve your patio.
- DON’T use a wire brush to scrub stains off concrete or stone.
- DO sweep away debris regularly. Trapped dirt and leaves tend to lead to mold, rot and stains – prevention is always better than the cure.
- DO rearrange furniture at least once a year. This is especially important here in Illinois where mildew is prone, because furnishings and rugs trap in moisture.
- DON’T use chlorine bleach to clean your patio. It can alter the color of the material but also be sure not to get harsh cleaners on nearby plants. Try draping with a sheet to protect from splashing.
- DON’T obsess over concrete imperfections. Hairline cracks are becoming industry standards. Trying to fix them with additional cement or grout tends to make them look worse than the crack alone. There will tend to be a white film that forms on the surface called efflorescence – the migration of salts and moisture to the surface, which is completely harmless. But if you don’t like the look, a simple power wash will remove it temporarily. You would have to seal it to stop this permanently, and will need to be on a strict maintenance schedule.
- DO install irrigation for potted plants. A container garden is a great addition for ambiance, but it can wreak havoc on your patio surface. Puddling due to overwatering leads to mold and stains from mineral buildup. Depending on the pot and patio surface, stains can’t be removed, so prevention is best.
How to take care of a patio
Easy Worry-free Maintenance
When spring comes around, its the peak time to clean your patio to get ready for a summer full of use or to enjoy the cool nights of Fall. Here is the perfect way to clean your cement or paver patio.
Before you begin, move everything including plants, furniture and other accessories off the patio. Be sure to sweep the surface to remove dirt and other debris. Remove the weeds that may have grown along the edges or between the cracks.
To remove light dirt, you can use just cleaner and a stiff brush. Add ⅛ cup of dishwashing detergent to some water and bleach in a spray bottle. Spray this onto your patio and let it sit for a few, then scrub with the brush. Do not use a metal brush as it will leave fragments and then leave rust stains on the surface.
For a slightly more soiled patio, bleach can be used mixed with water. But be sure to protect your surroundings as bleach will harm plants. So be sure to use an oxygen bleach such as OxiClean; which is a safer option and won’t cause so much damage to plants if it does get on them.
For tougher stains, you can mix the oxygen bleach with small amounts of water to form a paste with the consistency of peanut butter. You can apply this to the areas that are heavily stained and let it sit for an hour. Then scrub with the brush and rinse it off.
If you feel more comfortable with natural, eco-friendly options, you can make them from items in your kitchen. Vinegar can be used to clean anything and it works well with patios. Mix equal parts of vinegar and water to clean slight stains. Use only full strength vinegar on heavily soiled stains, while scrubbing with a brush. Baking soda is another really good natural cleaner that is also used for stains on laundry. Mix ½ cup baking soda to one gallon of water for a gentle clean. Add ⅛ cup of liquid dish detergent to the mixture to a heavier clean, spray on patio, let sit for 30 minutes, then scrub and rinse.
For heavily stained or mildewed patios, you’ll need a pressure washer. You can rent one from a home improvement store or tool rental center. Choose a tip with the widest angle that still can get the job done but won’t erode the surface of your cement. Wear protective eyewear and gloves when using the pressure washer, as even the splash off is still at high force.
Once your patio is clean protect it from future stains by sealing it with a concrete sealer. Use a paint roller to apply the sealer by starting in the middle of the patio and roll the sealer out to the edges. Once dry, you have a clean almost brand new patio that is ready for entertaining and easy worry free maintenance all year long.
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