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A patio, whether made of concrete or cement, pavers, slabs, brick, or stone, will require regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. While regular brushing will help keep the majority of dirt and detritus off your patio surface, other more stubborn dirt and staining will begin to accumulate over time.
When a patio is exposed to moisture, moss, algae, lichen, and other fungi will frequently grow, staining and masking the color of the paving. The good news is that such dirt can be successfully removed from most pavers using a variety of methods. This article will show how to clean a patio, and how to maintain a patio to keep it in good condition for a long time.
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Cleaning With Soapy Water
If your patio survived the winter relatively unscathed, a soap solution may be all that is required. Simply declutter your patio and sweep it clean so that the paving area is free of debris. Fill a bucket halfway with warm water and add one cup of washing-up liquid, soap, or soda crystals. Scrub the affected area with soapy water – don’t be afraid to be generous with it. Go over the entire surface, then use a bucket of clean water to clear the dirty water away, allowing it to flow into a drainage point.
Cleaning With White Vinegar
Although vinegar is environmentally friendly, keep in mind that it is acidic. In a bucket, combine equal parts white vinegar and water. Dirtier patios with more stubborn stains, on the other hand, may require a little more vinegar in the solution. Allow to soak for about 30 minutes before removing stains with a stiff brush. After that, mop with clean water. Allow to dry before reinstalling anything on the patio.
Using A Pressure Washer
A pressure washer can be a very effective and simple way to clean your patio. Keep in mind that some suppliers advise against using a pressure washer on their paving. A powerful pressure washer can damage the surface of the paving even on tough concrete and brick surfaces. Begin with a low setting. If you are confident in increasing the pressure, go ahead and do so, but proceed with caution. If available, use a low angle and a fan setting. Clean in sections so that pressure does not become concentrated in any one area.
While you should only need to thoroughly clean your patio once a year, a little bit of maintenance will ensure a consistently clean finish all year. The joints between slabs need as much care as the slabs themselves because the bonding might thin out over time and slabs may become loose.
Remember to brush your patio on a regular basis, especially during the fall. This should keep crushed leaves from piling up and causing those unsightly discoloration stains in the spring. You should also consider using a patio sealant. This helps to prevent the effects of weathering and is effective at preserving the color of patio slabs.
To keep your patio looking its best, schedule your maintenance around changes in the weather.