The addition of a patio to your home expands your living space and gives you more ways to spend time with family and friends. With the addition of a fire pit or an outdoor kitchen, you can use the outdoor living space throughout multiple seasons and for various occasions. It is essential to maintain your patio properly so that it lasts night after night, party followed by party and for years to come. Whichever type of surface you choose, proper maintenance ensures it will continue to look and function the way you intended it to when you installed the patio.
Proper Patio Maintenance for Cement and Pavers
Many patios are made of cement, pavers, or various types of stone. Considering that stone is a natural material and exists without any maintenance, you may think there's not much you need to do. However, the way you use your patio defines the type and amount of patio maintenance you'll need to maintain it. These tips will help extend the life of your patio:
Keep the surface of the patio clean by removing any debris from it. The kids track dirt and sand from the yard and the beach to the house, why would the patio be any different? Be sure to spray it down with water to keep surfaces free of dirt, sand, salt, and leaves. If you find there's a need to wash it with more force, a mild dish detergent and a pressured hose should be enough. Avoid the use of high pressure as it can pit or damage the material.
Sealing the Stains Out and The Memories In
Depending on the type of patio you have, it may be worthwhile to seal it. Sealing your patio helps lock-out all types of staining by preventing the natural porous exterior of the stone from absorbing anything that will discolor it. Sealing the patio professionally is the best approach as this will help provide the most finished look. Sealants are versatile but some are better than others and some are also safer for the environment. You will want a product that seals out moisture and prevents staining from moss, fungus, rock salt, and other spills like that glass of wine that’s bound to spill with the countless evenings you will be spending enjoying yourself and entertaining your friends.
Make sure to monitor the spacing in between the surface material. If it begins to space out too much, it may be time to contact a professional for repairs. With professional maintenance and the installation of polymeric sand, the spacing issues can be resolved and the problems causing the spacing can be repaired at a reasonable expense. The longer you wait to repair the spacing between the surface material, the greater the expense will be. The life of your patio or walkway will be greatly increased when you keep it clean, protect it, and repair it regularly.
Treating the Problems Early
It's not uncommon for patios to crack or become damaged even with professional patio design. Even with paver or stone block systems, there is some shifting that will occur. Make sure to address it sooner, rather than later. It’s almost like that chip in your windshield, get it sealed before it cracks. It's best to call in a professional landscape company to take a look at what's causing the shifting and cracking. If you had the patio installed by a professional, there's likely ample protection built into the under layers to ensure that foundation concerns don't damage the patio. If it was not installed by a professional, your landscaper can offer a variety of solutions to fix the problem and prevent future damage from occurring.
When it comes to patio care and hardscaping maintenance, the solutions will vary based on the specific type of material you have in place. Maintaining the integrity of the material is the best way to preserve the value of your patio, and it allows you to continue to enjoy your outdoor living space for decades to come. Landscape professionals are trained to build, maintain and treat various different patio materials and designs.