In this post, you'll learn ...
- What the proper steps are in preparing your patio for the spring and summer months.
- Tools and cleaning supplies you will need to clean your patio.
Spring has sprung and people are going to start flocking to barbecues, pool parties, and outdoor birthday bashes. They have been trapped inside due to a remorseless winter and now they want to spread their wings. So now you have to get your patio ready for the onslaught that is going to happen in these warm months ahead.
Your patio may look like a mess now with the snow shovel leaning against the sliding door, and that torn blue tarp over the grill, but there are ways to make your patio sparkle again. All it takes is some courage with cleaning supplies, a few easily accessible materials and tools, and a nice warm day to work outside.
Before you begin, think about what you are doing. To clean anything properly it is best to remove anything obstructing the surface. You can’t dust properly if you leave the lamp on the table. So the first step of the process to get a cleaner patio is to remove those objects. That means the grill, the potted plants, the action figures, the weeds sprouting up between the cracks, and the moldy snow boots. Leave nothing on your patio surface.
Removing those objects that have been hibernating all winter can be a messy job. Make sure you use gloves and wear old clothes. Then find those irritating weeds and pluck them up before you let any chemicals touch your patio.
Next, you should give your patio surface a good sweep. It is the same idea as mopping your kitchen floor. You sweep to help keep your water as clean as possible when you scrub. You don’t want to rub stains all over the area you need to clean.
Now it is time for the messiest part, the chemical scrubbing. Once you start using your cleaning supplies, keep the children and the dogs away until you are done cleaning. For this job you need to have your old clothes and your gloves, as well as some goggles and the proper tools.
You will need either a water hose or a pressure washer depending on the condition of your surface. It also requires a bucket to mix your chemicals, a tough scrubbing brush, the proper cleaning products, and maybe a tarp if you don’t want to harm your flowers and other plants. Now you are ready to clean.
Use your water hose or pressure washer and give your patio surface a good shower first. Wash away all of the filth that is only weakly hanging on to your surface. It is unnecessary to scrub the whole patio when most of the stains may be removed with a powerful blast of water. It saves you and your back some aggravating strain. It also makes it easy to locate those spots.
Now you are ready to add the cleaner. The type you use will depend on the surface of your patio. It can be a very complex process, but to make things simple, there are two main types of patio surfaces. There is natural stone, and then there is manufactured stone, such as brick or concrete.
Natural stone is harder to clean because it has not been through a refining process. It will get dirtier quicker and will require more tender care. It spoils easier just like natural bread can’t outlast a loaf of store bread teeming with preservatives.
With a natural surface you either need to use a specialized cleaner, or you can get away with brown soap. Brown soap is very gentle and forgiving on surfaces. Soda crystals may also work on a natural surface depending on the extremity of the stains. Either way, a natural stone surface does not permit tough cleaning products like bleach to be used. They lead to discoloration and wear on your patio.
The manufactured paving stones though, like brick and concrete, have been put through the factory and refinery. They can handle bleach water, or even non-diluted bleach. Depending on the amount of dark stains, mold, moss, sap, grease, or any other stain, you might be required to pour bleach over the surface and let it sit to dissolve the stain.
For less extreme conditions, dilute the bleach with the water and scrub the surface with a soft bristled brush. When you are done, use the hose or pressure washer and drench the surface. You should see your patio shimmering again in no time with just a little bit of work.
Once your patio is clean and bright you may want to get more use out of it. Consider a retractable awning or stationary patio cover to protect you from the hot sun or enjoy your patio even in the rain. With a patio cover your barbecues will never be rained out.
Finally to give your patio that spring-time appeal that it needs, clean all of the objects that normally sit on the patio.
There you are. Now the neighborhood can clamor to your backyard while you feed them burgers and hotdogs. You can have pride that you have a clean patio for the summer ahead, and that those moldy snow shoes are put back where they belong, in the garage.
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