Summer is the season for patios. But, when yours is worn, dirty and in bad shape, it’s not exactly a comfortable place to enjoy the warm weather. With the right kind of maintenance, your patio will be ready to help you relax and soak up the sun this summer.
Patios do require some regular maintenance and there are also a few things you need to do each spring to make sure its ready for the year. When you know how to do this maintenance, your patio will not only be more comfortable, but will also last much longer.
Protect Against Snow and Ice
Even though you aren’t using your patio during the winter, you still need to maintain and protect it. Cold temperatures, snow, ice and moisture can cause a lot of damage to your furniture, decor and your patio itself.
First, remove anything from your patio that won’t be able to withstand the elements. Things like plants, canopies, decorations, rugs and other items should be brought inside or stored in your garage or shed.
If you have the space, store your patio furniture, barbecue grill and other large items in your garage too. If this isn’t possible, invest in some furniture covers that cover your things completely and protect them from snow and moisture.
Protecting your concrete patio itself is a little harder. It’s not necessary to protect it from winter forces, but it is necessary to make sure small damages don’t turn into massive problems that weaken and ruin your patio.
As soon as the snow and ice begin to thaw, check for cracks and damage. The problem with damaged concrete is that it allows water to seep into cracks and holes, which then expands as it freezes, causing even more damage. If you can repair cracks and holes before this happens, you’ll prevent a lot of damage and keep your patio in excellent condition.
Do some Spring Cleaning
Before summer hits, do some spring cleaning. If you need to, make repairs to the concrete and make sure everything is dry before you start cleaning and working with it again.
Then, start by taking everything, including furniture, off the patio. Use a push broom to clear away dirt, leaves, sticks and other debris that has collected over the fall and winter. Then, hire a power washer to give the concrete a deep clean.
Use the pressure washer according to the manufacturer’s directions to avoid accidents and ensure that you don’t accidentally damage your concrete. Remember that the high-pressure water stream has the power to damage siding, wood and windows, so be careful as you use it near your home.
Start at a far corner of your patio and then continue washing so that you are pushing all the dirt and grime off of your patio, not into a corner. When your patio dries, it will be spick and span and you’ll be amazed at what a difference the high-pressure wash will make.
Stage things Perfectly
Once your patio is repaired where needed and has been cleaned, you can start setting it up for the summer. Start by arranging the furniture in a way that makes it easy for people to get comfortable and use the patio for relaxing, meals, playing games and spending time together.
Then, start complementing the furniture arrangement with decor. Go with potted plants, outdoor decorations, trellises, awnings, screens and even smaller things like artwork, vases, knick-knacks, candles, lanterns and other accessories.
As you set up your patio, think of it like another space in your home. Make it comfortable, inviting and pleasing to the eye. Remember though that the things on your patio will require a little extra protection so sun, wind and rain won’t damage them. Use umbrellas, awnings and other things to keep things safe and in top condition.
Fight the Summer Heat
Just like snow and ice can damage concrete, sun can damage your concrete patio too. Prolonged exposure to sun can actually cause the concrete to fade, which over time, will take away from the way your patio looks.
Using an awning or outdoor rugs is an easy way to make sure the sun doesn’t get the best of your concrete and will add some shade and comfort to your patio. Look for an awning that looks as good as it works and that matches the decor of your home and patio.
You can actually purchase outdoor carpeting that is designed to cover large portions of concrete, or even the entire patio, to make it softer and more comfortable. This can be easily rolled up in the fall and stored during the winter.
Besides adding comfort to your patio, rugs also add a sense of luxury and design. They allow you to cover spots that would otherwise look ordinary and dull. They also make it very easy to define spaces and make your patio a little homier.
For example, you can use one large area rug underneath your chairs, bench and table to make it a conversation or dining area. Then, add a separate rug near the barbecue or outdoor kitchen to define that space and another, long rug near the door as an entryway.
You can purchase rugs in all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns so you can find styles that will match your decor or allow you to give the space a major makeover. Rugs also make it very simple to change the style and feeling of your patio every few seasons. Simply change the rug style or placement and you’ve completely changed the way your patio looks.
When summer is here, you’ll want a comfortable and beautiful patio for spending time with family, entertaining friends or just sitting back with a good book and glass of lemonade. The best way to make sure this happens is to protect your patio during the winter to keep the concrete in excellent condition. Then, do some spring cleaning, set up your patio and be sure to protect it from the sun.
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