If you'd like a place to relax, hang out, and even entertain your friends and family when the weather is nice, consider installing a concrete patio in your backyard. Depending on how much space you have, you can either have a patio large enough to accommodate a dining set and several seating options, or a small, intimate area for a grill and a few lawn chairs.
No matter how big or small your patio is, it's important to properly maintain it so that it has a long lifespan and is an aesthetically pleasing space to relax in. Although concrete is a highly durable material, there are still things you can do to keep it looking and performing at its best.
Here are some tips for maintaining your concrete patio.
1. Sweep on a Daily Basis
During warm spring and summer months when the patio is likely to see a lot of action, sweep it daily to remove any loose dirt and debris. Not only will a quick sweeping session make the patio look better, it will prevent anything, such as food or decomposing leaves, from staining the concrete. Keeping your patio clean will also help keep pests such as cockroaches and mice away.
2. Rinse as Often as Needed
How much you use your concrete patio will determine how often you need to rinse it down with water. If you're grilling out often, you may need to rinse the surface down with a garden hose at least once a week. Use a hose equipped with a high-power nozzle to force-clean the concrete and remove bits of food, spilled liquid, and other debris before they have a chance to stain.
If the concrete is very dirty, such as after a party, mop it with a mixture of water and a biodegradable dish soap before rinsing it clean. If you notice any grease stains, sprinkle a bit of baking soda over them and allow it to sit on the marks overnight before cleaning. The baking soda will absorb the unsightly grease, and you can then wash it away.
3. Fill Any Cracks or Gaps
Over time, you may notice small cracks or gaps forming in your concrete patio. It's important to fill them as quickly as possible to prevent structural damage. You can also treat the concrete with a sealant to help repel dust, grease, and water from the surface. Sealing the concrete may also help protect it from abrasions.