A patio can be the difference between a dull backyard and a full-of-life outdoor entertaining space. Particularly in spring and summer when the weather is nicer and the sun is shining, the patio is a perfect place to sit outside and relax. But after lack of use in the colder months, the patio can require some seriously cleaning before it is presentable again. Patio cleaning during a big garden tidy up is an effective way to rectify this.
Preparation for cleaning
– De clutter – begin by removing unwanted items from the patio and de cluttering the area for a more effective clean
– Sweep – thoroughly sweep over the entire patio area to remove all dirt, debris and leaves
– Remove weeds – unsightly weeds growing between the cracks of a patio can be removed easily. Use a kitchen knife to pull them out. Spraying weed killers or pouring salt between the cracks will kill weeds permanently.
Patio cleaning is a vital part of garden maintenance. Depending on the surface of your patio, there are different methods of cleaning to get the best result.
For concrete surfaces, use bleach and water solution in a bucket. For a particularly dirty patio, use undiluted bleach. Using a stiff brush, scrub the patio vigorously. Then rinse the patio with water. You may need to do this a few times to ensure all the bleach is gone from the patio.
For stone patios, a mixture of brown soap or soda crystals in a bucket of water is an effective solution. Pour it over the stone patio and scrub vigorously with a stiff brush. Let it rest for a few moments and rinse with water. Be careful that the soapy water doesn’t end up in the grass or plant beds surrounding the patio as it can damage the soil.
For wooden patio surfaces, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar diluted with water can effectively remove stains and clean the surface. Use a gentle mop to scrub the patio decking and rinse with water. For difficult stains, allow the mixture to sit overnight to remove it entirely.
Regardless of the patio surface, the following steps should be taken for the best clean:
1. Apply the patio cleaner by following directions outlined on the bottle. If making own mixture, read guidelines and advice carefully. Wear protective clothing such as gloves and goggles in this stage. Cover plants around the patio and make sure pets and children are not present.
2. Scrub using a hand held hose or pressure washer. Alternatively you can use a hard-bristled brush and manually scrub, but using a pressure washer can be quicker (although more expensive).
3. Rinse the patio surface thoroughly with clean water. This is best done using a hose and may take quite a few rinses to remove all traces of the cleaning product from the surface.
4. Leave the patio to dry completely before returning furniture and other items to the space. Drying can take longer when the weather is cooler and it is best to start the cleaning process early in the day so that it has maximum sun exposure to dry.
Professional cleaning services
If you are short on time and don’t have the resources to effectively clean your patio, hiring a professional patio cleaning service can be a good option. Prices will vary depending on the size, surface and structure of your patio and yard, but most professional companies will offer free quotes for you to compare prices. It is also a good idea to get recommendations from friends, family and neighbours when looking for a professional patio cleaning service.
Bio: This article is contributed by Maggie Chambers. For the last couple of years she has been involved in various garden care, landscaping and exterior design projects. Maggie is making use of every opportunity to share her experience with readers all over the world. Her present post is focused on: effective cleaning tips for your patio.
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