Wondering how you should be cleaning your much-neglected patio in time for all those summer parties you’re planning? Stop by for 5 minutes and pick up our handy checklist.
You’re not alone! It’s that time of year when we’re all looking out wistfully into the back garden in the full glare of that glorious spring sunshine…and feeling a bit peevish as we scan the effects of winter on our patio.
Let's take a look at what you can do now - get some handy steps, checklist and tips below …
A Good time for Cleaning the Patio?
If you have not already started cleaning your deck and patio in the winter months, (who could blame you for all these storms in the background) Spring is the season for it.
You will inevitably see the build-up of organic growth such as; moss, weeds and mould as well as the buildup of dirt and debris.
As much stormy weather, frost and dampness would have preceded it, it's a good time to check paving slab joints and consider re-pointing.
Your 5 Step Plan to Cleaning Your Patio
1. Declutter the Debris from your Patio
If you haven’t done this already, sweep and tidy the area by removing all furniture items, clutter and debris.
Start by removing fallen leaves, trim back shrubs and clear off plants and any other flora that may stain your patio having been left there for a long time. Remove all weeds growing in between - you may want a weed killer for this job
We advise sweeping your patio clean regularly anyway, like after a storm so that the buildup doesn’t leave marks.
2. How to Clean your Patio with a Good Scrubbing
Cleaning, maintaining and protecting your natural stone and concrete paving does not have to be complicated.
Home-Made Patio Cleaning Options
Wondering how you can clean your patio, paving and patio slabs without chemicals? A good homemade patio cleaner could get you started. The simplest lo-fi solution is to scrub your patio with a good wire brush and with soapy water. You could go for washing up liquid if stuck.
All you have to do is
- Squirt washing liquid into a bucket and fill with warm water
- You can also add in some soda crystals
- Start by splashing the mixture into the corners. Starting from there. Brush the mixture into the paving with your wire brush
- Always scrub diagonally to prevent undue damage to the jointing and pointing
- Rinse off brushed areas with buckets of clean water
- Make sure you have decent drainage to take the deluge
White vinegar available in most supermarkets is also a non-toxic environmental friendly alternative to industrial formulations. Important to note: this won’t be good for Limestone pavers as it will damage the surface.
- Just mix white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio
- Use slightly more vinegar in the solution if attacking dirtier areas or more stubborn stains
- Leave in for 30 minutes
- Use soapy water as shown above to scrub away and rinse off the solutions and dirt that comes with it
Cleaners and stain removers specially formulated for your stone paving are also a safe bet. Just make sure you read the specifications carefully and match them to the appropriate type of stone slabs you may have.
3. How to Clean your Patio Safely with a Power Washer
This is an ideal solution if you’re looking for a fast effective way to remove stains, dried cement and other tougher materials.
Generally, it is a worthwhile investment to acquire a power washer as there are so many other parts of your property that will be crying out for its use. Nevertheless, just borrow or hire one if you have to.
Be careful though with initial use so as not to damage or displace ornamental features, mosaic or chunks of your patio if your power washer setting is too powerful.
- Do a few gentle test sprays from a distance on a hidden corner or spare paving.
- Choose a fan setting over a jet to protect your paving
- Works from a good range at a 30-degree angle.
- Move-in a diagonal motion across the paving to avoid spending too much time on one spot. This stops you from catching lines of weaknesses in the joints and inadvertently damaging any cement pointing.
The main thing to remember is to avoid over-exposure to the pressure washer whilst also ensuring you follow a systematic path that ensures you cover every last inch.
4. How to Protect your Patio
Apply a patio slab sealant for future protection if you can to avoid future stains from penetrating the surface - the right sealant helps your paving resist algae growth, oil and fuel stains.
5. Restore your Patio
Check the joints when done cleaning in case you need to do any restoration work.
If the jointing of your patio paving starts to loosen and crack, you can take steps to repair any jointing that needs maintenance. A jointing compound will be needed.
Looking to pimp out your patio?
Check out our full range of garden furniture here.