Your home is an investment. And the more home improvements you make, the more value you add to your house. But some improvements add more value than others. Believe it or not, installing a patio gives the average homeowner more than 80 percent return on their investment, significantly increasing your home’s resale value.
But once you’ve got one installed, you still have to maintain it. Here are a few simple patio cleaning tips to help you keep your outdoor space looking as great as it did when it was first installed.
Protect Your Furniture
No patio is complete without outdoor furniture. But that furniture is constantly exposed to the elements, just like the rest of your patio space. That means you’ll need to give it a little TLC to keep your outdoor tables, couches, and chairs looking like new. Once a week or before having friends over, clean the furniture thoroughly. A damp microfiber towel should be enough to get rid of any dust and dirt on the surface.
If you have wood furniture, make sure the protective sealant is still in good shape. Reapply wood sealer as needed and condition the wood with oil if it starts to dry out or splinter. Take care to bring your upholstered items inside when the weather turns or if you’re not going to use the patio for an extended period of time. This will help keep the cushions (and your furniture) looking great longer.
Sweep Once a Week
Patios get dirty and they get dirty quickly. That means you’ll want to sweep the surface at least once a week to stay on top of the grime. Use a stiff-bristled broom or push broom and work your way across the patio in short quick strokes. This will help loosen the dirt before it can start to embed itself in the concrete. Push the loose dirt towards the rest of your yard and repeat the process until you feel it’s clean enough. If you do this weekly, you’ll be able to keep the space looking clean throughout the year without having to do more intense scrubbing.
Give It a Good Deep Cleaning Twice a Year
Even if you sweep weekly and do your best to keep the dirt and grime from building up, you’ll still want to give your patio a deep cleaning twice a year. For most homeowners, these cleanings should happen in the spring and again in the fall. Start by removing your patio furniture, grills, and other entertaining equipment from the patio. Then, deep clean the surface by pressure washing the cement, brick, or wood. This will get rid of the grime and mildew stains that built up over the season. Once the entire surface is clean, let it dry completely and inspect it for damage. If you see any cracks or visible damage, try to get it repaired as soon as possible. If everything looks good, move your furniture back onto the patio and get back to enjoying the great outdoors.
Pick Up Immediately After Entertaining
If you’re like most homeowners, you use your patio mostly for entertaining. It adds to your living space and gives you a place to relax and unwind with your friends and family. But believe it or not, entertaining can do some serious damage to your patio. Food, spilled drinks, and other waste do more than make your patio look dirty—they invite pests and unwanted critters as well. If left unaddressed, you could end up with a pest infestation inside your house. The best thing you can do is pick up immediately after you’re done using the space. Clean spills using the garden hose and get rid of caked-on gunk with a push broom and diluted dish detergent. Don’t wait until the day after to handle the cleanup.
Watch Your Decorations
Your decorations may mark your patio as yours, but they can also contribute to how dirty your space gets. When choosing decorations, be mindful of the type that you choose. Outdoor rugs may add color, but they also trap moisture on top of your patio floor. This can encourage mold and mildew and even damage the patio itself. Without proper drainage, planter boxes and pots can leave damp spots that can saturate the patio itself. If you have a wood patio, this encourages wood rot and puts the structure at risk for costly repairs. Think about the type of decorations you’re going to use and how they’ll impact your patio. And if you notice any issues, get rid of them.
Keep Plants Manicured and Maintained
Keeping a clean looking patio doesn’t just mean keeping the patio itself free and clear of dirt. It also means maintaining the surrounding area. Take the time to tend to your surrounding landscaping. Have low-lying tree branches trimmed to keep the area safe. Sweep up any loose mulch or potting soil that may come loose over time. This will keep the entire space looking clean and reduces the amount of plant matter you’ll have to sweep up throughout the year.
Be Mindful of Your Drainage
All homes have designated drainage areas where rainfall and runoff should go on their own. But that doesn’t mean they always work. Gutters get clogged and that can lead to massive puddles on your patio. Pay attention to your home’s drainage. Get your gutters cleaned at least twice a year and call an expert if you notice puddles forming where they shouldn’t. The sooner you get these issues fixed, the cleaner and safer your patio will stay.
Patio Cleaning Is Easier Than You Think
A clean patio makes the outside more inviting year-round. Use these patio cleaning tips to help you keep it clean no matter how often you and your loved ones use the space. Looking for more helpful tips to keep your house looking and feeling great? Check out our latest posts.