Having a concrete patio gives you a great place for outdoor activities, such as grilling, outdoor games, and family time. These activities are often focused around this sturdy, safe outdoor area, which is often a simple concrete patio in the backyard.
However, concrete patios still need to be maintained, and figuring out where to start can feel daunting. So if you’ve been looking for a concrete patio maintenance guide, continue reading for some tips on how to keep your concrete patio in working order.
Keep Concrete Clean
One of the first steps to the proper maintenance of your concrete patio is to ensure the area is clean. Some people believe that concrete is sturdy and tend to leave the area as dirty as they want without thinking it will damage it.
Although this is not true, and your concrete should be cleaned semi-regularly. The more often you clean, the less thorough you’ll need to be in future cleanings.
If you let your concrete trap dirt and other debris, it will slowly break down your concrete over time. It also makes an unpleasant area to be in, if it is dirty and cracked. You won’t want to spend much time on the patio if your feet are filthy and uncomfortable just from walking across it.
Dirty concrete can also cause threats to your health. It can trap things, like scraps of metal, nails, screws, glass, and more. Frequent cleanings can help ensure these items stay in the trash, instead of ending up inside your space.
Give your concrete patio a thorough sweep at least once every other week, depending on how frequently you use it. You can use stiff, wide deck brushes to make this an easier task.
You should also consider power washing your concrete. Doing so can remove stubborn dirt or trapped debris. It also helps to keep your concrete looking sparkly and clean, instead of gradually growing dull.
A great way to improve your concrete patio is to seal the concrete. Concrete sealer is a special mixture you can spread over your concrete to prevent it from cracking and protect it from the elements.
This protective coating also has aesthetic benefits as well. Many sealing mixtures have patterns, such as chips of paint or an iridescent coating, that help make your concrete patio look more visually appealing. It’s a great way to improve the appearance of your patio, while also keeping your concrete safe.
Additionally, adding sealer to your concrete will also make future cleaning easier. Sealed concrete is easier to sweep and will dry faster, as the seal should help keep water from sinking into the concrete.
However, there are a few maintenance tips you should be aware of that are specific for sealed concrete. You’ll want to avoid sharp items on the concrete, which can potentially scratch the seal. You should also hire professionals to seal the concrete, since it can be difficult for first-timers.
Limit Weight and Strain
Did you know that concrete has a weight limit? Limiting the weight you put on concrete can help prevent it from wearing down.
However, determining the weight limit of your concrete can be difficult, as it depends entirely on the type of concrete mix you’re using. Different mixes are more durable than others, which can affect how much weight your concrete can withstand.
If you aren’t sure about the weight limit, avoid putting excessively heavy objects on your patio. This includes things like a weightlifting set, heavy appliances, or vehicles.Straining your concrete can lead to cracks or small cave-ins, and these issues can worsen over time until it is time to replace the concrete entirely.
Avoid straining your concrete to keep it healthy and long-lasting. By knowing the weight limit of your concrete patio, you’ll have a better idea of how much you can store and place on it.
Remove Stains Quickly
When a stain sets in on our patio, some of us choose to ignore it. As an outdoor area, some people think maintenance isn’t necessary. Some people might put a rug over the stain, while others just accept the new involuntary decoration.
If your concrete is stained, you should remove the stain as quickly as possible instead of just leaving it. Stains can sink into your concrete and corrode the stone from within, and removing them can prove to be nearly impossible if you let them sit for too long.
Concrete is a porous substance, making it difficult to remove most stains. Applying a concrete sealer ahead of time could help prevent stains. However, if your concrete does stain, you can pour baking soda and vinegar over the stain to clean it, especially for liquid stains.You can also remove surface stains with power washing or hard scrubbing.
One of the most common stains that occur on concrete are rust stains because many outdoor items are made of metal, such as grills or table legs.
If you have a rust stain, it is important to remove it before it can begin to corrode the concrete. Don’t just cover it up or forget about it.
Avoid Corrosive Substances
Rust is far from the only thing corrosive to concrete. Here is a brief list of substances that can damage your concrete:
- Heavily acidic water
- Salted water
- Chlorides and pool cleaning chemicals
- Nitrates and fluorides
- Acidic substances, such as sulfuric acid
- Miscellaneous cleaners
If you have any of these substances or chemicals on your patio, you risk them spilling onto the concrete and damaging the stone. Ensure you’re storing these harmful chemicals and other corrosive products as safely as possible to lower the chance of them spilling onto the concrete.
If they do spill, clean the mess as quickly as possible. The longer you leave the substances on the concrete, the more damage they’ll do. Some types of concrete sealers can lower the damage these substances will do, but it can’t prevent stains entirely. You can learn more about the pros and cons of concrete patios here!
Install a Concrete Patio Today
While keeping up with the maintenance of your concrete patio can feel overwhelming, it’s easier than you might expect. By following these concrete patio maintenance tips, you can ensure your concrete is as healthy as possible.
To learn more home maintenance tips, contact us today. Our team of professionals will be able to provide you with a concrete patio that will last your family for years. Contact us today to get started on your concrete patio project.