Outdoor living spaces like patios add value to your home, while also increasing your ability to entertain and enjoy your environment. You have a wide variety of materials to choose from in order to create a patio, but concrete and flagstone are two of the more durable and aesthetically appealing options. Both of these materials can stand up to harsh weather; however, some maintenance will still be necessary to preserve them. If they are maintained correctly, patios made of concrete or flagstone can last for a very long time. Here are some ways you can keep your patio beautiful and functional.
Sweep dirt, debris and lawn clippings off your concrete patio on a weekly basis. The combination of harsh weather and built up dirt or yard waste can cause discoloration to concrete surfaces. Rinse your patio off every month or two, and pressure wash it at least once a year. When pressure washing, first soak the concrete with a mixture of baking soda and water before using the pressure washer. In addition, use a pressure washer that delivers between 2,000 and 3,000 PSI – this amount of pressure won’t damage the concrete.
Resealing is also important because it protects the concrete’s outer surface from water damage. The sealant soaks into the concrete’s pores and keeps it from absorbing water. It is a good idea to reseal your concrete patio every few years. There are different shades of sealant to choose from, making it possible to change or enhance to visual appeal of your patio.
As with concrete, you will want to keep your flagstone patio swept clean to prevent the buildup of dirt and yard waste. If your patio’s surface is already stained, use bleach or diluted muriatic acid to remove the marks. Your acid solution should consist of one quart of muriatic acid to 2 gallons of water. Note that when you use bleach or muriatic acid, they will need to be rinsed off quickly so that they do not damage the stone surface.
Because flagstone is susceptible to water and food stains (especially if you cook or dine in your outdoor space), it is a good idea to seal it. This will keep your flagstone from staining and help to preserve the stone’s natural colors. Before applying sealant, repair or replace any chipped or cracked stones. Replacing damaged flagstones is easy if they have been installed without mortar. Simply lift the affected stone out and put another one in its place.