Get Your Concrete Patio Ready For Summer
The days are getting warmer, the flowers are blooming, and you’re thinking about grilling out. Summer is almost here! Make sure your beautiful decorative concrete patio is ready for all your summer entertaining. Follow our easy tips and you’ll never want to go back inside!
Step 1: Check for winter damage
Winter can be tough. Concrete is obviously a durable material but it’s not impervious to winter’s snow, rain, and cold. This is particularly true if the concrete wasn’t poured and treated with enough care and attention to detail. Even if you’re not a pro, there are a few things to look for.
- Cracks: Cracks can be concerning! Minor cracks happen and they usually can be handled pretty easily. It’s important to catch the crack early, though! This increases the chances you’ll be able to repair it properly. If you don’t take care of it, water and weeds will collect in the crack and create pressure that will deepen it.
- Pooling water: If there’s standing water, then there’s some sort of drainage issue. Long-term damage will occur if the drainage isn’t fixed.
- Spalling: When pieces of concrete chip and fall off, it’s known as spalling. This usually happens due to improper curing or an overly wet concrete mix. It can usually be repaired with resurfacing.
- Weathering: Eventually, some concrete just starts to look tired! It might look excessively worn out. Luckily, most old patios will look refreshed with resurfacing and sealing.
If you noticed any of these issues, we recommend conferring with trusted concrete contractors and determining how best to take care of the problem. Please note that these issues don’t necessarily mean you’ll have to redo the whole thing! In many cases, there are ways to repair and remedy the problem.
Step 2: Clean it up
To maintain your concrete patio, give it a good cleaning on a regular basis. Sweep off the surface weekly (or as debris accumulates) and do a more thorough cleaning a few times a year. This might include using a pressure washer to spray down the concrete and using a brush and mixture of water and mild detergent to scrub the surface. Not only does this keep your patio looking great, but it will prevent staining.
Already have stains on your patio? There are specialized products made for the following stains but you might consider starting with an easier solution first. Here are a few quick tips.
- For rust stains: Vinegar to the rescue! For old (or new!) rust stains, simply pour some white vinegar onto the problem area. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and then scrub with a brush. After rinsing and drying, assess the stain. Repeat the vinegar step if needed.
- For grease or oil stains: Sprinkle the area with baking soda to absorb the oil and then sweep up any remaining power. Repeat as needed, scrubbing the stain with some water.
- For mold and mildew: If fungus has accumulated in any spots, spray the area with a commercial product or try a vinegar and water solution. A bleach and water mixture is often recommended but this can kill any surrounding plants. Please note: Bleach is technically ok to use on concrete but it can damage any color or sealers that might be on the surface.
Step 3: Seal it up
Sealers are vital for concrete patios! If you haven’t sealed your patio in a few years, then this is a great time to do so. We actually recommend sealing concrete a minimum of every two years (and more often depending on your weather conditions). Sealers extend the life of your patio and protect it from water, solvents, salt, and other substances.
Step 4: Make it look great
Now that your concrete is sparkling, make the rest of your patio look beautiful, too! There are so many décor options that can make your concrete patio the star of your home! Consider these quick tips and then read Tips to Create the Perfect Outdoor Living Area!
- Installing lights: Nothing adds ambiance like lights! Whether tikki torches, string lights, or lanterns, lights are a beautiful way to add some magic to your outdoor space. You could also add spotlights to highlight landscaping elements and illuminate pathways.
- Adding plants: Potted plants and flowers are a great way to enhance the beauty of your patio. If you love to garden, you can plant perennials that come back every year. And if you don’t have a green thumb? Plant beautiful annuals that you don’t have to worry about keeping alive for more than a season. Check out your local garden center for planters. We love the look of planters in various colors and sizes clustered together!
- Upgrading furniture: Comfy furniture is key and you want to make sure it’s meeting your needs. Do you dine al fresco during the summer? Or do you tend to gather around a firepit with a drink? Make sure your setup is conducive to your gatherings, whether that means a large dining table, a sectional, or rocking chairs. Consider waterproof fabrics and throw pillows to make it homey! Don’t forget the outdoor heaters to make sure you stay cozy.
Shop Calico Construction Products for your decorative concrete needs!
Ready to get started on a decorative concrete patio? Shop our selection of concrete stamps, form and edge liners, colors, and sealers. Contact our specialists at 800-221-9469 to discuss your project and any questions you have.
Categories: Tips & Training