Everything you need to know about maintaining your concrete patio
Sweep away leaves and debris
Keep on top of any leaf litter or mould from trees and plants, because leaving this on the surface of the patio can cause stains. A hard bristle brush in dry weather is a good way of brushing off any dirt or rotten foliage. You can also treat the patio with a suitable fungicide, particularly if it is underneath overhanging trees, as this will stop the growth of mildew and moss, which will cause the surface to become very slippery. If you use the patio for outdoor living and catering, make sure any oils or fats, from food cooking on the BBQ for instance, are cleaned off using a soft bristle brush and hot soapy water.
It is always best to check with the installers of the concrete patio, but a pressure washer is one of the quickest ways to clean up a patio, helping to remove moss and algae at the same time. Depending on the type of concrete you have chosen, most are incredibly hardwearing and stand up well to a high-pressure jet of water. Just remember to keep the pressure washer moving around the surface so that you do not focus on one spot all the time. If your patio has been painted and treated, you need to check what alternative commercial cleaning products can be used on the surface to keep it looking as good as the day it was laid down.
If you have had pavers set out, they may have sand between the joints, which could need replacing from time to time. This stops weeds from growing in the crevices so when brushing down the patio, consider whether or not you need to replace with an appropriate sand or patio joint filler.
Keep a look out for hairline cracks and crevices
Concrete patios are very hardwearing, but over time or due to moving or placing heavy objects on them, they may be damaged. If small cracks appear they need dealing with at once. Otherwise water can penetrate the surface and then start to erode the layer underneath, causing subsidence and further cracking. If you do stand heavy furniture or planters on the patio, try to avoid dragging or moving them because it can cause marks or tracking, particularly if the surface is polished.
There are hundreds of designs, colours and textures available today on the market. Concrete can be stained, etched, polished or layered with coloured aggregate or stones to suit all types of properties. As noted before, it is always best to speak to your concrete professional to check out what solutions or materials can be used on each different type of surface.
However, as a patio is often sealed to protect its good looks and keep it looking brand new, it may need resealing from time to time. This should be done only when the patio is clean and dry, keeping the kids and family pets well away as it will need time for the applications to dry. Once done, it will continue to look good for years to come, so the effort is well worth it.