By June Adams
Your patio is like the flooring of your backyard. It’s the area where you’re likely spending time reading a book on a nice warm summer day, grilling up some hot dogs and hamburgers for the kids, or just sitting back and taking a relaxing nap. This space in your home means it’s crucial to how much time you spend outdoors, so it needs to be taken care of.
Due to the fact that the patio is outside, it’s going to be exposed to plenty of elements. Rain, sun, hail, sleet, snow, and falling debris from wind are all part of the natural cycle of climate conditions that you may expect to experience, and it can take a hefty toll on your patio if you don’t do enough to protect it.
If you really want to make sure your patio lasts a long time, and that it retains its quality over the years so you can fully enjoy your time outside the house, then use these tips to help keep it safe from all kinds of elements and damage.
1. Use a patio cover.
The simplest solution to keep your patio protected is to install a patio cover. They come in many different forms, as the most common are overhead to protect from elements coming directly down, but looking at https://royalcovers.com/outdoor-roll-down-shades-patio-shades/, you can see that roll-down shades are another good option. This helps keep furniture safe from rain or snow, and it helps prevent color from fading due to sunlight exposure. This is a good option for those who need quick results for patio protection.
2. Install patio stones during the right season.
Installing your patio during wet or permafrost season is a recipe for disaster. The uneven soil or dirt will shift because of moisture, and eventually, the stones will be unbalanced and warped. You probably have seen this before, and it makes for an unsightly patio and an unusable one as there are little to no flat surfaces. Always install a patio during a dry season, like the summer, to ensure that it doesn’t end up warping or losing sealing in the joints because of water, moisture, or permafrost.
3. Store your patio furniture during bad weather.
Even if you have a patio cover and furniture covers, you should always move your furniture in during the bad seasons. You don’t have to shuffle your outdoor sectional into the garage or shed every time it rains, but if you’re going to get extended periods of bad weather, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It should also go without saying that you should move them in during the winter months to prevent them from being left out in the cold and bad weather.
4. Coat and treat wood surfaces.
If your patio, fence, deck, stairs, walkway, or pergola are made of wood, it’s a good bet that you want to coat and treat them as soon as you can. This is a good way to keep them safe from water damage and prevent warping. Not only does it protect them from the elements, but it’s a good way to get them treated so you can add more layers of protection or a nice paint job. This will keep the paint from running and keep the wood looking healthy for a long time to come.
5. Regularly clean the patio.
Backyard chores are a bore, but they must be done, making the regular cleaning and maintenance of your patio an essential chore. Pressure washing patio stones to get serious gunk and grime off, while sweeping any sand into the cracks, is a simple way to use dirt to your advantage. It’s also important that any grass or weeds growing through the cracks of patio stones be pulled out, and you kill them from growing any more. This can cause structural problems, as the roots will begin to spread through the cracks and disrupt the stones. The more you clean your patio, the better condition it will be in overtime.
6. Secure the seals and joints of stones.
As mentioned, a good way to secure the cracks between stones is to sweep sand into them, but that’s just a minor solution to an otherwise major concern. Most people stone on their patio warp because of water and moisture like mentioned before, so you must be focused on keeping the joints between them sealed, so nothing can get in. Grouting is the most common choice as it can seal the stones together and works wonderfully well, but you can also use polymeric sand as a substitute. Ensuring that the patio stones don’t shift around is a major focus for anyone who wants to keep their patio safe, and combined with putting them in during the right season will help compound that.
7. Tap and secure stones into the soil.
If you want to do a little extra to make sure your patio stones aren’t going anywhere, then tapping them in with a rubber mallet is a good example of some simple handiwork you can do to ensure they stay put. This helps them secure more into the ground below, whether it’s dirt or soil. The good thing to remember is to use a level to know no stones are going to be jutting out in corners or creating pockets of dips. Get on your hands and knees to get a better look at the evenness of it, and try to tap them in on the corners until they look secure and stable.
Keeping your patio protected is an often-overlooked part of ensuring your backyard is the best it can be for you and your family. It doesn’t take much work, but it’s truly essential if you don’t want to end up with a wonky patio or lasting damage to the foundation under your outdoor living space. Using these simple tips, you can be sure that you won’t have problems resulting from poor patio maintenance.