Starting with a solid foundation, literally, is the key to a long-lasting patio. Be sure you understand the type of soil you’re using and get a good handle on your property’s drainage capabilities and tendencies. Then take every precaution possible to properly grade, compact and smooth out the soil before laying the stone of your patio.
But even with the right foundation, you’re not off the hook where patio maintenance is concerned. Left to its own devices, in time your patio will lose its color and luster, and eventually crumble until you’re left with a real fixer-upper.
And those fixer-upper patios can sometimes be enough to render your whole home a fixer-upper if you’re planning to sell.
You don’t want that, do you?
Regular maintenance will ensure fewer patio issues down the road, and a stress-free experience when you most want to enjoy your outdoor living space. Here are three patio maintenance factors to pay special attention to.
Patio maintenance tip #1: Seal your patio
Depending on the weather and the type of patio material you select, you need to seal your patio and possibly add another coat of sealant as often as every other year. (If you’re not sure how often to do this, ask your landscape professional! You know what they say: an ounce of prevention…)
Before you start the patio maintenance process and re-seal your patio, give it a good wash. If you’ve left the patio dirty for too long, it could have stains or even mold growth that you’ll want to clean off as thoroughly as possible before sealing them in.
If you have a brick or natural stone patio, also be sure to keep the joints between stones filled with sand or another substance to prevent weeds and grass from growing up between the stones.
Patio maintenance tip #2: Check for cracks and other imperfections
Keep an eye on your patio at all times. There are many factors, including weather and shifting earth, that can lead to cracks in your patio material.
Another important part of patio maintenance is sealing any cracks you notice (with joint sand or another material) and replace any broken stones to maintain the patio’s integrity.
If your patio was installed stone-by-stone, you may also be able to remove one stone to add more sand and even out the surface.
Patio maintenance tip #3: Take special care with winter maintenance
If you’re re-sealing your patio in advance of a cold season, consider using a sealant that contains a gritty ingredient. It will be easier (and safer) to walk on your patio during inclement weather, including ice and snow, with a slightly more textured surface.
Depending on the type of stone you used in constructing your patio, some materials are particularly susceptible to weakness during the freeze and thaw of winter and other seasonal changes.
Rock salt can be extremely corrosive to materials like concrete and bluestone. Instead consider using potassium chloride or sand to maintain your patio’s integrity during the winter.
And now the last tip for patio maintenance. Avoid using metal tools when you’re shoveling your patio, as they can damage many types of stone or pricey decorative coping that you’ve invested in.
Take the guesswork out of your patio maintenance by hiring Neave Masonry to install and care for all your property’s hardscaping. Ready to start the conversation about building a patio or creating a landscape maintenance plan? Give us a call at (845) 463-0592, or fill out the web form on the right-hand side of the screen to have someone in our office get in touch with you.
Image credit: Landscaping Network