Concrete is an excellent material for backyard patios since it is durable and long-lasting, but it does need some regular maintenance to keep its current quality. Here are some ways to clean and maintain the concrete patio, allowing it to last much longer.
Keep the Patio Swept
While this may seem like an obvious suggestion, it is more important than you might think. Sweeping the patio regularly not only keeps the surface clean, but it can help keep debris from building up in gaps between the concrete slabs, which actually helps decrease overall damage from the debris build-up. It also helps you inspect the patio for areas of damage, so you can repair them quickly. The more often you sweep and wash the patio, the easier it will be to maintain it in the long run. After you have swept the patio, get out your garden hose to rinse it off. When you need to wash it to remove stains, don't use any harsh chemicals or acids. Just use a high-pressure nozzle on your hose, or a power washer. Mild detergent works fine for removing stains.
Be Careful With De-icing Products
You want to keep the snow and ice from building up on your concrete since it can damage and crack the surface, but de-icing products can also cause damage. While it is okay to use some of them, be careful which ones you choose. You don't want to apply any type of de-icing chemicals on a new patio, so if your patio was just installed prior to this winter, avoid using them for now. Sand is typically the best option for reducing ice buildup on the concrete patio. Also avoid de-icing products that contain ammonium nitrate or sulphate, as these are dangerous for the concrete surface.
Seal the Concrete
In order to provide a protective layer over the concrete, make sure you have it sealed on a regular basis. Not only does it need to be sealed after it is first installed, but you should keep getting it sealed every year or so. You can either purchase the sealant and do this yourself or pay a contractor to do it for you. With the sealant, it is able to withstand more weather changes and extreme cold, not to mention avoiding damage from snow and ice. It also helps to reduce permanent staining and makes it easier to clean.
Aside from these maintenance tips, make sure you have cracks repaired before they get worse. Call a concrete contractor if you notice any sort of damage. You can also click here for more information about keeping patios in good condition.