How To Clean a Concrete Patio
Like most people, you possibly don’t pay much attention to your patio. But if you have a concrete patio, it’s one of your home’s most essential parts. A clean patio can make a big difference in how your home looks and feels and add value to your property.
The good news is that cleaning a concrete patio is pretty straightforward. With a bit of elbow grease and the right supplies, you can have your patio look new in no time.
The Benefits of Having a Clean Patio
There are lots of reasons to keep your concrete patio clean.
A patio is an excellent addition to any home. It provides an outdoor area for entertaining, relaxing, and enjoying the fresh air. A well-maintained patio can also add to the aesthetic appeal of your home, increasing its curb appeal and overall value.
A well-maintained patio will be more attractive to potential buyers and help increase your home’s sale price. In fact, as per the National Association of Realtors, homes with patios typically sell for 5% more than homes without them.
A clean patio is more durable and long-lasting than a neglected one. Mold, mildew, and dirt can all damage the materials used to build your patio. By regularly cleaning your patio, with the proper cleaning solution you can help to extend its lifespan.
Over time, debris can accumulate on the patio’s surface, making it slick and dangerous. In addition, leaves and potted plants can create hiding places for insects and other pests. Regularly cleaning your patio can help prevent accidents and keep your outdoor space free of unwanted guests.
Steps in Cleaning a Concrete Patio
As the weather gets warmer, you may spend more time outdoors on your patio. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or enjoying a meal al fresco, keeping your patio clean is important.
The cleaning process will differ depending on the concrete surface and the amount of accumulated dirt and grime. In general, however, there are a few basic steps you’ll need to follow to get your patio looking its best.
Step 1. Prepare the Materials you need
To clean your concrete patio, you will need:
-A broom or leaf blower
-A garden hose with a spray nozzle
-Dish soap or a degreaser
-A scrub brush
Most of these items are most likely already in your home. If you need to purchase a degreaser, you can find one at your local home improvement stores.
Step 2. Sweep the Patio
The first step in cleaning a concrete patio is to sweep away any dirt, dust, or loose debris. A broom with stiff bristles will do the job nicely, or you can use pressure washers to make things go even faster. Pay careful attention to the cracks and holes where dirt accumulates.
Step 3. Pressure Wash the Patio
Pressure washing your concrete patio is a great way to remove dirt, grime, and debris built up over time. It is also an excellent method for preparing the surface for painting or staining. If you are planning to pressure wash your patio, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Make sure you choose the right pressure washer for the job. A pressure washer with too much power can damage the patio surface.
Use a detergent designed for pressure washing. It will help in the removal of any stubborn stains.
Use caution when operating the pressure washer. Stay the nozzle at least 12 inches away from the patio’s surface and avoid over-washing any area.
Step 4. Clean Spills and Stains
Any good housekeeper knows that keeping a clean concrete patio can be difficult. Spills and stains are inevitable, but they don’t have to be permanent. Depending upon its nature, there are several ways to clean up a spill or stain.
Grease and Oil stains: These can be tricky to remove, but there are a few things you can try. You may try to use baking soda, kitty litter, cornstarch, or sprinkle sawdust to absorb the oil. Allow a few hours for the powder to sit on the oil stain before sweeping it away.
Mud and dirt stains: Start by sweeping away any loose dirt. For tougher stains, try spraying the area with a garden hose. If that doesn’t work, you may need a power washer. Be sure to hold the nozzle at least 12 inches from the patio’s surface and be careful not to over-wash any area.
Paint stains: If you have paint on your patio, it’s best to remove it as soon as possible. Paint can be difficult to remove, but there are a few things you can try. You may need to use a power washer, sandblaster, or chemical stripper. Ensure to read the labels and follow the instructions carefully.
Rust stains: Rust stains can be removed with several different products. You may need to use a concrete rust remover, rust converter, or even white vinegar. Be sure to thoroughly test the product in an inconspicuous area and follow the instructions carefully.
Step 5. Scrub Patio Floors With Cleaning Solution
It’s time to use your hands and knees and scrub the concrete floor with a cleaning solution. These solutions can help remove any remaining dirt, grime, or stains. You may need to use a brush with stiff bristles to scrub stubborn areas.
You can try the following cleaning solutions:
Dish soap: Dish soap is made to dissolve grease and oil, making it ideal for removing any buildup on your patio. Moreover, it is gentle enough that it won’t damage the finish on your patio. You will need a bucket of warm water and a sponge. You can also use pressure washers to remove tough stains. Dish soap is a gentle cleanser and will not harm the concrete.
Bleach solution: Oxygen bleach is a powerful disinfectant that can kill mold, mildew, and bacteria, and it can also remove stubborn stains. To make a bleach solution, combine one part of chlorine bleach and ten parts water. For tougher stains, you may need to increase the ratio of bleach to the water.
Baking soda mixture: Baking soda is a key ingredient in many household cleaning products and can also be used to clean cement patios. To make a baking soda mixture, combine 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1 gallon of water. For tougher stains, add 1/4 cup of Borax to the mixture. For best results, apply the mixture to the patio with a sponge or nylon brush and scrub in a circular motion.
Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is an efficient oxidizer that can strip concrete surfaces of years’ worth of dirt, grime, and mildew. When used correctly, it is safe for both people and the environment. To use hydrogen peroxide to clean your cement patio, mix it with water in a 1:1 ratio and apply it to the surface with a pump sprayer. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then scrub the area with a stiff brush.
Muriatic acid: Cleaning concrete patios with muriatic acid is a common practice. Its acidity helps break down tough stains, such as mildew, dirt, and grime. However, it is critical to use muriatic acid safely because it can be corrosive to metals and harmful to the skin. When using muriatic acid to clean a concrete surface, always dilute the acid with water and wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear. In addition, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area.
Step 6. Seal the Patio
After you have cleaned your patio and allowed it to completely dry, it is time to seal the concrete. It will help to protect it from weather damage, stains, and other wear and tear. There are a variety of sealers available, so be sure to choose one specifically designed for concrete.
Silicone-based sealers: Silicone-based sealers are considered the best choice for sealing concrete patios. It does not require a primer, and they are also resistant to UV light and extreme temperatures. Moreover, it forms a strong bond with concrete, making them ideal for areas that experience heavy foot traffic.
Polyurethane sealers: Polyurethane sealers come in water-based and solvent-based formulations and can be applied with a brush, roller, or paint sprayer. The biggest downside to polyurethane sealers is that they can yellow over time, affecting the appearance of light-colored concrete surfaces.
Epoxy-based sealers: Epoxy sealers form a strong bond with the concrete, helping to resist cracking and chipping. It is highly water resistant, making it ideal for protecting patios from the elements. Perhaps epoxy sealers can significantly improve the appearance of concrete patios, giving them a glossy, durable, and stylish finish.
Once you have chosen a concrete sealer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. In most cases, you will need to apply the sealer with a brush or roller. Work in a well-ventilated area and wait for the sealer to completely dry before using the patio.
Cleaning a concrete patio is relatively easy and can be completed in a few hours. With the right supplies, your patio will look new again. Just have patience, take your time and follow the instructions carefully.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thanks for reading!