Patios may be low-maintenance, but that doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from a spot of cleaning and tender loving care every now and again. Whether you have a wooden deck or concrete or stone patio, treating it to a thorough scrub-down once a year and regular resealing will keep your outdoor area looking good as new for longer.

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De-cluttering

When you’re getting rid of furniture and deco from your patio area before you start to clean, take the opportunity to evaluate whether each item needs to be there, or if you could get some of your outdoor living space back for entertaining or dining.

Dry sweeping

Leaves, dirt, and other non-sticky debris are much easier to remove when the surface is dry, so sweeping the area thoroughly first could save you time and effort later.

Wet scrubbing

Hose down the patio area, taking care to protect or avoid nearby plants, then get to work scrubbing down the entire surface using a mop and a simple cleaning solution made of dishwashing soap and water, switching to a stiff bristle brush for stains.

For stubborn stains, you can apply a solution of oxygen bleach and water, while a degreasing agent should remove marks left by a BBQ. After cleaning, allow the solutions to work for up to 10 minutes before carefully rinsing the surface clean.

Pressure washing

After the initial rinse with a garden hose, move the pressure washer over the surface slowly to remove dirt, grime, and stains, taking care to avoid plants, sand and mortar joints. You should check that the level of pressure you are using will not damage your patio surface.

Sealing

Concrete and stone patios are usually sealed at the time of installation to prevent water, oil and other moisture penetrating the surface, but this seal doesn’t last forever. As a rough guide, patios should be resealed at least every three years to prevent erosion and mold, algae and weed growth, and you should make sure the sealer you buy is safe for use with your patio material.

If you have a wooden deck, the wood will need to be restrained regularly to prevent water damage. To check whether your deck needs to be restrained, sprinkle water on the surface and observe whether it is absorbed by the wood or pools on the surface.