How to spring clean your patio
YOU WILL NEED:
- Stiff broom
- Soapy water
- Patio cleaner
- Garden hose
As soon as the sun starts shining each year, it's time to get your patio in shape. With a little effort you'll soon have an inviting space that's great for entertaining friends or relaxing with a good book and a chilled glass of rosé.
Time to complete job: Half a day.
Approximate budget: Can cost next to nothing if you're willing to employ a bit of elbow grease!
Before you start:
If your patio is home to bikes, tools, toys and broken plant pots - be ruthless! Store away only those things you know you're going to use, recycle anything useful and put the rest in the bin.
We also have a great article Video: How to spring clean your patio, and another one Spring clean your patio.
If you are cleaning your patio, it could be that you have some decking that needs looking at too. Here's Craig Phillips' tips for repairing and maintaining decking.
Clear the weeds
Weeds are an eyesore. Whether tiny stragglers or big bushes, they look tatty and will make your patio uninviting. Scraping them out by the root with a kitchen knife is simple yet deadly. Strimming with a garden strimmer is only a temporary fix as the weeds will soon resurface.
Weed killer can be used, but apply sparingly and not on a windy day when it could blow on to other plants.
Give it a wash
A thorough clean with a stiff broom will make a world of difference. Lukewarm, soapy water is all you need if the dirt is fairly minimal.
If your patio hasn't been cleaned for years, or if there's moss or algae present, you'll need to use a proprietary patio cleaner, preferably an eco-friendly one. Hose clean any excess dirt, apply according to instructions and gently scrub to remove stubborn dirt. Hose down and give a final sweep with a broom to leave your patio looking instantly cleaner.
Tip: If your patio is really dirty, consider hiring a pressure washer to give it a deep clean. Use it on a low setting for cleaning your patio, making sure you point it at an angle facing away from the slabs. Be careful not to use it too hard or too close to the slabs or you'll damage the surface of your paving.
The finishing touches
Now that your patio is looking lovely, make sure the surroundings are too! Adjacent flower beds should be watered and flowers regularly dead-headed.
Make sure that French doors or windows overlooking the patio are clean and shiny.
Finally, only keep your best plant pots out on display and give them a clean if they're looking a little weather worn or tatty.
Every three months it's worth checking for loose or damaged slabs and making sure that all the pointing is in tact - repair if necessary.
Look for any stains such as alcohol, barbeque fat, chewing gum or bird droppings and give these an intensive cleaning treatment, always following the manufacturer's instructions.
And, if you want to seal the patio to prevent water seepage or fading, check the manufacturers' recommendations as applying a sealant to paving may affect the colour.