Stone Patio Maintenance Tips

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Proper stone patio maintenance will keep your patio beautiful while helping it last for decades.  Although patios look nice with minimal effort, they still require cleanings on occasion.  Multiple factors can cause stains on the surface of  stones, such as food spills or dirt.  When cleaning, it is best to start off with the most gentle techniques;  if the easier methods don’t do the trick, then move to more detailed methods.  Here are some helpful tips for maintaining your stone patio:

Prevent Weeds

It is beneficial to maintain your stone patio before any damage occurs to it.  Often, preventing damage costs less that repairing.  If you are building a patio, protect it against weeds—using a soil sterilizer and implementing a mesh screen helps stop unwanted growths.  Fewer weeds will grow through the cracks as a result of such measures.  Even without these precautions, you can still rid your patio of weeds. Spreading weed killer spray or manually extracting the plants are two ways to  make your patio cleaner.

Sweep and Spray

There are two simple maintenance methods to quickly clean up your stone patio.  First, sweep the entire surface of your patio.  A handy technique ensures all of the dirt between stones gets removed: sweep your patio in one direction horizontally, then sweep vertically.  After sweeping, you can spray down the surface of the stones using clean water (a hose works best, but buckets will do).  Any dirt and debris left over from sweeping will wash away with the water.  If needed, stains can be scrubbed with a detergent.

Clean Deep Stains

Moss and mildew can cause deeper stains on the surface of your patio; unfortunately, these require more work than others to clean.  In order to remove the organisms and stains, mix 1/2 cup of household bleach with 1 gallon of water.  Make sure to wear protective gear, including eyewear and waterproof gloves.  Before treating your entire patio, test the solution on a small patch of stone and check if it causes the area to lighten.  If not, scrub deep stains and moss buildup with the diluted solution.  The mixture will kill the organisms causing the stains, keeping the dark spots from returning.  Once you finish scrubbing, use a clean rag to mop up any excess bleach solution and rinse down the stones with water.

Maintaining your stone patio keeps your outdoor space healthy.  Have other exterior cleaning needs? We would be happy to help.  Our services includes all of Northwest DC and lower Montgomery County.  Learn more on our Services page or give us a call at 202-981-0468.

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