An Overview of Patio Maintenance

By: giftwmr
Outdoor living is more popular than ever. Even in the colder states, the growing popularity of patio fire-pits and fireplaces has lengthened the patio season. Patio lighting and heating has come down in price, making it more and more affordable to enjoy your patio from early spring all the way through late fall.

Along with the enjoyment of using your patio, however, comes the need for doing proper upkeep and maintenance on your patio, patio equipment and patio furnishing. Proper maintenance will lengthen the life of your deck or patio and add to its enjoyment for decades to come. Here's a quick overview of how to keep your patio in tip top shape with year round hints for maintenance and care.

Getting Ready for the Patio Season

If you live in a region where the weather makes it impossible to enjoy our patio year round, Spring probably has you preparing for the outdoor season. Here are some tips for getting your patio ready for the summer.

1. Spruce up your patio for the spring.
Winter can be tough on your patio, deck or porch. Early in the spring, spend a few hours sprucing up the patio. Sweep it down and pick up any debris that the winter has deposited on it. On a dry day, wash down the railings, floor and steps with warm, soapy water, or whatever is recommended by the maker of your patio floor and decking. Make sure that you don't soak or waterlog the wood – moisture is one of woods biggest enemies.

2. Inspect your patio and make repairs.
Give your entire patio a good visual going over. Look for cracked signs of wear and tear, and don't forget to check underneath as well as the top. Loose boards or steps should be repaired now, before you put out the furniture and patio plants, when it's easier to do.

3. Give it a fresh coat of sealant or paint if needed.
It only takes a few hours on a sunny day to give your wood patio a new coat of stain, sealant or paint, but the protection will really pay off during the heavy summer use. Steps are one area that may need the touchup more than any other part of your patio. Non-slip paint will add an extra layer of safety and protection for your family and guests, and spring is a good time to do it.

4. Check over patio furniture and clean it up.
If your patio furniture, cushions and equipment have been stored for the winter, it will need cleaning before you start using it. Resin furniture can be washed down with warm soapy water, as can furniture made of metal and glass. For wood furniture, check your maintenance and upkeep tips from your manufacturer. An application of teak oil to teak furniture will help protect and tone your teakwood tables and benches, and redwood furnishings and picnic tables might benefit from a fresh application of stain.

5. Wash patio cushions if needed.
Patio cushions can take on a musty smell if they've been stored in a shed, garage or bin all winter. Check them for mildew, and give them a wash if needed. Follow cleaning instructions on the tags.

6. Don't forget upkeep and cleaning on the grill.
Before you start using your gas or charcoal grill for the season, make sure that it's clean and in good repair. For gas grills, check all connections to be sure that they're clear and free of obstruction. For charcoal grills, clean the charcoal pan and grills.

Upkeep During the Patio Season

Regular cleaning and upkeep throughout the patio season will keep your patio and patio equipment in good repair. In general, the following tips will help keep everything in good shape.

1. Be sure to close patio umbrellas at night, and before a rain or wind storm.

2. Wipe up spills promptly so that they don't soak into wood or stone surfaces and stain.

3. Wipe wood surfaces like railings and tabletops dry after rainstorms to prevent rain soaking into the wood.

4. Bring cushions in or store them in a watertight bin at night to prevent them getting soaked by an unexpected rain storm.
Home Improvement
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