Your patio and deck are constantly exposed to the weather, dirt, tree droppings, and other natural elements, not to mention the food and drinks that may have spilled here and there during one of your outdoor gatherings. Needless to say, your outdoor living space needs just as much attention as the inside of your home, if not more. After all, relaxing on the outdoor patio won’t be as much fun if you’re surrounded by grimy floors and stained furniture.
To keep your patio and deck clean and ready for entertaining, here are some tips to follow all year round:
Having too much stuff on your patio and deck is counterintuitive to their purpose of being a relaxing outdoor space. More than that, excessive clutter can eat up space that you can otherwise use for entertaining guests.
Remove unnecessary items from your patio or deck, including furniture, planters, umbrellas, toys, exercise equipment, and other stuff that can be stored somewhere else. If you entertain guests in your backyard frequently and find it impractical to haul stuff around again and again, at least put those frequently used items along the sides of your patio or deck to keep them out of the way.
Exposure to sun, rain, dirt, and droppings can cause chair cushions to deteriorate faster. If you leave them out in the open all the time, they are likely to become faded and stained after just a few months of owning them; yes, even if they have weather-resistant fabric.
Make it a habit to put away chair cushions in your garage or shed when you’re not using them. It’s a bit of a hassle to have to pull cushions out of storage when you have to use them only to put them back right after, but it will keep your cushions looking good as new for a long time.
Sweep and wash regularly
Sweep dirt and debris away from your patio and deck on a regular basis, especially if you have a tree hovering over the area. Then, wash the surfaces with appropriate cleaning materials, depending on the type of material your patio or deck is made out of. For instance, concrete surfaces require only water and a bristle brush when washing. Wooden surfaces, on the other hand, should be washed with a deck cleaner or a mixture of bleach and warm water while using a scrub brush.
Seal the surface
Sealing the surface of your deck and patio with a waterproof sealer will help it last longer as it helps protect the material from water and stains. You can do this yourself by simply applying a layer of sealer using a roller or sprayer at least once a year or when you notice the sealant is already wearing off.
Clean spills ASAP
Spills are often inevitable in outdoor gatherings, especially when there are children around. Keep paper towels nearby to quickly blot up spills before they stain on the furniture or floors.
The same goes for stains from tree sap, birds, berries, pets, and more. Remove the stain with patio furniture cleaner or a stain remover as soon as you see them. The faster you get to it, the easier it is to clean the stain off. This is especially true for materials that are easily stained, such as fabric on patio furniture and wooden tabletops with no waterproof sealant.
Close your shades
Close your patio umbrellas and awnings when not in use. If you leave them open, dirt, debris, and droppings are likely to accumulate there and stain the material, making it almost impossible to clean at the end of the season.
Clean the grill and fire pit
Keeping your grill and fire pit clean is not only for aesthetic reasons, it’s also crucial for safety. Leaving grills and fire pits with too many char and ashes make them a fire hazard. So if you use them frequently, you should also clean them more often than usual.
An excellent way to clean your grill is to scrub it with baking soda and lemon juice. The natural ingredients will help remove the char without introducing chemicals on the surface where you put your food. For your fire pit, clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions if it uses natural gas or propane. If it uses wood, sweep out the ashes and clean the safety grill with a rag.
With these simple tips, you can keep your patio and deck ever ready for the next outdoor gathering. More importantly, keeping these surfaces clean will help make them live out their entire lifespan, or even go beyond it.