Like any part of a house or business, patios can benefit greatly from regular maintenance. Nature, time, and usage all have a way of wearing things down and, without looking after it properly, your patio can quickly become unclean, unsafe, or even unusable.
Luckily, it doesn’t take a huge effort to keep your outdoor space in great condition—especially if you’ve protected it with a patio enclosure. With just a little bit of care here and there, you can have a patio you’ll always be proud of.
Read on for some simple yet highly effective maintenance tips, as well as some common patio and enclosure issues you can easily fix yourself.
The Importance of Patio Maintenance
There’s a lot that can go wrong without regular patio maintenance. While you might not notice it at first, small problems will build up over time and cause damage to the patio and surrounds. In extreme cases, this damage can be irreparable without replacing the entire patio.
The most important thing in your home is the safety and comfort of your family, but a patio with slippery, cracked, or uneven surfaces presents a big hazard to anyone stepping outside.
Not only that, but patios are made for entertainment and enjoyment. Could you still invite guests over if your patio is stained, dirty, and unsafe? Can you relax outside if you’re worried about the whole structure collapsing? While this might seem over the top, lack of maintenance in the long term can lead to exactly these types of outcomes.
Commercial properties with patios will face many of the same issues from lack of maintenance. When you add paying customers into the equation, safety becomes even more important. All it takes is one crack and one false step, and you could be facing damaging litigation and financial ruin.
Repeated exposure to the elements will also eventually damage the aesthetics of the patio—and, for a business, image is everything. Often, a patio is the first thing your customers will notice about a restaurant or bar. If it’s properly maintained, then it’s a great advertisement for passing foot traffic. If it’s not, then no amount of special offers will get those seats filled.
Preventative Maintenance for Patios
Patios are just like your health: Prevention is always the best cure. You don’t have to spend your whole life looking after the space—you just need to set aside a little time here and there, and you’ll avoid 99% of common problems.
The main things you need to look out for are:
- Keeping it clean – Sweep and hose down any debris, which can cause hazards and stains if left lying around. Clean up spills as soon as they happen!
- Keeping it dry – Make sure there are no pools of water or dripping taps and use a mop to dry up after any cleaning. This will stop people from slipping over, keep the surface in better condition for longer, and stop water from making cracks and holes form in concrete.
- Keeping the roof clear – If there’s a roof over your patio, then climb up there every so often to remove leaves and check that water can drain properly. If it overflows, it can quickly flood your patio.
- Moving the furniture – This is especially important for restaurants and other businesses where you have a lot of tables and seating being used constantly. These can cause damage to the patio over time, so consider adding protective padding to table and chair legs and changing the configuration periodically to even out the wear.
Fixing Common Patio Problems
Even with the best of intentions and constant maintenance, you can still have the occasional problem. Here’s how to fix three of the most common issues you’ll find.
Anyone with a tiled patio surface is going to see weeds from time to time. The key thing is to get rid of them as soon as you notice them, or they’ll only get worse and cause damage to the tiles. Once you’ve removed as much as you can, use an organic, systemic weed killer to try and keep them away for good.
Moss and algae don’t just cause discoloration to your patio—they can also make your patio so slippery that it becomes a serious safety hazard to you, your family, and your customers.
If you start noticing an algae bloom or moss outbreak, don’t panic. Scrub down the surface with a 50-50 mix of bleach and hot water, repeating every couple of weeks if you’re in an especially damp or humid climate. Just don’t forget to wear protective gear!
Another common problem found with patios made from joined slabs is that the joins will widen or shift over time. This can happen from water, foot, and furniture traffic and simple settling of the slabs and, if left to its own devices, will end up looking unattractive and presenting a tripping hazard.
Make sure your joints are filled evenly at all times with packed sand and use a joint stabilizer on the sand to prevent it from coming out. The sand has an added effect of reducing weed growth between the slabs, too.
Invest in a Patio Enclosure
At the end of the day, the biggest enemy of patios is the weather. Wind, rain, frost, and even the baking sun all do their part to wear down patios and make them unsafe, and the weather almost never seem to let up!
When bad weather seems like it’ll never end, you might think that the best that you can do is just try to minimize the damage. Yet, actually, the best thing you can do is invest in a patio enclosure. A custom fitted, rugged, well-made patio enclosure will keep even the most extreme weather out from winter through to summer, meaning your patio stays cleaner, drier, and safer for much longer.
Because your patio enclosure is protecting the surfaces and furniture from the elements, it means you don’t have to do nearly as much maintenance as you would with an exposed patio. It means less time scrubbing and mopping and more time enjoying the outdoors and helping your business thrive.
What About Maintenance for My Patio Enclosure?
Of course, you will still have to look after your patio enclosure every now and again, but, if your patio has been made with UV-resistant stitching, highly durable marine-grade vinyl, and rust-free zippers and runners, the amount of maintenance you’ll have to perform is not nearly as much as you would with your entire patio.
All you’ll need to do is occasionally wipe down the vinyl curtains and any surrounding material with warm, soapy water, and oil up the runners and winding mechanism once a season. That’s it! As for the rest of the patio, since it’s so well protected, you can treat it like you would another room in the house. Just dust, mop, and vacuum when necessary.
Fixing Cloudy Enclosure Windows
Abrasion-resistant high-quality polished vinyl—like what we use at Enclosure Guy—will take years of beating before any cloudiness or discoloration starts to show. When it does, you can have it looking like new in no time at all.
First, clean the entire clear surface with a mixture of vinegar and water, letting it soak for a while if possible. Dry it with a soft cloth, then lightly apply exterior wax polish to smooth out any scratches.
Low-Maintenance Solutions for Homes and Businesses
Whether you’re a homeowner or running a business, we know that you don’t want to spend all your time looking after your patio. Our patio enclosures are built to last, saving you time and hassle and protecting the quality of your patio through any kind of weather.
Backed by an unbeatable five-year warranty, our custom fitted enclosures are made from only the finest materials and benefit from the latest in-house advancements in design and function. To put it simply: There’s no enclosure out there that’s as beautiful and as tough as an Enclosure Guy system.
To find out why hundreds of homes and businesses across the U.S. have chosen Enclosure Guy, get a free quote with our online Quick Quote tool today.