How well your patio holds up throughout its lifetime is as much about the quality of the materials you choose as it is about how well you maintain your patio year after year.
A clean patio is a protected patio, and no one knows this better than Sherman Guyer of CastleRock Landscape & Lighting. Sherman’s an expert in the science of patio cleaning, helping homeowners clean, maintain, and protect their outdoor living spaces.
We tagged along with Sherman as he scrubbed down the Penn Stone outdoor showroom and asked him our patio cleaning questions to help homeowners care for and enjoy their patios longer.
Sherman: Think of a thorough patio cleaning as a check-up to make sure it’s healthy and ready for summer.
Outdoor patios need a thorough cleaning at least once a year, typically in the spring, to remove dirt that’s accumulated over the winter and get rid of the moss and dirt that begin to reappear as the weather gets warmer. This is especially important if your patio utilizes joint sand between pavers. That’s where moss and dirt can accumulate and erode joint sand, leading to cracks and breakage.
Cleaning doesn’t end once each paver has been washed and treated, though. While cleaning you may discover that some pavers are missing joint sand or areas of your stone are stained and require deeper cleaning. Patio maintenance should go hand-in-hand with cleaning to keep your patio protected longer.
Sherman: For deep cleaning and annual maintenance, I definitely recommend every homeowner hire a professional. Things tend to get complicated quickly when cleaning reveals issues that need fixing.
Joint sand is a perfect example. Using a powerwasher with a strong jet setting can deteriorate joint sand. And if you have sections of joint sand already missing from your patio, it should be replaced at the same time as the cleaning.
A professional patio cleaning company should be able to evaluate your patio and identify areas where joint sand needs to be replaced and provide that service along with your cleaning. They should also have cleaning products that remove moss and dirt without harming the joint sand underneath.
Professionals should also know when and how to apply a sealer to further protect your patio from erosion.
Sherman: I recommend that homeowners seal their patios once a year for several reasons. Sealers strengthen joint sand and extend the life of the sand. They also help prevent erosion so your patio looks newer for longer. And when your patio is sealed, difficult stains from wine, food, and grease can’t penetrate the paver as easily. Essentially, it’s one of the best ways to protect the investment you’ve made in your patio.
Applying a sealer, however, is not a DIY project. Timing and temperature are big factors in how well a sealer sets which makes them tricky to apply. I highly recommend homeowners leave patio sealing to a professional.
Sherman: General upkeep throughout the year goes a long way. Remove weeds that grow between pavers or around the edges of the patio before they get big. And wipe up spills right away so your patio doesn’t stain. Regular soft cleanings – just as you would clean your indoor spaces – should be all you need to keep your patio clean and protected in between professional patio cleanings.
Our design advisor and entire team at Penn Stone are here to not only help you design your dream patio, but care for it so it lasts generations. Stop into our showroom at 190 West Ross Street in Lancaster, PA, or contact us and we’ll help you design the perfect outdoor patio for your home.