Patios have become really important areas, extending our living space and allowing us to make the most of the great outdoors. Large or small, patios benefit greatly from regular maintenance – and early autumn is an ideal time to get to work. It will cut down the ‘elbow grease’ required come springtime and will make outdoor spaces more pleasant over the winter months.
Time to tidy
Whilst most aluminium and wooden furniture can be left outdoors year-round, materials like wicker and rattan generally need to be protected – under covers or indoors.
At this time of year, fallen leaves quickly start to build up, especially behind pots and containers. If left in place, they’ll quickly decay, leaving stains and slippery deposits. It’s worth emptying and stacking pots before the temperatures drop – especially if they’re not frost-resistant. Surfaces can then be swept with ease and any weeds removed. The clearer the surface now, the less dirt will be picked up on footwear over the winter months.
The pre-winter clean
To properly remove stains and ingrained dirt, we recommend a thorough wash with LTP Grimex. A blast with a jet wash may seem like a quicker and easier option but it will only wash dirt off the surface. A specialist treatment will react with ingrained residue and organic matter, drawing it out of the stone’s porosity.
Before cleaning the patio, remove furniture, pots and other objects. Then, test your cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area.
How to apply LTP Grimex:
- To remove mild staining, dilute one part of Grimex with 10 parts of warm water. Wash the surface thoroughly, using a brush or garden broom, and rinse with clean water.
- For more severe staining, dilute one part of Grimex with 3 parts of warm water. Agitate with a scrubbing brush and leave to act for 5-10 minutes, adding more solution to keep the surface wet.
- Sweep up any residue and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
If your patio is prone to black spot, lichen, moss and algae, it’s worth targeting these now too. Periodic treatment with LTP Blackspot & Algae Remover will break down microspores and black spot ‘hyphae’ before they colonise. LTP Blackspot is acid-free, so it’s safe to use on acid-sensitive stone, but it does contain a bleaching action to remove stains. So, as before, test first on an inconspicuous area.
How to apply LTP Blackspot & Algae Remover:
- Remove furniture and other items from the area to be treated.
- Apply neat Blackspot onto clean pavers with a plastic watering can or light pressure garden spray.
- Leave to absorb for 2-4 hours; the product will begin to fizz as it gets to work.
- Hose off thoroughly with clean water.
Stopping water ingress
Once you’ve cleaned your pavers and they’re dry, it’s an ideal time to replace any lost jointing sand or cement mortar. This will stop the ingress of water and will help protect paving during the freeze and thaw cycle of winter.
If your patio hasn’t been sealed, consider applying a protective treatment. We recommend LTP External Stone Sealer for natural stone and a barrier treatment called LTP Porcelain Tile Protector for matt porcelain pavers. Both are non-film forming and will help prevent the absorption of moisture and organic particles, reducing staining and the spread of algae, mould and black spot.
To find out more about patio maintenance – including the best time to seal pavers and which tools to use – please contact the Wellington Tile team on 01823 667242 or pop in to our showroom.