Winter is coming to Milwaukee, and while relaxing outside might not be on your agenda this weekend, it’s the perfect time to take steps to protect your residential concrete patio. Who doesn’t love grilling out on a summer night or setting up the patio furniture to share a meal outdoors with family? Taking care of your patio correctly will allow you to enjoy it for years to come. Look forward to the spring thaw and follow these 5 tips to keep your concrete patio pristine.

Residential Concrete Patio Care

Clean Your Patio

It is crucial to keep the surface of your patio clean year-round, and particularly important to clean it thoroughly before winter weather arrives. Snow can trap dirt and debris that stays on the surface of your patio all winter long if not cleared away, and fallen leaves can cause stains. Washing the surface of your patio with a power washer or the spray attachment of a garden hose is a good idea before it gets below freezing or on a warmer winter day. It’s also a good idea to keep the surface of your patio clear in winter. Store patio furniture if possible to prevent moisture from collecting under or around it where it is in contact with the patio.

Consider Concrete Type

The type of concrete your patio is made of affects how you should care for it. For example, stamped concrete requires different maintenance than traditional concrete. If you haven’t applied a sealant to your patio, this is an excellent way to prevent seasonal wear and tear from taking its toll. If you do have a stamped concrete patio it has likely already been sealed as part of the installation process. Stamped and unstamped concrete both require resealing after several years though, so it is important to take into account the type of concrete your patio has.  

Repair Existing Damage

Evaluate the condition of your patio and make any repairs you can. Though concrete is an extremely durable material, over time cracks in concrete can become a problem. Prioritize larger cracks that may worsen as cold and wet conditions subject your patio to freezing and thawing cycles, which can worsen existing damage. Look closely and take note of small cracks and any areas that are chipping or flaking and consider filling them with flexible crack sealant. This will prevent more moisture from getting in during the wet winter months which could cause more damage.

Prioritize Snow & Ice Prevention

It may seem like common sense to toss ice melt onto your concrete patio to prevent slips and falls, but this can actually cause damage over time. The chemicals in most ice melt can break down concrete sealant and absorb into your patio, causing damage to any steel structural components it may have. It also increases the likelihood of cracks and flaking due to moisture penetration as snow or ice melts and turns into water. The best approach is to prevent snow and ice from building up in the first place. Remove fallen snow immediately and use alternatives like sand or gravel for extra grip underfoot instead of ice melt.   

Invest In A Patio Cover

Another option for keeping your concrete patio looking good and staying protected is to cover it. Not only can a cover be a beautifying feature, adding a cover to your patio area is beneficial all year long, providing shade in the summer and added protection from the elements. The less contact your patio has with both bright summer sun and harsh winter weather the better. 

A Little Care Goes A Long Way

You know that your residential concrete patio is an asset to your home. Patios add both enjoyment and attractiveness to outdoor spaces, and a little care goes a long way. Contact JBS Construction today for a professional assessment of your current concrete patio or to plan your custom installation. It’s our goal to help you achieve your vision!