How to Clean and Maintain a Stone Patio
A stone patio adds flair and interest to an outdoor space. Where it is exposed to the elements, however, it will need regular cleanings and maintenance. Moss, dirt and other debris will stick to stone, and you will need to properly clean it to be sure it is not slippery and unattractive. Weeds are another issue for stone patios, and you will need to address them on a regular basis.
Step 1 - Preparation For Cleaning
First, you will need to remove patio furniture, planters, or anything else you have sitting on the patio. After everything is removed, use your broom to sweep the patio stones briskly to loosen the stuck on moss and dirt. After you have swept it thoroughly, you can work on weed control.
Step 2 - Weeding the Patio
You'll have to get on your knees for this part. You will pull any weeds you see growing between the stones. The root growth from the weeds can cause the stones to get water beneath them, which will cause the stones to pop up, or even worse, crack or fall apart. That is why this step is an important part of the maintenance. After the weeds are pulled and the debris is put in trash bags, spray the cracks between the stone well with weed killer to be certain that the roots are killed and the weeds will not grow back. Allow the weed killer to sit depending on the manufactures directions. You'll then be ready to clean the stone patio.
Step 3 - Cleaning the Stone
Put on your safety goggles. Spray the patio down with the pressure washer using just plain water. Next, add the cleaning solution to the power washer. Spray the patio at an angle in order to loosen any stuck on debris and to avoid grinding any dirt down into the stones. After you have thoroughly washed down the entire surface, allow the cleaning solution to sit for 10 minutes to soak out the ground in dirt from foot traffic. Do not let it completely dry. Next, use the power washer again, without any cleaning solution, to thoroughly rinse the patio. Allow the patio to air dry. After it is dry, you can place your furniture and accessories back in place.
Step 4 - Maintenance
Regularly sweep your stone patio to keep moss and debris from forming on the stones. Take the time to keep weeds at bay by weeding and spraying. Remember, this is very important to keeping your stones from becoming damaged. Also regularly sweep under pots of flowers or any items that sit directly on the stones. Depending on your climate, you will need to clean the patio with a power washer when you notice it getting dull and dirty. In most climates, 2 to 3 times a year is sufficient in keeping your stone patio looking great.