Keep Your Brick Patio Looking New
A brick patio can be a gorgeous feature for your home, but maintaining it throughout harsh sun and snowy winters is important if you want to keep the patio looking great. Bricks are porous, which means they absorb water. The water that soaks into the brick can cause it to crack and crumble during freezing and thawing.
The salt you use all winter to melt the ice off your brick walkway can also deteriorate bricks. All that may result in water absorption, and create issues with algae and mold in your bricks. You can help to ensure that your bricks last longer with these simple maintenance steps.
Keep the Weeds Out
While you can spend a small fortune spraying weed killer on your patio to keep weeds from growing up between the bricks, not only might you contribute to harming the environment, but it is not a very effective solution. Sealing the bricks with water-based sealer is much more effective.
Start by powerwashing the patio to remove any debris. If your bricks have been stained or have rust marks from your patio furniture, you can clean them before sealing by using a small amount of muriatic acid. Any bricks that have cracks in them should be repaired or replaced before sealing. Level them out by adding sand where needed.
Spray them with two coats of water-based sealant, available at any home improvement store.
Add a Splash of Color
If your bricks are faded or worn, consider using a sealant that contains a color tint. Whether you want to revive the brick color or coordinate the color to match your home, there is an acrylic silicone stain and sealer product that will provide protection against weather while adding some vibrant color to your patio.
If you have a deck or patio that tends to get icy or slippery when wet, choose a slip-resistant coating. Choose a silane/siloxane blend coating that will help waterproof the bricks if you need to protect the bricks from water.
No matter which coating you choose, do the prep work before you coat. Make sure the surface is clean and dry, and that all of the bricks are leveled. Fill cracks between bricks with sand to maintain the even look of your patio. Unlike wooden decks that typically need to be resealed each year, your brick coating should last several years.
(Not sure if your outdoor space is a patio or a deck? Look here for the differences.)