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How to Maintain Concrete Patios, Driveways and Walkways

Updated on September 19, 2017
Maintaining concrete patios and walkways renders them beautiful for outdoor entertaining and living. (Photo courtesy sxc.hu)
Maintaining concrete patios and walkways renders them beautiful for outdoor entertaining and living. (Photo courtesy sxc.hu)

Patios create one of the great living spaces in our lives.  On a patio, parents sit back and watch their children play, husbands grill hotdogs and hamburgers for weekend cookouts, families and friends gather for impromptu gatherings, and couples enjoy the fall or spring weather together. These outdoor living spaces add great quality of life to our busy schedules. Like the lawn and plants, concrete patios require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best and functioning at their highest capacity.

The best maintenance is the preventive kind. Daily preventive maintenance involves cleaning and a good broom. Any large corn broom works well for the outdoor areas and makes quick work of sweeping away errant leaves, dirt left by shoes, and the dust and dirt kicked up by wind or rain. Sweeping the patio daily keeps this buildup of dirt and dust at a minimum and makes giving the patio a more thorough cleaning easier. Just like inside the home, the outdoor areas benefit from daily spot cleaning and pick-up

A more thorough cleaning may be needed every week or a couple of times a month, especially when the patio is used often or when it rains daily, such as in the summer. A light buildup of dirt is easily scrubbed away with a scrub brush and a hose with a high-pressure nozzle. If dirt or mildew builds up in corners or where water collects, use an environmentally-friendly bleach or soap to scrub the concrete. Rinse it with a jet nozzle and the concrete will look nearly new.

Pressure cleaning your concrete patio, walkway or driveway will drive out deep grime and bring the sparkle back.
Pressure cleaning your concrete patio, walkway or driveway will drive out deep grime and bring the sparkle back.

An annual pressure-washing powers out the deep-down grime that sweeping and scrubbing won’t clean. Concrete patios and walkways are often pitted and porous, giving grime an easy place to hide. After a good pressure washing, those nooks and crannies are clean and ready for another year of use. Many people now own pressure washers. For those of you who don’t, tool rental companies rent them at a reasonable cost or hire a handyman.  They often charge a reasonable rate to complete the pressure cleaning.

Long-term preventive measures for maintaining concrete patios and walks include elastomeric paints and concrete stains. Concrete stains provide a great look for a concrete patio and walkway, giving them new beauty. Stains are permanent, permeating the top layer of the concrete so it doesn’t flake away or chip off like paint. The stain will wear away, however, as the concrete does in traffic areas. Manufacturers recommend applying a sealer annually. The sealer repels dirt and water and helps prevent wear.

An elastomeric coating goes on like paint but protects against wind-driven rain and debris. The coating is like a thick, elastic film and conceals hairline cracks, patches and other irregularities. Like concrete stains, elastomeric paints beautify and protect concrete.

Versatile and cost-effective, concrete patios and walkways are ever more popular today. Proper maintenance and care insures the patio and walk will remain pleasing to the eye as well as functional for years to come.

All family members will enjoy a clean and well-maintained patio. (Photo courtesy sxc.hu)
All family members will enjoy a clean and well-maintained patio. (Photo courtesy sxc.hu)

Want to extend your concrete patio? See my hub about extending concrete patios using brick pavers: How to Extend Your Concrete Patio Using Pavers

Other Patio and Outdoors-related hubs:

The Ever-Loved Adirondack Chair - Not Just for the Mountains Anymore

How to Add Curb Appeal - Use Landscape Stones and Boulders

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    • profile image

      Candice Harding 

      4 years ago

      This is a great resource! We had our concrete patio poured a few years ago and are very happy with it overall. But, because it's the epicenter of activity in the backyard and the semi-permanent home of the barbecue grill and some of our exercise equipment, it seems to always be a mess. Definitely going to look into concrete staining and elastomeric paint for our patio.

      Candice Harding

      http://www.bathurstreadymix.ca/en/services.html

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 

      8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Interesting information cvanthul. I am an artist and I'm always looking for good information for making more outdoor type art, this was a good start for me! I never heard of elastomeric paint either, good info!

    • cvanthul profile imageAUTHOR

      Cristina Vanthul 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Good luck!! Sounds like frustrating fun! I'll look for your hub on the Italian-wrecked patios, should be funny.

    • Shinkicker profile image

      Shinkicker 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      You don't know how relevant all this is to me. I'm working on a campsite with patios, all Jerry-Built :-)

      On our first busy day the Italians wrecked half of them with their cars. But hey! that's camping, the concrete fringes were still soft anyway. They never stood a chance.

      Thanks for the Hub, especially as we'll be cleaning them through the summer.

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