As with decking, a garden patio can be the focal point for gatherings and BBQ’s, but what happens when your patio starts to look dirty, weathered and unsightly? If left unmaintained, patios can soon form mould and algae, leading to slippery and dangerous walking surfaces. The good news is that even if your patio has started to blend in with the greenery of the garden, the process of restoring it is fairly straight forward and simple.
Here we’ll look into some of the ways that a garden patio can be cleaned, restored and made safe again.
Mould, Algae and Lichen
Mould and algae is the green biological growth that readily grows on virtually any porous surface and especially so on garden wood, stone and brick. As well as making horizontal surfaces such as garden paths, patios and decking slippery, it can speed up the rooting process of wooden sheds, fences and decking.
Simply cleaning mould and algae from the surface with a stiff brush and detergent is only a short term fix as the spores that cause the growth are embedded in the porous surface and will soon start to regrow.
In-ground dirt and grime
Being porous in nature, patios and pathways can soon start to look aged as day to day garden dirt and grime gets trodden in to the surface. Restoring and maintaining a patio will require a couple of steps to clean, protect and restore its appearance.
Key steps to cleaning, restoring and maintaining a patio
Before starting, there are a few things you’ll need to help with this process. Some are everyday tools that you may already have in your shed whilst others might be something that you might consider buying.
- Flathead screwdriver or other type scrapper – This is to scrape out weeds from between the patio slabs, stones or bricks
- Stiff Outdoor Broom – To sweep off surface dirt and and loose surface biological growth
- (Optional) A jet or power washer – This makes quick work of cleaning off surface dirt and biological growth. Further details of pressure washers can be found below
- Garden pump sprayer (See below)
For cleaning patio surfaces, a stiff outdoor broom can be used or alternatively a jet washer or power washer. Although jet washers are quicker and more effective at cleaning, care should be taken with the mortar or cement between the patios slabs, stones, slate or bricks. Using too much pressure may loosen or dislodge the mortar. Having a jet washer with an adjustable pressure setting allows you to use enough pressure to clean the patio without damaging it.
Top 3 Pressure Washers
- Bosch High Pressure Washer EasyAquatak 120: an efficient, robust, stable and space-saving pressure washer. Makes light work of a wide range of outdoor cleaning tasks. Concentrated power removing stubborn dirt and the Fan Jet for rinsing and general cleaning.
- Kärcher 16018850 K 3 Home Pressure Washer: Make light work of even the biggest cleaning tasks from gentle cleaning of delicate paintwork to removing stubborn dirt from a patio. This model includes a built in detergent tank for mess-free, easy detergent application.
- Nilfisk C 125 bar Pressure Washer: ideal for garden, car, and household cleaning. Offers adjustable power levels, enough to efficient clean moderately dirty surfaces. Can gently clean soft or sensitive surfaces yet can also blast away ingrained dirt.
Ones any surface dirt and / or biological matter has been cleaned off with a stiff broom or power washer, it’s time to treat and kill off any mould and / or algae spores that are embedded in the porous surface.
Top 3 Patio Cleaners
There are literally dozens if not hundreds of patio cleaning products on the market. The following are considered by us to be 3 of the best patio cleaners currently available. Heavily soiled patios may require a second treatment. Although these products are safe ones dry, it is highly recommended that protective goggles and gloves are worn during application. Care should also be taken to avoid breathing in any spray mist. Keep the nozzle of the sprayer close to the surface and at arms length.
- Simply Spray and Walk Away Patio Cleaner: Non-acidic, contains no bleach, no shelf life, biodegradable and child and pet safe ones treated areas have fully dried
- Brintons Patio Magic: Long-lasting mould disinfectant for the easy treatment, removal and prevention of green mould and algae on hard surfaces, without the need for manual scrubbing or pressure washing.
- Wet & Forget – Moss Mould Lichen & Algae Remover: Suitable for cleaning patios, paths, tarmac, block paving, roofs and more. It kills and removes moss, mould, lichen and algae and there’s no need for special equipment – just a good garden sprayer!
Garden pump sprayers
By far the quickest and easiest way to apply any of the above patio cleaners. Garden pump sprayers can be used again and again for spraying plants with water, some wood care treatments and even some garden paints. Take care to wash out the sprayer after use to avoid cross contamination between uses.
Recommended garden pump sprayers
- VOXON 5L Pump Action Pressure Sprayer: The VOXON Pump Action Pressure Sprayer is a manually operated pressure sprayer with a 5 litre capacity, it is a multi-purpose, effective pressure sprayer for outdoor use.
- Spear and Jackson Pump Action Pressure Sprayer, 5 Litre: The Spear and Jackson pump action pressure sprayer is a manually operated pressure sprayer with a 5 litre capacity. The translucent bottle is clearly marked with graduations in both litres and fluid ounces for accuracy.
- Ansio Garden Sprayer 5 litre Pressure Sprayer: For use with water or other non -viscous water-based products including pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fertilisers for use in garden, lawns etc. Offers easy distribution and spraying.
Once your patio has been cleaned and treated, the final stage is to seal the surface. Using a surface sealer will help to protect the patio from dirt, grease and other surface contaminants for longer. It’ll also make it quicker and easier to clean and maintain in the future.
Recommended Patio Sealers
- Everbuild 405 High Performance Path and Patio Seal: A solvent free acrylic coating used to seal and protect patios, paths, natural stone, concrete and block paving from the effects of the sunlight, water, oil, petrol and fungal/moss growth.
- Pro-Kleen PatioSeal Matt Patio Sealer/Sealant: protect your Indian Sandstone, patios, paths, concrete, brickwork, and internal stone paths. Leaving a clear matt finish, PatioSeal will protect your outdoor surfaces from weathering, stains, oil and grease.
- Bond It Builders Complete Patio Seal – Paving And Patio Sealer: Designed to protect blocks, patios and sand joints from water penetration, oil/petrol/grease spillages and dirt and grime build up. Enhances the present colour and will greatly extend the lifespan of block paving driveways or paths and patios.