Keeping your paved patio area in good repair ensures it remains attractive and usable. It may not seem like concrete is something that can easily be damaged. Although it is a durable surface, it isn't immune to problems. Make sure you don't make the following mistakes, since they can stain or weaken the concrete.
Mistake #1: Not protecting against food stains
Food stains can be a major issue, particularly from grease. Fortunately, mats and rugs are available to solve the issue. A barbecue mat goes under the grill. Not only does it catch any grease splatters so they don't soak into the patio pad, but the mat also is fireproof, so it protects against sparks. You can mop the mat with soapy water to remove grease buildup. Outdoor rugs can be used under tables and seating areas to cut down on concrete stains from food. These rugs also improve the look and comfort of the patio. Just make sure to remove them periodically so that moisture doesn't collect beneath the rugs and mats. Otherwise, you may end up with mildew stains on the concrete.
Mistake #2: Improper potted plant management
Potted plants visually soften a hard concrete patio. Unfortunately, they can also lead to two types of damage. The most common is water and mildew stains from moisture that collects beneath the plants. Placing the potted plants on wheeled carts you can move around easily, so moisture doesn't collect beneath the pots, helps prevent this. The other issue is crumbling or cracked concrete beneath the pots. This is caused when fertilizer salts leach out in the water that drains from the pots. The salt causes concrete to weaken and crumble. Using a drip tray beneath a plant, particularly right after fertilizing, prevents this issue.
Mistake #3: Seasonal maintenance woes
Keeping the patio clean year around is a must. Leaves, grass clippings, and other debris should be swept off regularly so that moisture doesn't collect and cause stains. Stored items on the patio should be elevated slightly to allow air flow so trapped moisture can dry. If you have any small cracks, plan to have them filled before winter. Otherwise, moisture in these cracks can freeze and expand, leading to larger, harder to repair cracks. Finally, if you want to remove snow and ice from the patio in the winter, make sure to avoid salt-based ice melts. These can lead to damaged concrete.
For more help, talk to a paving contractor in your area, or visit sites like http://www.harrispavingindustries.com.