As most home owners know, caring for a home isn’t easy. From basic maintenance like vacuuming and dusting, to major projects like redoing the bathroom or cleaning out the garage, home ownership takes time, commitment, and, often, a sense of humor.
While the interior of our homes may be more than enough to keep us busy, ignoring the exterior can more than compromise your house’s aesthetics. This is particularly true when it comes to the patio.
Love Your Patio:
Americans have long loved their patios, particularly during the summer months or in states where it feels like summer all year long. A place to congregate with the family, enjoy the great outdoors, and host parties, patios have become synonymous with seasonal fun.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, this love experienced its biggest boom during the decade between 1995 and 2005. In 1995, only 35 percent of homes had a patio; by 2005, this number was 46 percent. A well-cared-for patio can not only offer you enjoyment, but it can also increase the resell value of your home.
Cleaning Bricks, Killing Weeds:
Two of the most important things you can do to keep your patio in tip-top shape are cleaning the bricks or flooring, and killing the weeds. For bricks, using a pressure washer combined with dish soap may be all that is needed. Some people also prefer to add in moss and mildew remover.
On the weed front, weed killer and good ol’ fashion tugging may get the job done, but it’s also recommended that you use polymeric sand – this will prevent weed growth between the patio stones.
Caring for Patio Furniture:
The surface of your patio may be important, but nothing makes a patio look shabby faster than dirty patio furniture. According to Good Housekeeping, lawn chairs can be cleaned a variety of ways. Resin lawn chairs can be brightened with ¾ cup of bleach, 1 tablespoon of detergent, and a gallon of warm water. Apply this mixture with gloves and let it remain for fifteen minutes before rinsing it off.
Picnic tables, or furniture made of unfinished wood, can be scrubbed down with a mix of one cup of ammonia, a half-cup of vinegar, and one gallon of water. A mildewed umbrella may also be cleaned with three-quarters of a cup of bleach, a squirt of liquid dish washing detergent, and a gallon of water. Not all umbrellas should be bleached, however if yours has acrylic prints, check the tag for instructions.
Wicker furniture can be cleaned with soft-brush vacuum systems. If the wicker is old, however, it may need to be sanded, stripped, and repainted in order to look new.
There may be nothing that makes a patio pop more than colorful flowers. Adding the right flowers can make a difference between beauty and bug-infestation.
According to Better Homes and Gardens, tropical plants – because of the vibrant color patterns – often ascent patios best. These plants include the flowering maple, the angel-wing begonia, the angel’s trumpet, and canna.