A Guide to Patio Repairs & Patio Maintenance Tips, Including How to Fix Patio Pavers
As time goes by, spotting signs of wear and tear with your outdoor patio is a common occurrence and is to be expected.
But depending on what the issue is, it can be hard to know what you should do and how to fix the problem.
So, to help you restore your patio to its former glory, here’s a look at the most common patio issues for both stone patios and decking, along with other common patio issues, and the best patio repairs and maintenance tips for fixing these problems.
Common Issues With Stone/Concrete Patios And How To Fix Them
Here are common issues and tips on how to fix a stone patio, along with how to fix a concrete patio.
Dirt and Mold
Scrubbing your stone or concrete patio with water and mild detergent might do the trick to remove dirt and mould.
But for stubborn mould, you’ll need to use a pressure washer, and then sponge the surface with a mixture of muriatic acid and water, followed by another round of pressure washing.
You can find muriatic acid at hardware and pool supply stores. And be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses when cleaning with muriatic acid and a pressure washer.
Broken, Uneven, and Sunken Pavers
Replacing single broken patio pavers is a fairly simple task. But repairing sunken or uneven patio pavers requires some extra work.
Pavers are installed on a base of sand and gravel that needs to be properly compacted and graded to avoid issues with drainage, sinking, and cracking.
So, you will need to restore the base of the patio first to even out the pavers. If this seems like too much work, consider leaving it to the pros and hire a contractor.
Weeds in Joints
Weeding should be a regular part of your patio maintenance routine. Otherwise, the weeds can get out of control and become difficult to remove.
When you notice weeds coming up through your patio joints, pull them immediately. And sweep your patio regularly to prevent seed-filled dirt from building up on your patio.
For stubborn weeds that keep coming back, use an herbicide or a natural solution to kill the roots of the weeds. And wait until the weeds turn brown before pulling up.
You may also want to consider replacing regular sand joints with polymeric sand that hardens like cement and prevents weed growth.
Patio cracking is common for concrete and stone patios. If there are only hairline cracks, you can leave it alone.
But for larger and deeper cracks, consider replacing the cracked pavers altogether, or calling in a professional to replace the patio and fix any underlying issues that are causing the cracks—such as problems with drainage and the base of the patio.
Lime or Mineral Deposits
Lime or mineral deposits can stain patio pavers. The best way to remove these stains is to use a power washer or a muriatic cleaning solution, as mentioned above for mould removal. Do not use bleach or commercial lime cleaners since these are not intended for use on concrete.
To prevent stains from forming on your concrete patio, reseal the concrete every two years.
Patio pavers can separate from the patio and lean at the edge without a solid edging system in place along the perimeter of the patio.
When installing an edging system, it requires a base that extends at least six inches beyond the edging product to create a firm, stable foundation for the edging to rest on.
Common Problems With Outdoor Patio Decking And How To Fix Them
Here are common issues with and tips on how to fix decking:
Peeling or Fading Sealant
When the sealant starts to fade or peel, it’s time to reseal your deck. A general rule of thumb is to reseal a wood deck every two years.
But before applying new sealant, give your deck a thorough cleaning by removing built-up gunk and debris, sweeping, and using a deck cleaner. You may also want to use a deck brightener to remove stains from cedar or redwood decks.
Once the deck is completely dry—after 48 hours or so—you can apply the deck sealer, following the directions on the product packaging.
Moss and Lichen Growth
A power washer can help remove moss and lichen from your deck. Just be careful not to use too much pressure as it can scratch the surface of the wood and make crevices for more moss and lichen to grow over time.
Missing, Warped, or Cracked Boards
You can replace deck boards that are missing or damaged and add a new fastener. But if the deck continues to move, lean, or sway, you may want to call in a contractor for a larger deck replacement or repair job.
The same goes for spongy decking. If the problem is widespread and cannot be repaired by replacing a few boards, call in the pros to fix your deck. Otherwise, spongy decking can become a safety hazard.
Other Common Patio Concerns
Here are other common patio issues that you might encounter and need to address.
Poor patio drainage can lead to patio bases washing out and patios sinking and cracking. Poor drainage can also wash out nearby garden beds and affect the foundation of your home, eventually letting water into your basement.
To prevent these costly drainage problems, hire a professional to install your patio and remedy any drainage issues in your landscape. And for existing patios, create a sloping channel in the concrete to direct water away from your home and fill with decorative stone or gravel.
Poor visibility at night can dampen your patio enjoyment and make it unsafe to move about outdoors. So, to add safety, comfort, function, and ambiance to your patio, add some outdoor lighting throughout your patio and backyard space, reaching all the corners of your outdoor area for enhanced visibility.
If your gas patio heater isn’t generating enough heat – or any heat at all – check the gas supply and burners. If there is a spark after the heater turns off, there might be a gas supply problem or the gas cylinder could be empty.
The gas cylinder should be full and turned to the ON position. If you have a non-replaceable cylinder, make sure to repair it for leaks.
Also, keep the burners clean to prevent clogging. Make sure there is no dirt or dust around the pilot light. And check if the regulator is torn, changing it immediately if so.
If using a patio heater in winter, try to use propane since it works better in the cold than butane. And lastly, call in a professional to repair your heater if needed.
Over time and with exposure to the elements, sliding doors can become difficult to operate. If you find your sliding doors are sticking, requiring extra effort to operate, take a look at the tracks of the door.
If the rollers are broken or dirty, the track is bent, or the door frame is sagging, you will have trouble sliding your doors. So clean, replace, and repair as necessary to get your sliding doors back to normal.
Replacing outdated patio furniture with a new patio furniture set is an easy way to enhance the appearance of your patio. Or, you can find creative ways to repurpose your old patio furniture.
But make sure you are taking good care of your patio furniture pieces to ensure they last and hold up in an outdoor environment. To keep your patio furniture looking great for years to come, follow these patio furniture maintenance tips:
- Clean regularly with hot, soapy water and dry completely before storing.
- Apply paste wax to prevent rust on metal furniture before use and after washing.
- Remove rust immediately with a wire brush.
- Clean mildew from fabrics using a solution of ¾ cup of bleach and one gallon of water.
- Make any repairs right away.
- Use custom patio furniture covers or tarps to protect your furniture from the elements.
- Store your patio furniture for the winter.
From how to fix patio pavers to maintaining patio furniture, use this guide to keep your patio in top shape and looking great for many patio seasons to come.