Ultimate Guide on How to Maintain a Stone Patio
When it comes to proper stone patio maintenance, there are a lot of varying opinions on what you should or should not do. The number one goal is to, of course, protect your investment and to keep it looking great all-year-round—not just for the summer. So what all does that entail?
For over 15 years, Dutchies has been creating beautiful, masterfully crafted natural stone patios. Most of the stone masons on our team also have their own patios at home, which means we have a collective knowledge of proper patio maintenance. We wanted to take the advice straight from our experts and create a comprehensive maintenance guide that you could use any time of year.
Read on to learn more about some of the best practices to keep your patio looking brand new for years to come.
Spring Patio Maintenance
When spring is in the air, it’s difficult to stay indoors. Everyone is itching to fire up the grill or to start digging in the garden, and getting your patio ready for the summer may also be on your list.
Luckily, spring is a good time to lightly clean your patio. A gentle powerwash with a light detergent to clean off any mildew or debris should do the trick. Just make sure that the temperatures are above freezing (even at night) so that water doesn’t seep into the patio, freeze, and crack the stone. Also, don’t powerwash your patio too often, since it could do more harm than good for it—once a year should be adequate.
Summer Patio Maintenance
If you’re not using your patio during the summer, what’s the point of having one? Now’s the time to break out the grill, host gatherings, or just sit outside and soak up the sun. And if you already did spring maintenance on your patio, is there anything else you really need to do? The short answer is “no,” but only if you haven’t given your patio its annual powerwash.
On the other hand, now is also the perfect time of year to build a new stone patio or replace an old one. The experts at Dutchies are here to help you through every part of the project, but here are a few points to remember:
- The darker your stone is, the hotter it’s going to get in the summer heat, especially if it’s not in a shaded area. One of the most popular and cost-effective stones we use is Pennsylvania Bluestone, but it’s not always ideal for around pool areas. We’ve seen this stone get up to 115 degrees in the middle of summer, so choose carefully if you expect a lot of bare feet running around on it.
- Heat and direct sunlight can sometimes damage stone or concrete over long periods of time. If you’re very particular about the color of your stone, just be wary that too much sunlight may make the color fade a lot more quickly.
Fall Patio Maintenance
As most homeowners know, fall doesn’t mean it’s the end of your yard maintenance. Unfortunately, that goes for your stone patio maintenance as well.
Wet leaves are annoying and clog your gutters, but did you know that they can also stain your patio? The longer the leaves adhere to the surface of your stone, the worse it can look. Most of the time, these stains can be removed with cleaner, but we suggest not going more than a month without sweeping leaves off of your patio.
We also recommend that every patio owner have patio sealant professionally installed on your stone. A sealer will help block out extra moisture throughout all of the seasons, keeping your stone patio looking brand new for years to come.
Winter Patio Maintenance
During winter, your patio is probably the last thing you’re thinking about. But depending on its location in your home, you may still frequent it.
If this sounds like you, our number one tip for winter stone patio maintenance is not to use harsh chemicals or ice-melt salt on the stone. Generic ice-melt can hurt your stone patio, causing it to crack and deteriorate even faster than you want. There are specific stone-safe ice-melt products you can use, so make sure to look for those or ask us for recommendations.
It’s also important to note that the longer water sits on your patio, the more it can seep into the stone. You won’t be able to shovel your entire patio for every harsh Pennsylvania blizzard, but keeping snow off of it as often as possible will help preserve the longevity of your patio.
Looking for More than Just Stone Patio Maintenance?
Maintenance is one thing, but sometimes your patio may need to be replaced entirely. As scary as that sounds, don’t worry—the experts at Dutchies are here to help!