- How to Clean a Concrete Patio Floor
- Small Backyard Patio Ideas
- What Can a Concrete Patio Be Covered With?
- How to Remove Grass to Build a Patio With Pavers
- How to Install a Brick Paver Patio
- How to Keep a Patio Dry From Rain
- How to Care for a Concrete Patio
- How to Install Patio Stones
- Wood Patio Ideas
- How to Hang Patio Curtains
- How to Draw a Patio Site Plan
- Patio Moss Removal
- How to Redo a Concrete Patio
- How to Remove Urine Smell From Patios
- How to Dress Up a Concrete Patio
- How to Calculate a Round Concrete Patio
- How to Re-Cover My Cement Patio
- How to Make Concrete Patio Stones
Many homes have an outdoor patio area made of a durable concrete base. The concrete is resistant to most weathering elements, and will last nearly a lifetime when properly cared for. As with any other outdoor structure around the home, you need to clean the concrete patio floor regularly when you notice dirt and other elements that leave the concrete looking soiled. When making your cleaning solution, remember that you want to use ingredients that can be rinsed off safely into surrounding soil without contaminating or otherwise damaging your lawn.
Mix 1 gallon hot water and 2 cups oxygen bleach (not chlorine bleach) in a bucket. Oxygen bleach is nontoxic to plants when used as directed.
Rinse off the patio floor with your garden hose to get rid of loose buildup, which will make the cleaning process less of a task.
Dip a stiff broom or nylon scrub brush into the bucket of water and oxygen bleach.
Brush over your concrete patio floor, staying in the same section until you remove all debris, then move to the next area of patio.
Rinse off the deck again with your garden hose. Allow the deck to air-dry, and repeat the cleaning procedure if you notice any remaining buildup.
Container gardens add a stylized feel to a patio of any size. Terracotta planters, arranged in clusters in corners or along walls allow a wide range of foliage to be displayed. Containers come in hundreds of designs to match and complement any style of patio. When placed at different heights, container gardens add a feeling of spacious depth to a patio.
Tasteful furniture added to a patio makes even the smallest area become a warm, enjoyable place to relax. A small table with one or two chairs makes the patio a place to enjoy a drink or a meal outdoors. Furniture located on one side of the patio with a grill located on the other creates a place to congregate when company visits. Grilling and dining are possible on the smallest of patios.
Hanging lights or lanterns brighten up any patio, adding quick but elegant decorativ elements. Hang lights from the house behind the patio or the awning over the patio to illuminate the area without taking up valuable space. Lights placed on the railing of the patio create depth, making a small patio feel larger.
Ceramic, slate or terracotta tiles bring new life to a dull concrete patio. Some homeowners install natural stone such as granite or clay pavers, or modular deck tiles of different wood types that interlock. For an existing concrete surface in excellent condition, you can apply special stains or textured coatings.
Some materials work best in locations where freezing and thawing cycles occur. Surfaces such as clay pavers or bricks create additional height. You may need to seal stone applications to prevent staining. For the best appearance after overlaying a concrete patio with a new floor, clear the space of any debris and have surrounding areas landscaped.
Home Improvement Web cautions against installing materials on a badly cracked or uneven concrete patio. Glazed tiles tend to become more slippery when wet, creating a slipping hazard, while tiles that absorb water can crack in cold temperatures.
Mark out the patio area with a garden hose. Alternatively, install a stake in each corner of the site and stretch twine between the stakes to mark out the edges.
Apply a non-selective glyphosate herbicide to the marked-out patio area two weeks before installation of the pavers. Follow the package application directions and precautions for the herbicide.
Push the blade of a shovel 6 inches into the turf around the edges of the patio after the turf has died. Form a trench around the edges of the entire patio area, using the shovel blade.
Slide the shovel beneath the turf, beginning at the edges where you formed the trench. Lift the dead sod out of the patio bed and place it in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp for later disposal. Repeat until all the turf is removed from the patio.
Dig out and remove any remaining roots in the cleared patio once all the turf grass is removed. Rake the area to level the soil surface.
Start by laying down a 1 inch layer of sand down on the concrete patio. Use a level to make sure that the sand is even on the entire surface of the patio. Choose the pattern in which you would like the pavers to lay and place a few out on the patio to make sure of the design before you begin actually putting them down permanently.
Start laying down the pavers in a 90-degree corner working your way out. Be sure to keep all the lines and joint straight while leaving a 1/4 inch space between the pavers. Check periodically with a level to make sure that the pavers are laid down evenly.
Measure and mark the pavers that need to be cut to fit around the patio edges. Cut the pavers with a wet saw so that they will not crack during the cutting process.
After all of the pavers have been laid down to cover the patio area, lay down a layer of masonry sand on top of the pavers. Use a push broom to sweep the sand in the spaces between the pavers. Continue adding sand until all of the spaces are filled. Finish by taking a garden hose and spraying off any existing sand from the surface.
Install a retractable awning or canopy that installs against the house wall. Pull the canopy out when rain is forecast. Retract the canopy when you want to enjoy the sun on the patio.
Erect a pergola or gazebo over the patio. These structures are permanent but allow flexibility so you can enjoy the weather. Pergolas are open at the top, but you can install a rain resistant cover. These covers are either permanent or flexible.
Set up a portable shelter such as a camping gazebo or car shelter over the patio.
Cover the patio in a tarp or plastic sheeting. Use a tarp with grommets along the side so you can secure the tarp to the patio to stop it from being blown by the wind. Use a tarp if you are waiting for concrete to dry, or if you have painted and the paint is dry to the touch but needs to cure.
Sweep concrete with a stiff-bristled broom to remove debris, dirt and dust.
Wash the patio with a mild dish soap and water as needed, and rinse thoroughly each time.
Clean stains as soon as they occur. Absorb oily stains with sand or cat litter and scrub with a degreasing agent. Remove paint spills and drips with a rag soaked in paint thinner. Lay the rag over the stain, allow the paint to become soft and pliable, and scrape up.
Repair cracks with caulk. Squeeze caulk directly into the crack and fill it up flush with the surface.
Keep expansion joints intact and in good repair. Apply self-leveling urethane sealant over expansion joints to protect them from the elements.
Seal your concrete patio with a clear or colored concrete sealer. Concrete sealers provide a waterproof barrier that helps patios shed water. The water will bead on the surface rather than absorb into the concrete. Apply two coats of concrete sealer with a long-handled paint roller. Allow each coat to dry completely between applications, typically 3 to 4 hours.
Measure the area where the patio stones will be laid.
Visit the local hardware store or landscaping center to determine which patio stones you would like to purchase. Speak with a sales associate regarding the type of stone that will be appropriate for your project. These associates are trained to help customers choose the right amount of stone. They may also be able to provide you with helpful tips for laying the patio stones.
Level the area where the stones will be laid. You may need to use a shovel to remove some of the excess soil from the area. A hand tamper can also be used to pack the dirt down to a level surface.
Measure the height of patio stones that will be installed so that you know how much sand to place under them. You do not want your patio stones to stick to far above the surrounding area.
Make a base for the patio block using paver sand. This sand can be purchased at most hardware stores or home centers.
Lay patio stones out in a rough pattern of the finished project. Start from the middle of the area, and work your way to the edges. Place each stone as close as possible to the one beside it.
Complete project by sweeping sand across the patio block.
If you have a concrete or brick patio that's looking a bit worse for wear, spruce it up by creating a wood patio out of wood deck tiles. Made from a number of small boards or pieces of wood, wood deck tiles look like small squares of decking and interlock to form a wood floor for your patio space. Wood deck tiles are easy to install and often less expensive than replacing an entire patio or building a deck.
Mix It Up
If you like the wood look but want some variety in your outdoor space, mix it up with different elements or media. Extend an old red brick patio with a platform of dark-stained wood for contrast, or add a slightly elevated wood patio next to an existing deck to create extra space. If you're starting from scratch, think about using wood as a border for a stone patio, or switch it up and surround a wood patio with a stone border.
To add height, depth and usability to your wood patio space, add on. Create built-in shelves or seating areas. Need to add a little green? Build planters with multiple levels in the corners or around the edges of your wood patio. Add storage areas for toys or outdoor games along the wall of the house. If you can create it from wood, the sky's the limit when it comes to built-ins on your wood patio.
Measure the distance from the roof of your outdoor space to the ground. Subtract four to six inches from that number, and that's the length of curtain you need. In addition, measure the top of your patio roof, from edge to edge, to determine how wide your curtains should be.
Purchase curtains designed for use outdoors. Curtains designed for indoor use will not stand up to long periods of exposure to the weather like waterproof outdoor curtains will. Waterproof curtains are essential if you live in an area with frequent rainfall, or if you plan to leave your curtains up during the winter when they may be exposed to snow and ice. You also need to buy weather-resistant curtain rods that run the length of your patio.
Determine where you want to mount your outdoor curtain rod. Mark the location on one patio support column, then measure where it falls in relation to the roof of the patio. Mark the other support column so when you hang your outdoor curtain rods, they will hang evenly.
Mount the first curtain rod mount on the wall by drilling the screws enclosed in your curtain rod into the patio support column. Repeat this process for the second mount on the other patio support column, using the markings you made previously as a guide.
Set your curtain rods in the curtain rod mounts, one side at a time. If you're working with a long curtain rod, you need two people to do this so one person can work on each side.
Add curtain rings to your outdoor patio curtains, if necessary. Remove the curtain rod from one mount, and then slide the curtains onto the curtain rod.
Assess the lay of the land in your yard. Although it is possible to level uneven ground, it is cheaper and easier to choose a relatively flat area for your patio. Other things to consider are how close you want it to your house, your driveway or the boundaries of your yard. If any of these pose a potential problem, you will have fewer options of where to place the patio.
Decide on a rough estimate of how large you will want your patio to be. This does not need to be exact or precise, but it is helpful when determining the best placement of the patio.
Obtain a grid paper and sketch onto it the major existing boundaries of your yard (property lines, your house, major trees or walls that you don't want removed). Once these obstacles have been sketched in, you may start deciding where you want your patio.
Look for an open area on your sketch, large enough to accommodate your desired patio size. You are looking to find an open area of appropriate size that also agrees with your personal opinion of where you would like the patio to be. Once you have a space that suits both desires, you may continue.
Sketch in the patio site on your plan. If you wish, you may now decide on precise measurements (this is helpful, since the grid paper is usually to a certain scale).
Knock off as much of the moss as possible with a stiff-bristled brush or broom. Use brisk, short scraping movements. Pile the moss into a container or bag and discard to prevent moss spores from spreading.
Spray the entire patio -- not just the moss, as invisible moss spores may be on other areas of the patio -- with any moss control and cleaning solution formulated with potassium salts of fatty acids, which both kills the moss and also lifts the moss from the patio due to the acids' soap-like consistency. Apply according to the product label's guidelines, as chemical concentrations vary by product.
Allow the solution to sit on your patio for the time listed on the product's label, typically ranging from 15 to 30 minutes. This gives the potassium salts of fatty acids time to penetrate the growths.
Rinse down the patio. Use a standard water hose or, for faster cleaning, a pressure washer. Spray down the entire patio to rinse away the potassium salts of fatty acids and the dead pieces of moss.
Insert the tube of concrete repair caulk into the caulking gun and slice the tip of the tube at a 45-degree angle.
Force the tip of the tube into cracks on the patio that are wider than 1/2 inch and apply a large bead of the caulk along the length of the crack.
Smooth over the caulk that spills out of the crack with a putty knife.
Mix together 2 1/2 quarts of tap water with a 2 pound bag of the concrete resurfacer in the large plastic bucket and thoroughly stir for 2 minutes using the drill motor and paddle.
Pour out the mix onto the concrete patio surface and spread to a thickness of 1/16 inch using the flat trowel. Work the trowel in wide sweeping motions across the surface to quickly spread the resurfacer. Avoid using the patio for 24-48 hours while the resurfacer fully cures.
Mix one gallon of white vinegar with one gallon of water.
Use the sprayer to coat the patio with a layer of the vinegar-water mixture. Allow the solution to soak into the concrete until the patio is dry.
Crush the charcoal into a powder. You can do this by stomping on the bag.
Create a powder that is one part charcoal and one part baking soda.
Coat the patio in the powdery mixture. Allow it to sit for a few hours.
Sweep up the powder, which should have deodorized your patio from any remaining scents the vinegar mixture didn't counter.
Sweep the patio with a push broom to remove large particles of dirt and debris.
Rinse the patio with a garden hose, making the patio very damp.
Sprinkle trisodium phosphate over the entire surface of the patio.
Scrub the patio with a long-handled stiff brush. Work the trisodium phosphate into the cement to clean and neutralize it.
Rinse all the trisodium phosphate off the surface of the cement with a garden hose. Let the patio dry for at least 24 hours in good weather.
Pour some concrete stain into a roller pan. Attach the same long handle that you used for the brush to the paint roller applicator. Roll the stain onto the cement patio evenly, covering the entire surface. Let the stain dry for 24 hours before using the patio normally.
Enter the diameter of your patio in the calculator.
Divide the diameter by two to find the radius.
Press the "times" and then the "equals" button to square the radius. For example, if your patio is 12-feet in diameter, dividing by two will result in six. Pressing, "times" then "equals" will yield the number 36 (radius squared.)
Multiply the radius squared amount (36 in the example) by Pi (3.142) and then multiply that number by the depth of your slab.
Write that number in a notebook. Clear the calculator.
Divide the depth of your concrete by 12. For example, a 4-inch thick slab is 4 divided by 12, which equals 0.33.
Multiply the saved number by the number you obtained in Step 6. Continuing with the example, the number written, 113.112 multiplied by 0.33 equals 37.33.
Finish the equation by dividing the result from Step 7 by one cubic-yard (27). Finishing the example, 37.33 divided by 27 equals 1.38, the cubic-yards of concrete needed to pour a patio 12 feet in diameter, 4-inches thick.
Set up a tube of concrete repair caulk in a caulking gun and fill any cracks that are wider than 1/2 inch in the patio. Run a putty knife over the cracks to smooth and remove excess caulk. Give the caulk 24 hours to dry before continuing.
Fill a 5-gallon plastic bucket with 2.5 quarts of water. It is best if the water is room temperature.
Add the 2 lb. bag of powdered concrete resurfacer to the bucket and incorporate with an electric paddle drill for 2 to 3 minutes. This amount of resurfacer will cover 60 square feet of patio.
Pour the mixture immediately onto the patio surface and spread with a flat trowel. Press down hard onto the trowel to stick the resurfacer to the patio.
Allow the resurfacer to dry for 24 hours before using the patio. Once it is dry, you can protect it with a masonry sealant.
Choose which type and shape of mold you want to use. Commercial molds offer an array of shapes including natural stones, round and basic bricks. You can also create your own unique molds with pie tins, foil pans or plastic or polyurethane sheeting. Make or purchase multiple molds so you can pour more than one patio stone at a time.
Set the molds on an even surface and coat the inside with a light layer of petroleum jelly or another mold release agent.
Mix concrete in a bucket or wheelbarrow with an electric paddle mixer. Use concrete powder and water, and stir until it has a thick, batter-like consistency.
Use a trowel or scoop to add concrete into the mold, spreading it into every corner and filling to the top. Drag the trowel over the top of the mold to smooth the surface and remove excess. Tap the mold on a hard surface several time to release air bubbles.
Cover the molds with plastic and wait two days for them to dry, less if you use quick-setting concrete. Turn the molds upside down, tap on the bottom and they should slide out of the mold.