Weather, usage, and time can all take tolls on an exposed concrete patio. Do you have a concrete patio that is still structurally sound but has numerous cosmetic issues? There are a few ways you can use concrete supplies to potentially restore your patio to look brand new – and only one of the tips below requires the assistance of a concrete contractor.
Masonry Cleaner and Pressure Washer (or Elbow Grease)
Try to restore your existing patio to its former glory with a masonry cleaning solution. If your patio is near plants you'd like to keep alive, choose a solution that is environmentally friendly and harmless to greenery. You can purchase a cleaner that loads straight into your pressure washer or buy a squirt bottle that you will have to scrub off later with some sponges or stiff brushes.
Follow the package direction on whichever type of cleaner you chose to find out how long you should let the solution sit on the concrete. If you're using a pressure washer, make sure the washer isn't on its highest setting or you could end up blasting apart the concrete rather than cleaning its surface. Use a gentle hand if you're not sure about the current strength of the concrete.
Did your first attempt at cleaning make a difference but there's still a long way to go? Repeat the process a couple of times until your patio is clean. If the patio won't come all the way clean, or you realize you don't actually like the look of the clean patio, move on to the next tip.
Head to the hardware store for some handled paint rollers and concrete stain. You can buy stain that works similar to a wood stain and basically tints the concrete a different color. Or you can buy acid etching stain, which chemically reacts with the concrete to create a multi-hued swirled look similar to marble.
If you want to up your design game, buy some large stencils to either create a centerpiece or a mosaic design on the concrete with the stain. Make sure you secure the stencil with painter's tape and allow the stain to set before you move the stencil to avoid smearing.
Did you end the cleaning process with a patio you so disliked that stain wouldn't save the day? Consider calling in a concrete contractor to pour a new layer over the existing foundation and ask for concrete stamping.
Stamping involves using forms to engrave patterns into the concrete, which can also be stained at the same time. The process can give you the look of a brick or marble tile patio with the durability of concrete. If you need concrete supplies for your project, visit Small's Sand Gravel Inc.