Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner — bringing the promise of cool breezes and balmy temperatures with it. On top of the weather, there are a lot of compelling reasons to spend time outdoors. According to the mental health awareness non-profit organization Challenge The Storm, just 20 to 30 minutes outside lowers cortisol levels and helps combat stress.
Reap all the benefits of the great outdoors with a perfectly picturesque patio. Follow these steps to beautify outdoor areas.
1. Fix Any Imperfections
Start with a clean slate, or look into concrete services and concrete crack repair after particularly harsh winters. During winter, freezing temperatures cause concrete and concrete joints to contract. This process can create small gaps, leaving plenty of room for moisture to seep in. As the weather warms up, the concrete expands. Shifting temperatures and contracting and expanding materials may lead to cracks, fissures, and other imperfections in concrete.
Another common problem is voids. Over time, dirt settles. Settled dirt is more compact. The compression of loose dirt over time leaves concrete paths, patios, and pool areas with notable gaps underneath called voids. Contact concrete crack repair services about filling in these voids. Professionals will use gel or foam to fill in these gaps and stabilize concrete structures.
2. De-Grime Your Patio And Get Out Tough Stains
The next step after concrete repair is a thorough cleaning. Remove all furniture and fixtures from the pool and/or patio areas. Spray dry concrete with a hose. “De-grime and tackle oily spots and stains with a 10:1 solution of warm water and an environmentally safe cleaner,” Coastal Living advises.
3. Refresh Patio Furniture
Just like concrete, your patio furniture needs to be aired out and cleaned on a semi-regular schedule! At the start of the season, make sure to wipe down and scrub outdoor furniture until it looks like new. The method of cleaning will depend on the type of patio furniture you own.
Powder-coated aluminum furniture cleans up easily, with just water, mild dish soap, and a soft cloth. A word of caution: avoid using abrasive tools on coated furniture. The finish helps protect it and keep it easy to clean. Abrasive scrubbing may remove this protective coating. Remove dirt and buildup from wicker furniture using a soft-bristled brush, then rinse with mild soap and water. For extra protection against the elements and dirt, apply a thin layer of lacquer to wicker furniture and allow it to dry.
4. Revamp Lighting Fixtures
During harsh winter months, lighting fixtures may suffer from months of disuse. Add new life to old lighting fixtures by cleaning them and repainting them. Use a different color to keep things fresh. In some cases, replacing lighting fixtures altogether may be a relatively inexpensive and simple way to add new life to a tired patio.
5. Add Accents
Finally, remember: it’s all in the details. Like contacting concrete crack repair services is a critical first step, adding accents is an essential final step. Dress up patio and pool areas with decorative throw pillows, porcelain pot planters, umbrellas, lanterns, glass wind chimes, and more. An outdoor rug, a cabana with curtains, and/or playing with different textures — pair painted concrete with a bed of gravel — can all contribute to a peaceful and elegant atmosphere.
Pleasantly warm weather is finally here. Enjoy time out on your patio. Start with the basics. Concrete is the most widely used manmade material in the world. Repair it and scrub it as necessary. Complete your perfect patio look with clean, polished furniture, compelling lighting, and well-selected accents and decorative pieces.