As a homeowner, you are most likely always searching for ways to add style and value to your house. From updating your landscaping to installing energy efficient windows, the possibilities are endless. Thankfully, certain updates will not only add style and value, but also necessary function. An outdoor living space enhances your home's look and gives you additional space for entertaining or relaxing outdoors. However, the addition of a deck, porch, or patio also offers an average 90.3 percent return on your investment. To guarantee this return on investment, proper cleaning and maintenance are key. Using this guide, your asphalt patio will be perfect.
Outdoor surfaces require cleaning to ensure they are appealing, but you may not know the best options for cleaning your patio. In most cases, your asphalt surface will only need a light rinsing every few weeks to prevent heavy buildup. Use your garden hose once a month to rinse away dirt, grass clippings, mulch, and other debris.
If your asphalt patio has a thick accumulation of dirt, use the following ingredients in an outdoor pump sprayer:
- 3 gallons of water
- 2 cups of baking soda
Douse the patio with the baking soda solution and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Then, rinse off with your garden hose. The baking soda will dissolve tough residue from your patio without a harsh, toxic cleanser.
If you live in humid areas or your outdoor space is moist, you may develop mold or algae on your asphalt patio. While bleach is an effective mold remover, it can also damage your surrounding landscaping. To clean your patio and remove the mold or algae, consider vinegar.
Combine 2 gallons of water with 2 gallons of white vinegar in an outdoor sprayer. Douse on your patio and allow to soak for 20 minutes before rinsing off.
The acidic properties of white vinegar are naturally antibacterial and antiviral. In addition, it is safe to use around pets, children, and your plants.
Cooking out, entertaining friends and family, or just relaxing outdoors while watching the kids play are benefits of having a patio. Unfortunately, these benefits may create accidents or spills on your patio. Thankfully, removing stains from an asphalt patio is not terribly difficult. Of course, the most effective way to prevent discoloration is by cleaning up any liquid as soon as the spill occurs.
For juices, sodas, and other beverages, blot up the liquid with a layer of paper towels. However, if you are dealing with a chemical spill, an alternative is necessary. To blot up oil, gas, paint, pest spray, or liquid fertilizer, use kitty litter.
Pour a few cups of cat litter directly over the liquid and use your feet to stomp the gritty pieces into the patio. Allow the litter to rest for a few hours before sweeping up. After sweeping away the excess cat litter, hose off your patio with a garden hose.
Even with efficient cleanup of liquid spills, your asphalt may discolor. Use the following steps to remove the dark stains from your asphalt patio:
- In a spray bottle, combine 3 cups of hot water with ¼ cup of liquid dish soap.
- Shake the bottle to mix.
- Douse the soapy solution directly onto the stain.
- Allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the stain.
- Rinse with your garden hose.
- If you still notice slight discoloration, repeat the process a second time.
Many asphalt surfaces including patios, driveways, and walkways will develop small cracks and fissures. In most cases, these imperfections stem from water building up inside the asphalt base. Although unattractive, the cracks can lead to dangerous accidents. If left unrepaired, you will eventually need to replace the entire patio.
To repair the cracks and prevent future oxidation, sealcoating is a smart option. Using a spray, squeegee, or broom, professionals will apply the seal directly to your patio surface. This prevents future damage and improves the look of your asphalt patio without a complete renovation.
To protect your investment, seal your asphalt patio every 3 to 4 years.
Outdoor living adds incredible style, function, and value to your home, but proper maintenance is essential. Using this guide, you will enjoy a perfect patio that stands the test of time.
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