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Your well-appointed, inviting patio should serve as a respite for your guests, creating a comfortable open-air living space for celebrating, socializing, and enjoying the outdoors. If the weather’s pleasant, you can pretty much guarantee that your friends and family will meander outside, even if it’s not the central hub of the party. So, before you send out the invitations, make sure you get your outdoor space ready for company, starting with your patio floors. Bring on the barbecues!

Wooden patio in the garden with a grill

Cleaning: Making Patio Flooring and More Sparkle

First things first: clean. Since practical outdoor flooring is made to endure in the elements, it often doesn’t look as dirty as it actually is. Yet, when you bust out the pressure washer—or, if you’re low-tech, the hose—you’ll be shocked to see just how beautifully these babies clean up. Here are some more great things you can do to prepare for your patio party:

  • Sweep Deeply — Every patio cleaning project should start with a good old-fashioned sweep. Since the last time you swept, the patio has collected all sorts of leaves and debris, which should be simple to brush off using the outdoor right broom. You might want to consider employing a wet/dry vac, such as the Shop-Vac, as well as sucking up any moisture or getting rid of cobwebs and debris in corners and crannies.
  • Wield the Pressure Washer or Hose — Yes, you certainly can remove particularly stubborn dirt, grime, and slime from dirty patios using a pressure washer or hose, depending on the flooring type. These tools are particularly ideal for busting up dirt and grime in concrete and clay-based tiles, and the grout between them, but make sure to exercise extra caution when power washing natural stone. Always test any tools and cleaners in small, inconspicuous areas before treating the entire area.

Cleaning concrete block floor by high pressure water jet

  • Do a Solution-Based Cleanse —Not keen on pressure washing? No worries. You should occasionally deep clean your patio flooring using a manufacturer-recommended cleaner a day or two before guests arrive—or later, if bad weather is in the forecast. If the manufacturer doesn’t recommend a specific cleaner, a solution of gentle white vinegar (one quarter cup to two gallons of water) will do the trick. Use a long-handled scrub brush to work in the solution and break up any deeply set grime.
  • Clean Your Patio Furniture — Make your patio extra hospitable by giving your patio furniture a deep clean. Those outdoor cushions are magnets for dirt, cobwebs, mold, and mildew, and giving them a quick refresh will transform them so they look like If your cushions have machine-washable covers, toss them in the wash and let them thoroughly hang dry before putting them back on.
  • Avoid Abrasive Cleaners — In general, tile flooring is durable and scratch-resistant—hence, why it’s often employed outside and in other demanding, high-traffic environments. With that said, patio flooring is not indestructible. Be careful not to use any harsh cleaners or abrasive cleaning tools, such as stiff-bristled brooms, steel wool, and acidic cleaners, as these products can damage the finish. Never use any acidic cleaners on your natural stone flooring. If you aren’t sure whether or not a material is safe, test it in a tiny, hidden area before use.
  • Give the Grill a Touch-Up The grill is like the water cooler of the patio party—it’s where everyone gathers ‘round to chat. Make sure your grill positively sparkles, and delivers the very best flavor, with a quick grill spruce-up. Using a set of gloves, a grill brush, a bristled brush, and soap and water, you’ll be able to spiff up any gas grill so it looks like new.
  • Keep It Clean During the Party —We know it’s not the most stylish suggestion, but consider placing trash cans outside while the party’s raging so that guests can pitch their trash as needed and are less likely to leave garbage behind. You may also want to invest in an outdoor bar or a rolling cart to keep drinks designated to a certain area and to prevent accidents and spills.

High angle view of a stylish outdoor kitchen

Enjoying Your Patio for Years to Come

You know what they say … patios are for chillin’ and grillin’. Make sure to spend a little bit of time preparing your comfortable outdoor environment before your guests arrive, and you can be sure your fiesta goes down in the books. If you need any information or assistance on professional or DIY patio flooring, the team at BuildDirect is always available to help.

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David Montagliani