A stained concrete patio can be one of the most maintenance free additions to your home. The concrete itself resists abuse that other patio materials, like wood or brick, might get damaged from. The stain is virtually permanent, so except under extreme circumstances there will never be a need to stain it again. However, there are some maintenance tasks that should be done to keep your stained concrete patio looking beautiful and new for a lifetime.
Like any floor or surface area that comes in contact with feet, your stained concrete patio should be swept on a regular basis. This will keep things like dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris from building up and potentially marring the surface.
If there is dirt build-up, or other grime that is not easily removed with sweeping, your patio just needs a thorough cleaning. This can be done by mixing up a standard solution with dish soap and water in a 5 gallon bucket. Pour the solution onto the deck or dip a shop broom into the bucket, and scrub your stained concrete patio clean. Rinse it with a regular garden hose and let it dry naturally. You can do this as often as once a month, or whenever the deck gets so dirty that sweeping doesn’t get it clean.
Resealing your stained concrete patio can be done every 2 or 3 years. The frequency will depend on the wear and tear of the sealer, which may more in higher traffic areas.
Clean your stained concrete patio as you normally would, with a dish washing solution and a shop broom. Rinse and allow it to completely dry, usually within 24 hours.
You will get the best results by using an outdoor contractor who works with concrete on a regular basis. If your patio contractor is only using a sealer, they will spray it on with some type of paint sprayer. A second coat can be applied when the first coat is no longer tacky.
If you want an anti-skid surface, your contractor can add in one jar of anti-skid medium and stir it thoroughly to suspend it within the sealer. For this application it’s best to use a 1-inch nap roller to distribute the sealer and anti-skid combo. A sprayer will not distribute the material evenly, as the material will be thick and may repeatedly cause clogs during application. This solution will be applied in 2-foot by 4-foot swaths so that no areas are missed. Keep stirring after each application to keep the anti-skid suspended in the sealer.
This sealer should only be applied between 60 degrees and 90 degrees for best results. Apply a second coat, particularly in high traffic areas.
On an exterior stained concrete patio, you should avoid using de-icing salts in the winter. These salts will eat away the sealer, and they may begin to degrade the concrete beneath it. You will have to clean and reseal twice as often, possibly more if salt use is extensive. The salt may also begin to discolor the stained finish once it penetrates the sealer.
Stained concrete patios are attractive and are relatively easy to keep up during any time of the year. If you follow these easy maintenance routines for your own stained concrete patio, it will give you a lifetime of beauty with a minimum of hassle.