After months of cold and miserable, good old fashioned British rain the buds are starting to appear, the birds are starting to sing and the garden is starting to come to life. Now is the time to get out there and give it a good clean up. It won’t be long before you are sat out there entertaining and after a miserable and untouched winter it probably needs a bit of attention.
One of the things that we tend to notice in our house especially is the patio. It is just outside the kitchen where we spend most of our time as a family so it is on display to guests even from the inside. Last year we had the cracks re-cemented as the cement had all but vanished. After a couple of years of jet washing it was just crevices between the slabs. Of course having only had it repointed last year I wanted to avoid jet washing this year. I really dislike jet washing as I find it takes forever and it just makes such a mess not to mention the damage it does to the cement.
Would cleaning it manually have the desired effect?
I decided to clean the patio manually and see what a difference it would make to the months of algae and moss that had grown in between the slabs. If I am honest I wasn’t sure how effective it would be but trying it in a small area first soon convinced me that this was going to produce the results I was looking for.
I gathered my watering can, a stiff broom and some hot soapy water and set to work. To be honest it was more trial and error but it came up beautifully and only took me an hour to do. With the recent sun it dried in no time and the green slabs became their natural colour once more.
So how did I clean my algae filled patio?
First of all use the stiff broom to sweep any debris off the patio, move any furniture out of the way and make sure you have a clear surface to work on. It will hinder your progress if you try to work around everything.
Next fill up a watering can with warm soapy water. Not too much soap as it can be harmful to plants and pets – just a squirt is needed. Once you have removed everything then pour the water over the patio focusing on a small area at a time. If you water the patio all at once it may be dry by the time you get from one side to another.
Once the area is wet brush the surface of the slabs from side to side and back to front – I was surprised at how much dirt came off. In no time at all it starts to look really clean. Nothing quite so rewarding as a job that you can see results from straight away. You don’t need to use much effort either. Just sweep with a little more pressure than you would sweep the garden. When it comes to the cracks between the slabs just move the brush in a side to side motion getting rid of the dirt and algae as you go.
Once you have removed all of the dirt you will be left with a soapy but clean patio. Now you want to make sure that you don’t leave the soap to run off into the grass as it does damage the grass and nearby plants and if you have pets you won’t want them drinking the soapy water so ensure you rinse it off with plenty of cold water.
All you need to do then is leave it to dry, replace the furniture and wait for the next sunny day to entertain!