Photo credit: Sophi Raju
If you have hardscape elements in your outdoor space, such as pavers, concrete, or stone, you know how much beauty it adds. However, keeping your patio, outdoor kitchen or deck clean and free from stains can be a considerable challenge.
These tips will help you avoid staining and keep your hardscape patios and outdoor spaces looking their best.
#1: Seal it. One of the most effective ways to prevent staining is to use a protective treatment on your hardscape. A high-quality water repellent is an easy way to protect your hardscape from water, salt, graffiti and other types of stains for years. These water-based solutions offer professional-grade protection that is easy and safe to apply.
Here's a few great sealers to choose from:
Don't let the name fool you. This product provides water repellency to nearly all types of masonry and concrete, as well as limestone, marble and travertine, making it an excellent choice if you have a broad mix of materials in your hardscape.
This silane/siloxane water repellent and salt screen protects both concrete and masonry, vertical and horizontal.
This is hands-down one of the best things you can do to seal your brick. It's a best-seller for a reason -- it offers lasting performance on concrete, masonry and stucco surfaces too.
If you're concerned your patio or hardscape may be subjected to graffiti, paint or marker staining, you need this product. It provides an invisible shield between the surface and any paint or graffiti material that may come its way, while also weatherproofing your hardscape. It works on concrete block, brick, unglazed terra cotta, porous tile, concrete and some natural stones. If the time comes when you need to remove paint or marker, you'll be glad you applied this product because it makes graffiti removal a cinch and it keeps the weatherproofing properties in tact.
#2: Clean up spills ASAP. If you spill something on your hardscape, clean it up as soon as possible. The longer a stain sits on your hardscape, the harder it will be to remove. Use 2010 or EnviroKlean All Purpose Cleaner in dilution or a mild detergent and warm water to clean up spills, and rinse thoroughly.
#3: Use the best cleaning products for masonry. When cleaning your hardscape, be sure to use products that are safe for your specific type of hardscape. Avoid using products that aren't designed for the task at hand, which can damage the surface of your hardscape and cause discoloration. These water-based solutions offer professional-grade cleaning power in safe, easy-to-use formulations.
And here are our top recommendations for cleaners:
This economical, concentrated cleaner is great for any type of cleaning, particularly biological stains like algae, mildew and lichen.
This go-anywhere cleaner works on soiled stone, tile, masonry, EIFS, stucco, metal, windows, counters, walls, appliances and bathroom fixtures.
Remove widespread oil and grease films, adhesive tape residues and rubber tire marks and scuffs from concrete for regular maintenance, or before using Oil & Grease Stain Remover.
Pull stubborn oil and grease stains out of pavers, concrete, stone and other porous surfaces with this easy to use poultice. Pour it on, let it dry and sweep it up. Prepping the surface with Cleaner/Degreaser is recommended.
#4: Sweep regularly. Dirt and debris can build up on your hardscape and patio over time, leading to stains and discoloration. To prevent this, sweep or use a blower to keep the surface free of dirt, leaves, berries and other natural elements that can cause staining.
#5: Pressure-wash or soft-wash surfaces. If your hardscape is particularly dirty or stained, you may need to use a pressure washer to clean it. Be sure to use the appropriate pressure setting and nozzle for your hardscape to avoid causing damage. In many cases, soft-washing may be enough to get the surface clean. 2010 or EnviroKlean All Purpose Cleaner make terrific pressure-washing companions.
By following these tips, you can help prevent hardscape staining and keep your outdoor space looking its best. With just a little bit of effort, you'll enjoy your beautiful hardscape spaces for years to come.