The Patio Before
Concrete patios are a great asset to any home, or they can be if they’ve been taken care of properly. We’ve all seen them, we might even be living with one: The eyesore patio — that sad slab sticking out into the yard, looking like it wants to sink under the earth in shame. Dead plants in cracked planters cower in one corner afraid of the encroaching algae slime, and something that was once a plastic lawn chair stands awkwardly in the middle of the dull grime. It’s a common story. Over time, exposure to the elements takes its toll on your concrete surfaces leaving them ugly and embarrassing.
h0601handbk-11av2-toutWhat Can Be Done?
Ripping out the old concrete to build a new patio is expensive and really, not usually necessary. Start simple — begin with a deep clean. Renew Crew of the Triangle offers a three step process that begins with an environmentally friendly pre-soak, uses a low-pressure wash that won’t harm your concrete surface, and finishes with a special polymer sealant to keep your patio looking good.

You’ll be surprised at just how nice the old patio will look once it is properly cleaned. Some people might even think it is a brand new patio. Even if you’re not that fond of the basic concrete color, a clean surface is the best place to start. Once the concrete is clean and dry it could be stained or painted. There are lots of options on the market; some require calling in the professionals but there are also easy DIY projects for the weekend warrior. Although, an indoor-outdoor area rug is an even easier way to add more color underfoot.

The Patio After
Once your patio surface is cleaned and protected, you can complete its transformation into the beautiful outdoor living space it was always meant to be.

-Use rows of planters with tall plants, like ornamental grasses, to soften the edges or create “rooms” on a larger patio.
-Get creative with privacy screens. Did you know there are companies that make rain barrels designed to look walls enclosing your patio space? Vertical gardens are another option.
-Invest in some nice outdoor furniture. For smaller patio spaces, look for a bistro set where you can sit to have your morning coffee. Don’t forget to add a weather-resistant rug for a pop of pattern and color.
-Instead of the standard patio umbrella try a pergola or shade sail for a designer touch.

You might be surprised at how much you will love your “new” patio.