Create a relaxing atmosphere on your patio. ATTRIBUTION: Flickr – Texas Custom Patios

During the summer months, a patio is an excellent outdoor space for dining, relaxing, and entertaining. Before you can enjoy your patio, you must prepare the area by undergoing a few simple maintenance tasks. Follow these tips to get your patio ready for upcoming summer festivities.

Assess Patio Condition

Before pulling your outdoor furniture out of storage, take the time to check the condition of your patio. Any damage that occurred during winter should be repaired before using the deck. For wood decks, damage usually presents in the form of worn-out wood that’s rotting, splitting, or twisting. Stone, concrete, brick, and tile patios may have formed cracks. The damaged areas may need replacing.

Clean the Patio

Unless your patio is covered, it may need some serious cleaning come spring. Begin by sweeping off any leaves, twigs, dirt, dust, and loose debris. Use a pressure washer or garden hose with the proper attachment to rinse the patio and push any remaining dirt and debris away. If your patio has any evidence of mildew, clean it thoroughly with a solution of 1/4 cup bleach, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1 tablespoon borax.

Wipe Down Furniture

Patio furniture that has sat in storage or outdoors during the winter will require a thorough cleaning before use. Most patio furniture materials can be wiped down with a solution of liquid dish soap and warm water. Use a scrub brush or sponge to loosen any dirt, and rinse with the hose. If the furniture contains metal, gently dry it with a towel to prevent rusting. Most other materials can be left to dry in the sun.

Inspect the Grill

If you haven’t used your barbeque grill since last summer, it may need to be cleaned and possibly repaired. If you have a gas grill, inspect the hoses for cracks or damage. Also check the gas tubes to ensure that they are not rusted or blocked with debris. Before using your grill for the first time, scrub the metal grates with soap and water to remove any burnt residue, dust, and dirt.

Find a Source of Shelter

Sitting outdoors in the summer can be a real scorcher. Be sure that your family and guests are well protected from the elements by adding a source of shelter. Consider a large patio umbrella that provides shade while sitting at the patio table or set up over a lounge chair. Outdoor awnings and pergolas are also excellent options for summer parties when shade is crucial for comfort.

Add Entertainment

If you’re looking for sources of entertainment on your patio, there are plenty to choose from. Outdoor bars are a popular option, and they don’t even have to be permanent. Organize drinks, ice, and cups on a tiered rolling cart for an inexpensive alternative. Another fun source of entertainment for patios is fire pits. Fire pits can be purchased to allow for mobility, or built with bricks or stones.