Protecting your patio or balcony during the harsh winter weather can make your spring season unveiling that much easier. It will also keep your area looking well kept and less hazardous which in turn will result in less work for you in the long run.
Pick a Clear Day
Many patio and balcony sealants require twelve to twenty-four hours of dry, clear weather. Before embarking on your task be sure and check the forecast. Try to pick a cloudless, forty-eight hour period.
Repair, Remove and Scrub
Your next step should be area preparation.
- Furniture, etc. – Repair and wash down any outdoor furniture, barbecue and accessories like fountains, planters, umbrellas, etc. Use Windex, Fantastik or any other household solvent that will not scratch or stain your items.
- Store – Cover or store your outdoor things opening up your patio or balcony for a protective application.
- Sweep – Make sure you have a strong outdoor broom to get up all the caked in debris before cleaning. Take note of any cracks or chips that may need repairing before you go any further.
- Scrub – For this you will need a power washer or a hard synthetic bristle brush with a long handle, a bucket and a proper cleanser. Whether your outdoor space is made of wood, concrete, stone, tile or a wood composite mix like Trek products, most any store bought cleanser will do. However, make sure the solution has an alkaline de-greaser. Combining an alkaline de-greaser with a small amount of bleach in hot water works very well.
- Protective Gear – Now that you are ready to scrub be sure and wear old clothes and shoes along with gloves and goggles to avoid any chemical burns that may ensue.
Depending on the condition of your patio or balcony, you may want to paint it before you seal it. If it is concrete get yourself a gray, white or brown concrete paint. Apply using a paint roller with a long handle. You may want to use a brush to frame your area before you roll so as not to hit the adjoining structure or any other obstacles.
There are many patio and balcony sealants on the market depending on the material you are sealing. Either way, by sealing your space you create the ultimate protection against the elements. Be sure and follow the instructions carefully before applying. Some formulas contain hydrochloric acid which can be very dangerous.
Permission and Environment
Check with your landlord before you decide to take on this project. Do not decide to do this without permission because if you damage something you may be liable. Also, if you own, check to see if you need to notify the condominium or co-op board to get the proper authorization. If you do not apply to any of the above do take note of toxic residue from your work and how to dispose of it properly. Letting chemicals absorb into the ground around your patio can be an issue for possible surrounding underground wells or drinking water line seepage. Also, make sure your cleaning and sealing materials will not affect your neighbors or passersby below.