How to Care for a Flagstone Patio

Adding a flagstone patio to your home will provide your household with a whole new living area and come in very handy when you want to entertain your friends or family. This type of backyard accent will boost the value of your home and at the same time provide an area for you and your family to enjoy.

Patios are normally built with pavers, concrete, or flagstone. Patios constructed with flagstone offer up a product that will hold for decades as long as the stones are well taken care of. Because flagstone is porous, it’s susceptible to staining and breakage. Fortunately, flagstone is very easy to care for and maintain.

If you are going to invest in a patio, then there are certain maintenance steps you should take to protect your investment and help your patio hold up as the years go on. Without any type of protection, flagstone can begin to shed and the surface can stain and discolor giving it a dull and dingy look.

Flagstone is usually made from layers of sandstone that have bonded together to form rock. Over time, a shedding process begins. Spalling is the name given to this shedding process. The higher quality flagstones shed slower because the stone is harder and denser. The shedding is worse when the stone changes levels. Water can then work its way below the top layer. Then in the colder months, the water freezes and can cause pieces of stone to fall off.

SEALING A PATIO:

You can add a sealer that is specifically made for any natural stone to help prevent the water from getting under the stone surface. If your patio has already started to shed, you should remove any weak pieces that are already beginning to break off. Remove the damaged stone first. If you need to, replace broken stone before adding the sealant.

Be sure the surface is clean and free of loose debris. Similar to waxing a floor, you always want to add the protective sealant to a clean floor.

CLEANING A FLAGSTONE PATIO:

You’ll need a flagstone cleaner, an outdoor broom made with synthetic bristles, a bucket and a pressure washer.

It is recommended that you clean your flagstone patio twice a year but most people just give their patio an annual spring cleaning. Your local hardware store will sell cleaners specifically made for cleaning flagstone. You’ll use the bucket for mixing the solution.

Using the bristle push broom, apply the cleaning mixture making sure you cover and brush the solution onto every stone surface and all of the connecting mortar. You may need to apply an extra amount to any areas that are stained. Then let the solution soak in for 5-10 minutes. If there are still some stubborn stains remaining, give them a second application.

Finally, use your garden hose or pressure washer to rinse off the cleaner. Once the area is dry, you are ready to put your furniture back.

Once you’ve invested in a flagstone patio, it’s a good idea to take these easy steps to keep it looking like new.

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