The gateway to summer has been opened. It is time for entertaining outside; however, the deck and patio still resemble the grim reaper of winter rather than the sun goddess of summer. It is time to speed clean the deck and patio so you can enjoy great summer parties and cookouts without breaking a sweat.
Quick, easy fixes to put a shine on the patio and deck
1. Get rid of the litter and debris. Old man winter has gone but he has left behind his litter and debris. Before you can clean, you must get rid of the dead leaves, branches and debris that have littered your deck during the winter. After sweeping debris off the patio or deck, use a garden hose with a spray nozzle to clean the patio surface starting at the house and working your way outward. For stubborn stains or mildew, try a small bit of Dawn dishwashing detergent or a small bit of laundry detergent with bleach. Using a broom to scrub the stains is much easier on your back and knees than crawling around with a scrub brush. Rinse well and allow surfaces to dry completely.
2. Revive outdoor furniture. Fill a bucket with warm water and some dishwashing detergent to tackle wicker, wood, vinyl, iron and plastic outdoor furniture. Arm yourself with a sponge in one hand and a non-abrasive scrubber in the other hand and attack the furniture to remove an entire season of dirt, debris and grime. Scrub the furniture from top to bottom, spray to remove dirt and suds then put in the bright sun to dry.
3. Bury the dead. Bury the poor dead flowers and plants that did not survive winter’s harsh weather and replace them with bright, beautiful blooms and lush green foliage. For added decor, put potted flowers directly into decorative containers without repotting the plants – – simply add a few bricks in the bottom of the container so the plants can drain. Add smaller potted greenery around the edges for a quick, beautiful arrangement.
4. Update furniture cushions. If your outdoor furniture cushions have seen better days, this is a great time to update the d©cor of your patio or deck. Pick a pattern that sets the tone for your mood and entertaining style – – bright colors, florals, patterns, themes, etc. Whatever your style, bring it outside with plush outdoor furniture cushions. Your guests will appreciate the comfort and you will give your patio or deck and instant face lift.
5. Let there be light! For entertaining outdoors at night, add lights around your patio to provide a soft, relaxing glow after sunset. Tiki torches, lanterns, string lights and outdoor fireplaces are easy ways to add light to decks and patios without the necessity for special wiring or an electrician. Candles, especially those that help deter insects, are also a great addition to patios and decks for nighttime entertaining.
More from this contributor:
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A Guide to Keeping Your House Clean in Just 10 Minutes a Day
How to Recycle Items that Your Local Recycling Center Will Not Accept