When it comes to maintenance and preparations for the future, fall is just about the most important time to be proactive. Spring cleaning is often easier because you’re about to use the deck or patio all summer, but what about fall cleaning? This is the time when it is most easy to neglect simply because most people don’t use their decks or patios during the cold wintertime months. For that reason, it’s easy to ignore what needs to be done after lots of use during the summer — and that can cause your deck or patio to fall into disrepair.

Being proactive in the fall can save you time and money in the long run. It will allow for spring preparations that are easier, cheaper, and more effective. So, now that the leaf colors are starting to turn and the air is getting a slight chill, it’s time to prepare your deck and patio for the fall. There are a variety of cleaning methods, depending on the type of material you are cleaning.

Cleaning your wooden deck

Wood is especially at risk of developing mold, mildew, or fungi — all of which are a huge pain to deal with after the cold winter months. Start your fall cleaning by sweeping the leaves, plant matter, dirt, and other physical debris from your deck. Sometimes it works best if you use a leaf blower.

Next, begin washing the deck with some deck soap. Don’t be afraid to scrub thoroughly. Pay attention to what the water is doing; if it’s soaking in, you’re going to need to use some water sealant next. Ensure that it is sealed before the rain and snow of the winter.

Cleaning your concrete patio

Start by sweeping your concrete patio, then hose it off with water. Just like a wooden deck, a concrete patio needs to be sealed (this time with a concrete sealant) so that it doesn’t crack with the temperature changes and precipitation of the winter and spring.

Cleaning your brick patio

Bricks are mainly susceptible to freezing and thawing and other such temperature changes, so you need to ensure that your patio brick pavers are prepared for that. One of the best tricks for brick patios is to sweep joint sand into the joints between the bricks.

Cleaning your stone patio

The name of the game for stone patios is weeding. The main reason this is important is because it keeps those stones in place. If the weeds aren’t expanding and growing, the stones will remain where they are supposed to. When you have a lovely design for stones in your patio, the last thing you want is for those pesky weeds to poke through.

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