The alfresco living area shines in new splendour

Attractive patio flooring, a comfortable chair and ample protection against the sun’s rays – all you need to create an inviting place to relax outside.

Follow these three steps to renovate your patio and create the perfect place to spend those wonderful summer days and balmy evenings.

Nature is a force to be reckoned with. Whatever mankind builds or creates, nature will one day reclaim as its own. This process begins with a delicate covering of algae on tiles or walls, followed by weeds sprouting out of joints, creating cracks from which indigenous trees or oaks can grow at their leisure and ultimately reclaim the terrain. What might be regarded as an appealing “back-to-nature” look in some locations is not such a welcome development on your own patio.

Over the last couple of months, as nature finally awakens from the long winter, we’ve all been able to witness the speed at which such a transformation can take place. Now is the perfect time to stem this tide of uncontrolled growth and provide your terrace, which serves as an outdoor living space, with a much-needed revamp. All it takes is three steps.

Step 1: Removing vegetation, repairing any damage

Start out with a thorough cleaning using hot water and a sturdy scrubbing brush, or you can use a high-pressure washer if you prefer (normally available for hire from a DIY store). Careful consideration should be given to the use of weed killers or biocides to combat algae. Every time we refrain from introducing such poisonous substances into our environment, we are making a significant contribution to preserving the environment.

Please note that it’s important to repair any damage to tiles, paving stones or joints. Wherever water is allowed to collect or ingress, there’s a real danger of cracks developing when the next frost sets in.

Step 2: Protecting patio flooring against weathering

The before-and-after effect of such a cleaning session can be taken to the next level by impregnating the paving stones or tiles after you’ve cleaned them. Faded suddenly reappear and your entire patio flooring shines in new splendour. The transformation can be even more profound with wooden decking – several coats of oil will breathe fresh and vibrant life into greying boards. This not only makes your decking more attractive to look at, it provides protection against weathering and makes future revamps that much easier.

A speed alternative: laying deck tiles on top of the existing surface

If your old patio flooring is past its prime, laying square wooden deck tiles on the existing surface allows you to create a completely new look in just a single weekend. Assuming your surface is already relatively flat, there’s no need for any preparatory work at all. And the only sawing you need to do is for the trim around the borders.

Step 3: Setting new visual accents

Once the patio flooring has been freshened up, you can start decorating, using items such as new patio furniture, cushions in lively patterns, and possibly outdoor carpeting to give the patio a more comfortable character. Although sun protection is a necessity, it also presents an opportunity to introduce new decorative elements. Patio umbrellas, shade sails or awnings in bright colours will allow the sun to really light up your alfresco living area.

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