Concrete patios can seem like a good idea at first glance – after all they are firm, stable, affordable, and easy to maintain.
However, after time and exposure to the elements, they can become stained, weathered, and drab – ultimately taking away from the overall aesthetic beauty of a garden.
Luckily, there are any number of ways to change and jazz up a concrete patio without breaking the bank. But what are they, and how much work is involved?
What Are The Downsides Of Concrete Patios?
As well as looking stained and dirty after a relatively short amount of time, there are a few other downsides of having a concrete patio.
Depending on the caliber of the concrete, not to mention the quality of the job done by the contractor, concrete patios can be prone to cracking and damage.
This can also be a factor if you live in places of extreme heat or cold, as well as places where the temperature fluctuates wildly throughout the year.
This can cause swelling and contraction of the concrete, which if severe enough can cause damage to the whole setup.
If there isn’t sufficient drainage installed on the patio, concrete setups can cause extensive flooding, particularly if you live in an area with heavy rainfall, or if your house is constructed on an area that is predominantly clay.
The clay alone will make it hard for water to drain away, and the concrete will provide no chance for the rainwater to soak into the ground, causing problems with surface flooding, and potentially subterranean damage in some cases.
Of course, if you live somewhere where the weather gets cold enough for frost and snow, concrete patios can be quite slippery, which is something worth considering, particularly if you have elderly family members or small children.
Adding a covering with texture will not only make it more rugged and safe, but will also make it look infinitely more attractive in the process.
Hard To Repair
Concrete patios can also be difficult to repair, especially if the crack or damage is deep and substantial.
Small cracks can be filled or smoothed over with additional concrete, but deeper problems require professionals to solve them – and professionals don’t come cheap.
While not a technical issue, the look of a garden can be very important to the owners. Concrete patios are not only drab, but they are boring, and this can turn any garden into an eyesore – not to mention somewhere you wouldn’t want to relax with friends and family.
Are There Any Benefits?
Of course, for people to have them installed, there must be some benefits to concrete?
The main benefit is how durable concrete is. This can be great for certain circumstances, and is good for supporting weight.
They are also good for leveling off uneven ground. If you live on a hill or uneven ground, then a concrete patio could be the thing to level out your sitting area, and give you a firm base upon which to install patio furniture and outdoor accessories.
Cheap Ways To Cover Them
But ultimately, when it comes to concrete patios, they just aren’t attractive to look at, especially after long term exposure to the elements.
As such, we have compiled a list of methods you can use to cover them up and make them more attractive, all without causing too much distress to your wallet.
Of course, the most obvious way to make concrete patios more interesting and attractive would be to lay wooden decking over the top of it.
Obviously, this might not work for some gardens, depending on the dimensions, but for those with a traditional shape or layout might find this right up their alley.
While building a deck is no simple task – depending on the level of detail you go into – it is a relatively inexpensive way of covering the concrete, and there are various levels of craftsmanship you can opt for, ranging from self assembly packages of outdoor wooden floor tiles, to a more sophisticated deck built on a wooden foundation.
Outdoor rugs are becoming incredibly popular in recent times, particularly with the rise in the cost of living and air travel, that is encouraging people to staycation instead of jetting off around the world.
These are waterproof, weather resistant, and come in all manner of jazzy, attractive patterns, and depending on the size and dimensions of your patio space, they could be just the ticket to spice up the drab gray patio and inject a little bit of character back into your relaxing space.
Of course, the creative ones amongst you might like to paint your concrete patio in a funky new color scheme?
This is absolutely a possibility, and can make all the difference when it comes to injecting a little life into that formerly dull space. This will add color and vibrancy, not to mention creating a conversation feature piece that will be the envy of all your guests.
House paint (or exterior paint) is obviously the most suitable choice, as this will be the most weather resistant, and the whole process can be very cheap indeed for those renovating on a budget.
If you live in a dry area, especially those where lush, green grass is a limited commodity, then you might want to try some fake grass. These are incredibly cheap, and come in large rolls that you can cut and shape to meet the needs and dimensions of your patio.
What’s more they feel great underfoot, and offer the same function as a waterproof carpet or rug, albeit with that extra touch of nature.
Be wary though, these fake grasses are not best suited for rainy areas, and can become waterlogged or perish under frost and similar weather conditions – not to mention slippery under the right circumstances.
Of course, if you want something a little more interesting and artsy, then why not decorate your concrete patio with tiles?
These could be done in any number of ways (depending on your tastes), and can be broken up to form a mosaic, or laid out in formation to create an attractive centerpiece.
More importantly, these are relatively inexpensive, and can be a great way to cover up those boring concrete patios, making an attractive space perfect for relaxing with friends and family.
How To Repair An Existing Concrete Patio
Of course, you might like your concrete patio – and who are we to tell you what to like? You also might have a damaged patio, which will need to be leveled and repaired before you can cover it up.
So, with this in mind, it might be a good idea to learn some of the best ways to repair and maintain your patio like a pro.
For cracks and deep chips, polymer resin can be a good way to fill holes and create a smooth surface again.
This is the best and most common method of repairing the concrete patio and creating a smooth workable surface. Once applied, the resin hardens, establishing a strong bond and gluing the damaged pieces together.
These should harden within a few hours – depending on the temperature and conditions – however you should leave them to set for at least a day to ensure the best seal.
Caulk & Sealant
Of course, another cost effective and useful method is to use caulk or sealant. This is better suited to thin, smaller cracks, and can go some way to really improving an unloved concrete patio.
To make the job easier, use a hammer and chisel to widen some of the smaller cracks, and brush away the loose pieces of concrete, before applying the sealant and smoothing off the edges with a trowel.
This is the equivalent of a makeover, and involves pouring a thin layer of concrete across the patio to create a smoother finish upon which you can then paint or apply a cover.
This tends to be necessary in situations where the existing patio is in poor condition – for example if there has been a car parked on it, or something equally heavy that has caused surface damage to the patio area.
With veneering, you can create a fresh blank canvas perfect for covering!
And there we have it, everything you need to cover your concrete patio in the best and cheapest way.
Any form of home improvement can be taxing if you let it, but with a little imagination, and the right eye for a bargain, there are plenty of options on the market to transform a dull, gray space into a beautiful source of sanctuary for you and your loved ones.
Why not give some of these a try? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!
- How To DIY An Aztec Garden Dining Table [The Easy Way] - October 18, 2022
- Farrow & Ball Pigeon: Is It Right For Your Home? - October 17, 2022
- Installing A Pallet Wall: Quick & Easy Steps - October 17, 2022