LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Summer heat and backyard parties can create damage and a lot dirt on your deck or patio.

Jim Lehrer from Brownsboro Paint and Hardware offers these tips for keeping your wood or stone, brick, and concrete patios looking clean:

  • Be careful with power washers. Power washers can damage brick and mortar.
  • Use bleach to clean up mold and mildew, but be careful with bleach around your garden because it can be toxic to plants.
  • "Wet & Forget" is a great alternative to bleach. The liquid product takes care of mold and mildew. Soak down the patio with it. You will some changes instantly but by four or five days, it should be completely clean.
  • If there is damage to the patio joints, repair them with mortar.

If you have a wood deck in your backyard, consider these tips when comes to staining and cleaning:

  • Test to see if a deck is ready to stain by tossing a little bit of water on it. If the water beads up immediately, the deck is not ready to stain. That usually lasts a few weeks or months on brand new decks.
  • Sun and UV rays can cause wood decks to crack. There are products available that can smooth it all out.
  • If you're looking to re-stain a deck, you must know whether the current stain is latex or oil. Stick with whichever is currently on the deck. Do not switch from oil to latex or latex to oil.

Look at the forecast before staining your deck. A nice dry day and low humidity is preferable. You should wait if there is upcoming rain in the forecast. Latex products will dry very quickly, while oil products will take some time.

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