Homeowners considering remodeling their backyard may be thinking about installing a cement patio. This is often considered a staple of any backyard, as it is usually covered to shield it from rain and direct sunlight, and then outfitted with a table and chairs to encourage relaxation. One advantage of a cement patio is that the material itself is cheap, but the downside is that it should be professionally installed, which costs more money. Another one of the disadvantages of a cement patio is that it can be hot during summer months and slippery when there is lots of water or ice, although it can be sealed with coatings that create texture. Finally, among the disadvantages of a cement patio is the fact that it can crack over time, though there are treatments available for this issue, as well.
Though typically less expensive than other materials, cement is often used in the backyard in place of materials such as tile, natural stone, or wood. This makes it attractive to many homeowners, especially since it can be altered to look like any of these materials without the cost. Homeowners who know how to pour cement on their own may be thrilled with the low price, though many people lack the skill and experience to make it look attractive. In fact, it is often best to have a professional put in the cement patio to avoid the costs of doing it wrong. This can add greatly to the cost of installing a cement patio, since the old material must be jackhammered out.
A cement patio is often slippery when there is water or ice present, which can create hazards, especially for children. It also gets quite hot when there is direct sunlight on it, which makes it uncomfortable for anyone walking on it without shoes. Fortunately, there are coatings available to add texture to the otherwise smooth cement, helping to prevent slip and fall accidents, or burns to the feet. It is often worth learning about the coatings available for cement before installing this surface.
Though many people assume that cement is low maintenance, it is constantly expanding and contracting, which eventually creates cracks in the surface. This is especially problematic in climates with wide temperature variations between winter and summer. While tiny hairline cracks are considered normal and are barely visible, moisture often gets in them, expanding them more and more over time. This issue can be remedied with epoxy. Other ways to keep a cement patio in good shape for years include resealing it every few years to keep the color fresh, and using dish soap and a push broom or sponge to keep it looking clean.