For many people, the best reason to lay a patio is the provide a great place to sit out in the sun on a beautiful warm afternoon, revelling in the great weather under a blue sky, surrounded by bird song and beautiful flowers and enjoying a nice drink with some scones or strawberries and cream.

Unfortunately, this idyllic situation is not an everyday occurrence in spring or summer in Britain, least of all for owners of patios in Lancashire. Instead, the reality is all too often that of the recent May bank holiday, with cold, wet and windy weather. As anyone in the county knows, even in the middle of summer the main distinguishing feature of the season will be that the rain is warmer.

Given that the other seasons will bring plenty of inclement weather itself, as well as frost on clear nights and a helping of snow and ice in winter, your patio is going to need some good protection against the weather if it is to stay in good condition for years and provide a pleasant setting when those warm sunny days do show up.

Part of the solution comes from weatherproofing. To do this you can use a sealant material to keep your patio dry, something that can also apply to wooden decking.

To do this properly, you should first clear your patio of furnishings and any other items on it entirely. Then make sure you clean it thoroughly with hot water and soap and allow it to dry before adding the sealant. Pay particular attention to any cracks, as well as natural joins between stones.

You can also provide some extra protection for your patio by providing it with some cover. For instance, you can build an arbour over it for creeping plants to grow over. Not only will this limit the amount of rain getting through, but could provide shade if you don’t want to be in the sun too much.

Of course, you can always use a gazebo or large umbrella too. Indeed, for many a hardy Lancastrian, that is the best way of all, enabling you to get out onto your patio after all, whatever the weather.