Cleaning Buff Paving and Mosaic Tiles for Free in Eastbourne

So, I had an enquiry from a very nice lady in Eastbourne who wanted to know if I could use some old tiles she had dug up from her garden. It seems her house was the last one to be built in the street many years ago and the builders threw all the tiles into her garden. Since then some were recovered to make a mosaic front pathway but there were four buckets of tiles she couldn’t use.

I’m based in Eastbourne, so it was no trouble to go around and take a look. I popped round and in my profession you never know when they might come in handy so I bought them off her for £20 which was a bargain really. Well I was very grateful to her and after seeing her front pathway and garden I offered to clean the paving and tiles up for free.

Buff Patio Paving Before Cleaning in Eastbourne Mosaic Pathway Before Cleaning in Eastbourne

There were two sections of paving that needed cleaning including the mosaic tiles and with my van being parked right in front of the house I was able to reach them with my van mounted high-pressure cleaning system.

Mosaic Pathway Before Cleaning in Eastbourne

Cleaning Dirty Paving

The first job was to use low pressure jet wash to the paving to remove surface dirt and then apply a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and let it soak into the tile for about ten minutes. The solution was then scrubbed into the tile using a stiff brush to release the ingrained dirt.

The last step was to finish the process using our high-powered state of the art truck mount extraction system. These machines are a big investment but well worth the cost in the amount of time they save. They work by applying hot water under pressure to the surface via a special spinner tool whilst simultaneously extracting the soiled water back to a collection tank on the van. You can set the pressure of the machine and in the case of paving I use a lower pressure to ensure the mortar between the paving isn’t dislodged.

Buff Patio Paving After Cleaning in Eastbourne Mosaic Pathway After Cleaning in Eastbourne

The paving came out remarkably well as you can see from the photographs.

Mosaic Pathway After Cleaning in Eastbourne

Thank you Joy for your enthusiasm in the finished product, for the opportunity to reveal your lovely pathway, for the buckets of tiles you recovered and for the copious amounts of tea you served to me.
 
 
Source: Patio, Paving and Driveway Cleaning and Renovation Service in East Sussex

Badly Finished Slate Patio Restored in Northamptonshire

This customer, who lives in Wollaston, a small village in Northamptonshire, called me to look at the unfortunate condition of her Riven Slate tiled patio. She had hired a builder to install it, but he had neglected to remove the grout haze which had occurred quickly enough, allowing it to set. He was subsequently unable to remove the haze because he had already sealed over it. This had left it looking very unsightly, as you can see in the photo below.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Before Cleaning

The customer initially contacted me back in December 2016. At that time, I did explain to the customer that the Winter wouldn’t be an ideal time to restore the patio, and that it would be best to carry out the work in the Spring. However, she was so unhappy with the appearance of the patio and – knowing she had guests coming over for Christmas – wanted something to be done to improve the condition of the tiles as soon as possible.

It was agreed that I would immediately carry out the removal of the old sealer and the grout haze beneath, but leave the re-sealing until the Spring of the following year when the weather was dry. The customer understood that when I returned in the Spring, the patio would require another light clean and brush to prepare it for sealing.

To put the customer’s mind at rest somewhat, I carried out a test clean on one slab of the patio using Tile Doctor impregnating, colour intensifying sealer, known as Colour Grow. This darkened the tile and provided a natural look finish, which was preferred by the customer. I also returned to the property several days later to carry out a water repellency test, but as you can see from the photo below, the rain beat me to it. Thankfully, the repellency test had positive results.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Testi Cleaning

I was then able to begin the cleaning process.

Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Patio

To begin, I removed the old sealer using a strong mix of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a stripper and cleaner. This product was scrubbed into the tiles with a rotary brush machine. Net, I rinsed away the resulting slurry and soaked up the water with a wet vax machine.

This initial clean exposed the true extent of the grout haze – it was over all every tile! My next course of action was therefore to remove this using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a gel cleaner specially formulated to neutralise grout haze. This was allowed to dwell for a short period before I brushed it in.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston During Cleaning

Following this, I gave the whole area a second brush with a small amount of water, before using a wet vax machine once again to make sure all cleaning chemicals were removed. I used the customer’s hosepipe to rinse down the entire patio as there was good drainage.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 2nd Cleaning

I allowed the tiles to dry out naturally, before waited for a dry day in April this year to return to the property. During this day, I sealed the entire area with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to really deepen the colour in the stone and provide the whole patio long-lasting protection against the elements.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 1st Coat

The customer was exceptionally happy to have the patio restored to perfect condition. I’m sure she’ll make great use of it over the Summer!

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Completed

 
 
Source: Slate Patio Cleaning and Restoration Service in Northants

Annual Sandstone Patio Maintenance in Northamtonshire

At the start of the year we usually get asked to restore the appearance of patios and other outside areas which have suffered from the staining of autumn leaves and the ravages of winter cold snaps. Most patios are quite straight forward to maintain however when you’re dealing natural stone then it’s best to call in your local Tile Doctor to ensure nothing is applied to the stone that could damage it.

Such was the case with this four-year-old Sandstone Patio at a house in the town of Kettering. Unfortunately, it was not sealed when it was first installed and the combination of weather and UV sunlight had faded the tiles, this together with general soiling had greatly affected the appearance of this beautiful stone and could almost have been mistaken for concrete slabs.

Sandstone Patio Before Cleaned Re-grouted and Sealed Kettering

Maintaining Sandstone Patio Paving

My first course of action was to lightly spray the area with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful tile cleaning product that is safe to use on Stone. The solution was allowed to soak in for a while before being agitated with a brush to bring out the dirt. This was followed by pressure washing with a spinning tool at a medium pressure so as to not damage the stone.

Once dry I re-grouted the entire area and then sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a impregnating breathable product (essential for damp environments) that also enhances the natural colours of the stone.

Sandstone Patio After Cleaned Re-grouted and Sealed Kettering

Within hours of finishing the customer came home and called me straight away to say he couldn’t believe the transformation that was achieved and they looked better than when they were first laid.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Patio Maintenance in Northamtonshire

Complete Sandstone Patio Restoration

Lichen, moss and other plant-based staining is a common sight on patios exposed to the UK climate. For many property owners, it’s a very difficult task to keep patios looking great in the face of the natural effects of the environment. However always happy to help Tile Doctor is available to provide the professional cleaning and sealing needed on a regular basis.

This Sandstone tiled patio in Rushden was certainly a prime candidate for restoration. Not only was it completely covered in lichen and moss, but it was also cracked in parts and missing grout. The patio would therefore need not only cleaning and sealing, but also re-grouting.

Sandstone patio slabs before cleaning Rushden Sandstone patio slabs before cleaning Rushden

Cleaning a Stained and Damaged Sandstone Patio

To begin the restoration, I opted to power jet wash the entire area to remove as much of the initial layers of moss. Then, I mixed a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a powerful and reliable alkaline cleaner suitable for use on both internal and external natural stone tiles. This was applied liberally to the patio and scrubbed into the stone to cut through the particularly stubborn stains. The two photos below show the fantastic result.

Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden

Re-grouting and Sealing a Sandstone Patio

After completing the cleaning phase, I allowed the patio to dry completely overnight before returning to re-grout the entire area with mortar. To finish off I applied a fresh sealer in the form of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which an acrylic-based, fully breathable sealer appropriate for outside use.

The below pictures show the final result. As you can see, it was a complete transformation – and my very happy customer will agree! With the right products and methods, it’s possible to bring new life back to weathered patios.

Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden

 
 
Source: Stone Patio Cleaning and Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

Deep Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Limestone Patio

This patio, at a house in Windermere was made of fantastic Green Indian Limestone that despite sounding exotic is widely available in tile shops and building yards. But while it is a very good quality stone, it doesn’t always make for a good patio tile. Tiled patios are rarely easy to keep clean, especially if they are made of a sensitive stone, like Limestone. Over time, damage from weather and other environmental elements can leave these sorts of patios in really poor shape.

Indian limestone patio Windermere before cleaning

The area at this property was covered in outdoor shrubs and trees, including Rhododendrons, which are prone to shedding their leaves. The leaves had intermittently fallen onto the acid-sensitive Limestone and, since the leaves are actually slightly acidic, they can leave some quite deep marks. Other trees with can have acidic leaves include Japanese Maples and Azaleas. In this case, fruit berries from Rowan trees had also dropped onto the patio and crushed underfoot, leaving stains they had proven very difficult for the customer to remove.

Indian limestone patio Windermere before cleaning

In fact, the customer was at the point of giving up on the patio. Power washing was having limited success, failing to remove the deeply embedded marks left by the leaves and berries, amongst other general wear and tear. Thus the customer decided to turn to Tile Doctor for a professional cleaning service.

Cleaning a Stained Indian Limestone Patio

A year ago, this job would have been a challenge, but Tile Doctor recently bought out a product called Oxy Gel that proved to be an excellent cleaning product in this particular situation. Oxy Gel is a heavily concentrated alkaline cleaner in a gel form so it’s easy to handle. I applied this to the Limestone and left it to dwell for about 20-30 minutes to neutralise the acidic staining, before power washing and extracting the waste water.

A certain amount of manual cleaning with a wire brush was required to remove the particularly stubborn marks, including underneath the Rowan trees where the fruit berries were prevalent. As you can see, the problem was quite excessive in these areas, and without the Oxy Gel even we would have found this job too much of a challenge. We also removed the dirty cleaning water containing the remains of the Oxy Gel using a wet vacuum, as this may otherwise have contaminated the garden soil.

Indian limestone patio Windermere after cleaning

We didn’t seal the patio, as we don’t recommend sealing outdoor stone (although we will occasionally make an expectation with particularly sensitive Black Limestone). This is because external sealers generally can’t cope with exposure to acidic leaves and constant wet weather in the winter. What’s more, if the temperature falls below -5 degrees centigrade, the sealer will start to break up and crumble. As I suggested to the customer, it’s best to power wash patio tiles twice a year – once in spring and once again in late summer.

Indian limestone patio Windermere after cleaning

The results were absolutely fantastic considering the extent of the environmental damage. While such damages can’t always be avoided, this situation proves that with the right cleaning products and techniques, they can be reduced significantly. Needless to say, the customer was very happy with the transformation.
 
 
Source: Limestone Tile and Grout Cleaning and Mainteanance Service in Cumbria

Resolving Sealing Problems With a Limestone Patio

This Limestone patio had been poorly sealed, resulting in a lack of protection from weather and the general wear and tear of nature. As such, the patio was in need of a thorough clean, and any remaining sealer stripped off and replaced. In addition, the pointing between the Limestone tiles was crumbling, and in places the stone was marked by oil spots. The patio was installed at a house in Ipswich, Suffolk which incidentally is considered to be one of, if not the oldest town in England. I knew the Limestone tiles would be difficult to clean, especially after being exposed to dirt and wear for so long so I figured this would take some time to resolve.

Limestone patio before renovation in Ipswich Limestone patio before renovation in Ipswich

Removing tough stains and dirt from a Limestone patio

My first step was to give the patio an initial rinse with clean water in order to remove any loose debris. Following this, I mixed up an equal cleaning solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and NanoTech HBU. Pro-Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner which can be used on a variety of natural stone floors, whilst NanoTech HBU (formerly known as Ultra Clean) is specifically designed to tackle the heavy build-up of dirt and stains. It does this by using nano-sized particles to penetrate beneath tough stains to dissolve and lift them out.

As you can see from the photographs, the combination of the two cleaning products was highly effective. After completing the cleaning, I left the house for two days to allow plentiful time for the patio to dry completely, and therefore ready to be sealed.

Sealing a Limestone Patio with Stone Oil

Fortunately the weather held and I was able to call in as planned and applied Tile Doctor Stone Oil, an easy-to-apply product that adds colour to the stone. I left the floor for a further two days and then returned again to protect the Limestone using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal.

After cleaning and sealing the patio, my final task was to deal with the pointing issue. I replaced any missing pointing and fixed the loose pieces, before colouring the grout using a dark colourant to provide uniformity. This was difficult, but highly rewarding work, as the patio now looks bold and inviting.

Limestone patio after renovation in Ipswich

My customer was certainly pleased with my work, and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“I couldn’t have been more pleased with the service I received from Bruce Copping. He communicated well, was reliable and managed to breathe life back into my very unattractive limestone garden patio that had been excruciating badly sealed by my original contractors…The whole area, which is around 30ft square, now looks fantastic.”

Limestone patio after renovation in Ipswich

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in Suffolk

Changing the Sealer on Limestone Patio Tiles

Details below of a Limestone patio I was asked to clean at a property in the affluent neighbourhood of Alderly Edge, Cheshire, famous for being the home of choice for several Premier League footballers. In fact Alderly Edge, which lies not too far south of Manchester and is one of the most sought after places to live in the UK. My client was unhappy with the look of the patio had previously been sealed using a topical sealer, and this had left the tiles looking dull and lifeless.

Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Alderly Edge Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Alderly Edge

Limestone is a fantastic natural stone, popularly used for internal floors as well as patios, it comes in a variety of fantastic colours and shades. What my client really wanted for the patio was a wet look to bring out the character of the Limestone. So, my job was to strip the old sealer off and replace it will one that would achieve the desired finish.

Stripping off the old sealer

To strip the old sealer from the patio, I used a series of fine diamond encrusted burnishing pads which are applied in order from Coarse, Medium, Fine and then Super Fine. The coarse pad is effective at stripping off sealer without damaging the tile, and without the need to use a liquid product. The finer burnishing pads then rebuild the appearance of the Limestone to provide a nice deep shine.

Applying Sealer to a Limestone Patio

The new sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which can be used on both internal and external natural stone surfaces. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer which penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, providing both long-lasting resistance and durable protection against ingrained dirt and stains. As you can see from the photos, Colour Grow is also specially formulated to intensify the natural colours in the stone, and it really helped to bring the Limestone back to life again.

Limestone Patio After Cleaning Alderly Edge Limestone Patio After Cleaning Alderly Edge

The finished job left this patio with the wet, polished look my client had requested. She was very pleased with the result and amazed by just how quickly such a marked difference could be made. Another happy client!
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in North-Cheshire

Applying Ant-Slip to a shiny Porcelain Patio

Last week we were asked to carry out a demonstration of our AntiSlip Treatment for a lady in Ashtead Surrey. She has white shiny Porcelain tiles laid on a patio area and when they get wet they are really slippery and dangerous and she was especially concerned about young children hurting themselves. We carried out a test patch for her and asked her to see if she could slip, not only did she try, but her gran and mother-in-law also tried and were extremely impressed. I left her with our quotation so she could discuss it with her husband. The next day I received a call asking me to go ahead and carry out the works.

Applying the Anti-Slip Solution

When applying this treatment it is vital that you follow all the guidelines and times for the different types of stone. It is a 3 stage application, the first is the primer which is mixed 4 : 1 which we scrubbed into small areas of about 6m2 at a time, when scrubbing we used a brush head on our rotary scrubbing machine which has the added advantage of cleaning the tiles.

Shiny Slippery Porcelain Tiles in Ashtead26
After about 5 minutes of scrubbing using a scrubbing pad we then vacuumed it all and left the tiles to dry and because we were outside in the sun it didn’t take long to dry. The next stage is to apply the Antislip treatment and for this we used a flat mop and for these type of tiles we needed to leave it to dwell for between 3 and 5 minutes, but we had to make sure that it did not dry in.

After the dwell time the 3rd stage is to scrub in another solution of the primer, but this time it locks in the Antislip. When you are scrubbing this stage you can feel the treatment working. Once we have completed this stage we vacuum it all up then rinse the area with fresh water to remove any residues.

Applying Anti Slip to Shiny Slippery Porcelain Tiles in Ashtead33
The complete area was around 50m2 and luckily the treatment package covered this area. In all the application took two of us around five hours to complete and after clearing our equipment away we then put all the garden furniture back in place.

We returned the next day because the customer also asked us to clean their driveway and the patio area was wet because of rain, but it was great to walk on and I did not slip at all.

Shiny Slippery Porcelain Tiles in Ashtead41
The customer was really happy, because if the treatment hadn’t worked her only other option would have been to rip up the tiles and replace them at a cost of thousands and to make things even better for her, this treatment will last around 4 years before she needs to have it re-applied.
 
 
Source: Preventing slips and trips on shiny porcelain patio tiles