Getting a Sandstone Patio Ready for the Summer in Bedford

This is the ideal time of year for property owners to not only think about restoring their internal natural stone floor tiles, but also their external tiles. With it being Summer, the weather is warm and dry enough for patio restorations to take place.

The photographs below show a recent restoration of a two-year old Sandstone tiled patio at a property on a new build development in Bedford, the country town of Bedfordshire. Sandstone is a naturally porous stone, which does make it more vulnerable to the elements when it is used for outside flooring and is not sealed.

Sandstone Patio Bedford Before Cleaning

Unfortunately, the patio had not been sealed when it was first installed, and during the two years since, the combination of damp weather, a lack of sunlight in shaded areas, and a build-up of green staining from moss spores – together with general dirt and grime – had greatly spoiled the appearance of the beautiful stone.

Sandstone Patio Bedford Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Spoiled Sandstone Tiled Patio

My first course of action in carrying out the restoration was to lightly coat the patio with Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This is a multi-purpose, alkaline-based cleaner which is suitable for use on most natural stone, including Sandstone, Granite, Limestone, Slate, and Travertine.

The product was subsequently agitated with a scrubbing brush fitted to a rotary machine, before I pressure washed the patio at a medium pressure to avoid damaging the stone. As you can see from the photos below, this cleaning made a great improvement to the condition of the patio – in fact, it appeared almost new again! The customer was very pleased with the outcome.

Sandstone Patio Bedford After Cleaning

The customer decided not to have the patio sealed, as he preferred the natural look and would prefer to have it cleaned on a yearly basis. Sealing is less important for external tiles, as compared to internal tiles, however if you do decide not to seal your patio, it’s highly recommended that you establish a routine maintenance plan for the stone. Otherwise, you run the risk – after just a few years – of allowing your tiles to end up in a similar condition to this Sandstone tiled patio before it had been restored.

Sandstone Patio Bedford After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Sandstone Patio Cleaning and Restoration in Bedfordshire

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

Large Sandstone Patio and Pool Area Cleaning

As the summer slowly approaches thoughts turn to sorting out those outside areas ready for use again, so it’s about this time of year I get asked to look at cleaning external tiled surfaces such as patio areas driveways. These external surfaces suffer from a heavily build-up of soils due to the general wear and tear caused by exposure to harsh weather conditions. We have all the high pressure equipment and fantastic results can be achieved by pressure washing in combination with quality products.

The photographs below were taken in January at a lovely property in the small village of Brockhall, near the market town of Daventry in Northamptonshire; my customer has a large Sandstone tiled patio and swimming pool area and as you can see the weather had certainly taken its toll and it was now in need of a thorough deep clean.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall Before Cleaning Sandstone Patio Brockhall Before Cleaning

Sandstone is typically a hard wearing tile, but if neglected for a long time it can, much like any other type of stone, very easily lose its appearance without regular maintenance.

Pressure Cleaning a Sandstone Flagged Swimming Pool Area

My first thought when dealing with swimming pool areas is to protect the pool from contaminates thrown up by the cleaning process, fortunately in this case the pool was well secured with a black cover which was tightly strapped down.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall Before Cleaning

The next step was to deal with the particularly stubborn areas of dirt with an application of a high alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Being an alkaline based product Pro-Clean is suitable for use on many different types of natural stone tiles, including Sandstone, Granite, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, and can be applied to both internal as well as external surfaces.

The cleaning solution was applied to the problem areas agitated so it could get to work on the dirt. This was then followed up with the application of a special circular pressure washing spinning tool running at very high pressure.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall During Cleaning Sandstone Patio Brockhall Cleaning Equipment

I have a truck mounted pressure system on the van however in this case it was easier to use a standalone industrial petrol jet washer to drive the spinning tool.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall During Cleaning

The spinning tool allows the water to be applied under high pressure, and removes dirt and stains at the same time.

Sandstone Patio Brockhall After Cleaning

As you can see from the photographs, the results achieved were amazing. My customer was so impressed, in fact, that he booked me in to restore his Sandstone tiled kitchen as well the following week!

Sandstone Patio Brockhall After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Patio and Driveway Cleaning Service in Northamptonshire

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

Restoring the Appearance of a Slate Patio

Back here with another job, this time in the small commuter town of Chinnor in Oxfordshire to clean and seal a Slate patio which was looking worse for wear. Slate is a highly durable material that is a popular choice not only for external flooring such as patio, but also for internal flooring in high traffic areas like kitchens and hallways. A few days before I began the cleaning, I visited the property in order to rake and re-fill the grout.

Slate patio Chinnor before cleaning

Cleaning a Slate patio

Working in sections, I began the cleaning process by pre-wetting the individual area of the patio, before applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean. I use Pro-Clean as a cleaner for several different types of stone flooring, whether internal or external, as it is very good at getting underneath the dirt and lifting it out, being an alkaline it’s also safe to use on all types of Tile and Stone.

The solution was left to on the surface to dwell for a while, before scrubbing in with a medium brush attached to a floor machine. Once I had finished cleaning, I used a wet-vac machine to remove any watery residue before rinsing the area with clean water, and soaking up the excess once again with the wet-vac. I repeated this same process for the entire patio.

Sealing a Slate patio

Before beginning the sealing process, I ensured that the floor was completely dry, as any excess moisture could have impacted negatively on the performance of the sealer. My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer; two coats were sufficient.

Slate patio Chinnor after cleaning

As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow works its way into the pores of the Slate, providing durable surface protection from within. In addition, the colour intensifying properties of Colour Grow bring out the natural colours and shades in the surfaces to which it is applied.

The finished result, as you can see from the photos, was quite a different look for this Slate patio. The many layers of grime and dirt had previously hidden the fantastic character of the tiles, but with a good clean and colour enhancing seal, the patio was brought back to life. Both myself and my client were very pleased with the outcome.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in Oxfordshire

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

Sandstone Tiled Patio Cleaned in Cambridge

Just so you know we don’t just clean stone and tile floors we also do external patios as well and this particular job was at a property in Cambridge with a Sandstone patio. We have all the tools and products to clean most surfaces so cleaning patios and brick paved driveways isn’t a problem.

Sandstone Patio Before Cambridge 1 Sandstone Patio Before Cambridge 2

The process was quite straight forward and involved pre-soaking the driveway with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, it’s a versatile cleaner that equally effective on Patios as well as Tile, Grout and Stone; being an alkaline cleaner it has the added advantage that it doesn’t cause damage to the surface that typical acid cleaners can.

Sandstone Patio During Cleaning Cambridge 1 Sandstone Patio During Cleaning Cambridge 2

The Pro-Clean was left to dwell on the patio for a good hour before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush and following up with a high pressure professional jet washing machine which did a great job dislodging the grime that had built up on the surface over time. You can see from the photographs what a difference it made.

Sandstone Patio Kiln Sanding Cambridge
Pressure washing can dislodge the grout joints so once we were done cleaning the floor the gaps between the tiles was filled in kiln dried sand.

Sandstone Patio Completed Cambridge 1 Sandstone Patio Completed Cambridge 2

I think you will agree the patio looks good as new.
 
 
Source: Sandstone Tile Restoration in Cambridge

Power Washing Paving Slabs in Great Oakley

This was a straight forward request to Power Wash Paving Slabs outside a house in Great Oakley. I wouldn’t normally add this to my blog however it occurred to me that a lot of my customers don’t realise Tile Doctor’s have invested in high pressure equipment that can be used externally as well as internally. In the photograph below you will see a picture of our van which contains a very high pressure truck mounted cleaning system which can generates pressures far in excess of a domestic system.

Tile Doctor Northamptonshire Truck Mounted Pressure Cleaning

Cleaning Paving Slabs

You can see from the photographs below that we were able to cut through the soil and grime built up on the surface of the tiles without too much trouble, fortunately these were large slabs as you do have to be careful around the joints where too much power can dislodge the mortar in-between the slabs. Also working outside does have the added advantage that there is a lot less preparation to do to protect other surfaces. It wasn’t necessary in this case but if you do struggle to clean paving slabs yourself you should apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean first and then let it soak in before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush, brick acid cleaners that you can buy in the DIY stores are very strong and you have to be very careful with them where as Pro-Clean is an alkaline product.

Cleaning Paving Slabs in Great Oakley Cleaning Paving Slabs in Great Oakley

 
 
Source: Patio Cleaning in Northamptonshire

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