Large Travertine Patio Renovated in Cambridgeshire

I recently paid a visit to a property in the small and sleepy hamlet of Stonely on the outskirts of St Neots to survey a large Travertine patio which needed renovating. As you can see from the photos the patio was looking tired and needed some work.

Travertine Patio Before Cleaning Stonely

After an inspection I could see that the stone patio had three main problems:

  • First it needed a deep clean to remove a build-up of dirt and algae making them slippery.
  • Second there was areas of loose grout which had become dislodge over time and now needed raking out replacing.
  • Third some of the Travertine tiles had become loose over the years and needed lifting, cleaning up and relaying.

We always try and do a site visit where possible as photos don’t always give us the true picture and we always want to give the client an accurate quote as possible. The client was happy to go ahead with the remedial work and keen to have the Patio in full working order so they could make use of the space whilst the weather was good.

Travertine Patio Before Cleaning Stonely

Deep Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Patio

My first task was to give the patio a deep clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the patio. After ten minutes it was scrubbed in with a medium 1500-grit burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This action lifted the ingrained dirt out of the stone and cleaned up the surface.

Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a multi-purpose coatings remover formulated to remove old sealers and other coverings. This product also draws out ingrained stains and can remove heavy grease build-up, so it was perfect for this job. I then used a truck mounted hot water extraction machine to remove the dirt and slurry which is extracted to grey water tank on the van. It was a large patio, so the cleaning process took up most of day one.

I came back the following day to carry out the necessary repairs which consisted of filling in holes, cracks and raking out and replacing loose grout. In addition, one whole length of tiles on the step had to be removed, cleaned then relayed as all of them had become loose over the years. Once all repairs where complete I arranged to return the following day to complete the renovation with the application of a sealer.

Sealing a Travertine Patio

I returned on day three to seal the entire Travertine Patio, fortunately we had picked a good week to do the work and the weather remained dry. For the sealer I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that is externally rated and should cope well with the UK weather. This gave the patio a lovely finish and will give the stone protection from staining and make it much easier to keep clean, in fact a rinse with a hose should do the job.

Travertine Patio After Cleaning Stonely

The client was very happy with the outcome and is now able to finally get the garden furniture out and start using the outside space without fear of slipping or tripping on the loose stone. I was even asked to come back again to clean and seal another stone patio at the rear of the garden, which I will now doubt follow up later with a separate article.

The client left the following Five Star feedback, for which we are always very grateful as so much of our work comes from recommendations.

“A very professional attitude, and a job well done and on time”

Travertine Patio After Cleaning Stonely

Source: Travertine Patio Cleaning and Renovation Service in Cambridgeshire

Flagstone Patio Renovated in Stanwick Northants

I often get asked whilst I am on site what other services I offer; recently when I was polishing a Limestone floor at a house in the small village of Stanwick the client enquired if there was anything I could do with their 20 year old Flagstone Patio which was unfortunately no longer looking its best.

I advised him this is something I would be able to do, and that as well as cleaning all types of internal tile, grout and stone I also offer external stone cleaning using a professional pressure washing machine using up to date equipment such as the Honda Pro 2100 Pressure Washer which was an expensive but worthwhile investment.

Flagstone Patio Before Cleaning Stanwick

The patio had not been professionally cleaned since installation and now moss was growing between the pavers and the stone had darkened over the years, although the customer had used an electric jet washer a couple of times it had not made significant improvement and a thorough clean was now well overdue. The interior Limestone floor had come up well and they were very satisfied with that work, I was confident that they would be pleased with the patio outcome too.

Although the area was large, the benefit of working outside is there is no concerns about making a mess, so the job can be done relatively quickly. I gave the client a quote for the work and we arranged a time for me to return, although it was dependent on the weather.

Cleaning a Large Flagstone Patio in Stanwick

Thankfully the date we had selected turned out to by dry so a day in the fresh air was due. My first course of action was to pre wet the stone with a diluted 3:1 solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to help break down the heavy soiling and soften the moss. Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, which strips and degreases heavily soiled areas. It is particularly good on mildew and algae on patios such as this where it makes light work of breaking down the soiling.

The product is left to dwell for a short time, once I could see that the soil was starting to lift, I then used the petrol driven Honda Pro 2100 pressure washer connected to a spinning tool to clean the stone. This is a very powerful piece of machinery and the difference was immediate. The patio tiles looked a completely different colour, in fact the client couldn’t recall ever seeing them this colour!

Flagstone Patio After Cleaning Stanwick

This work was carried out to the customers satisfaction who left the following feedback on my website.

“Phil is a very hardworking and pleasant guy who kept me fully informed at all stages and the floors and patios look great. Many thanks – Michael B, Stanwick, “

 

Source: Flagstone Patio Cleaning and Renovation Service in Stanwick, Northants

Brick Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Renovated Near Highclere Castle

Black Limestone has become very popular in recent years, unfortunately however we find installers ruin its appearance with the use of unsuitable cleaning products. This was the case with this relatively new property in Highclere Village near Newbury in Berkshire.

Black Limestone had been installed throughout the exterior by a landscaping company, but the owner wasn’t satisfied with they had left the stone. It turns out they used brick acid to wash away the remaining residue that had been left from a messy installation. Limestone is acid sensitive, and this resulted in the stone being stripped of its natural oils that give it the rich black colour. The stone now looked very grey, bland and was extremely porous. It certainly wasn’t how the client expected the patio to look.

Black Limestone Paved Steps Before Renovation Highclere Village

I visited the house and conducted a test in a small inconspicuous area. Luckily the Limestone hadn’t been sealed which was fortunate as stripping back exterior stone sealers can be a very time-consuming process. After the demo was completed the client was very satisfied and a provisional date was booked in. The client was eager to have the Black Limestone patio looking lovely ready for the summer weather, but we would need a dry day to be able to complete the work.

Black Limestone Paving Before Renovation Highclere Village

Highclere is a village situated in the North Wessex Downs, an area of natural outstanding beauty. It is also home to Highclere Castle, which has been used in many films and TV series, including Downton Abbey.

Renovating Black Limestone Patio Tiles

The first job was to remove all the surface dirt that had built up on the surface of the stone since it had been laid. I did this using a cleaning and extraction system that’s run from my vehicle. It’s a high-pressure cleaner with long hoses that can clean and extract dirt keeping things as mess free as possible. Once the area was cleaned the stone was left to bake and dry out in the hot sun.

Later that afternoon I conducted several moisture tests with a damp meter. The readings were good so I was happy the stone was dry, and I could move onto the next stage of re-oiling the stone. I used Tile Doctor Stone Oil for this purpose, it’s a conditioning product that penetrates the stone and revives the colour. Two coats were applied throughout and any excess oil that hadn’t penetrated the stone was buffed off. The oil was then left to cure overnight.

Sealing a Black Limestone Patio

I returned the next day and was very pleased how the Limestone looked, the rich colour was now showing. The oil had cured, and the stone was ready to seal. Two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal were applied to seal the stone. Rated for external use Ultra-Seal works by occupying the pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from become ingrained there. This product doesn’t change the appearance of the stone, resulting in a completely natural look.

Black Limestone Paving After Renovation Highclere Village

My client was over the moon with how her Black Limestone now looked and left the following feedback: “Dennis oiled and sealed our newly laid black limestone paving. He transformed it from grey and stained looking into a beautiful black even colour. He takes great pride in his work and I would recommend him highly.”

Black Limestone Paved Steps After Renovation Highclere Village

 

Source: Black Limestone Patio Restoration Service in Highclere, Berkshire

Removing Grout and Cement from a Black Limestone Patio in Cheltenham

This client called Tile Doctor to see if anything could be done about the colour of their limestone patio which was laid about 6 months prior at their house in Cheltenham. It and had always looked grey rather than the black they had expected and with summer on the way felt it was time to get it resolved.

Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Cheltenham

I went over to survey the Limestone paving and could see straight away that whoever had installed it had not cleaned off the cement and grout residue afterwards. Add on top of that the green algae and dirt build-up you get over winter and the Patio was now looking very sorry for itself.

I conducted a test clean on a small area to work out the best method for restoring the appearance of the stone. The Limestone responded well to the test and it gave the customer the results he was looking for. Happy with the potential result and my quotation a date was booked for the work, although this was weather dependent. The job would take 3 days to complete.

Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Cheltenham Black Limestone Patio Before Renovation Cheltenham

Removing Cement and Grout from a Black Limestone Patio

We were quite fortunate with the weather and managed to find a few days without rain. Arriving on day one, the client had moved all the patio furniture out of the way, so we were able to get to work immediately starting with the application of a coarse 200 grit diamond pad fitted to a large buffing machine. The pad is applied to each paving stone in turn and lubricated with plenty of water. This action slightly mills the Limestone to remove all the old cement and grout that had been left of the surface. After rinsing with water and extracting the soil the process was repeated using a 400 and 800-grit burnishing pad to hone the stone and bring up its appearance. The area was quite large, so this took most of the first day.

Returning the following morning, we moved onto cleaning the grout lines using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Then the whole patio was rinsed with water and scrubbed using a wet vacuum to extract all the soil generated. The patio was left overnight to dry out, the weather remained good, so we were able to come back the next day to seal it and complete the job.

Sealing a Black Limestone Tiled Patio

To seal the Limestone and restore colour I selected to use Tile Doctor Stone Oil, this is an easy to apply impregnating sealer, ideal for low porosity stone such as Limestone. Stone Oil is designed to enhance the colour and texture of stone, it also improves mechanical strength once it is cured.

One coat was applied to get the colour back in the stone, giving it the nice rich black it should have been. The stone was left to dry for two hours and then followed up with a coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to further seal the stone. Ultra-Seal is a no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection. It is also an excellent grout sealer.

Black Limestone Patio After Renovation Cheltenham

As you can see from the pictures the results were fantastic and the customer was very happy that the patio now looked how they had expected it to when it was installed. The sealant should give it adequate protection from the elements but would need to be reapplied in future years. They were looking forward to making the most of the sunny weather and getting the barbeque out to make use of their lovely newly restored patio.

Black Limestone Patio After Renovation Cheltenham

 

Source: Black Limestone Patio Cleaning Service in Gloucestershire

Victorian Tile Path Renovated in Margate

The picture below is of a Victorian path leading up to a house in Cliftonville which is a popular residential area in the coastal town of Margate. The seaside property was generally in good repair and had retained many of its’ original features. The pathway however had been subjected to the weather, and salty sea air so was looking a little worse for wear.

Victorian Path Before Renovation Cliftonville Margate

It always makes a pleasant change to be asked to carry out work outside and being located a short ten-minute drive away from the property it wasn’t long before I was able to go over and take a look. I inspected the path and discussed with the client the cleaning process that was needed. They were happy to go ahead with my quote and we arranged a time to return later in the month. We kept one eye on the weather as a nice dry day would be needed.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Pathway

Being outdoors, for a change we didn’t need to tape any surrounding areas to protect them from the clean, so we were able to get straight on with the job. The tiles had some masonry paint staining from the previous redecoration of the rendering, this was softened by spot treating with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a stiff brush. The paint was then carefully scraped off.

A deep clean was then carried out using a rotary floor cleaning machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad which was used to work in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This had an immediate effect and it wasn’t long before the dirt was being lifted out of the pores of the tile. The pathway was then rinsed, and the resulting slurry extracted with a wet vacuum.

The path was looking much improved so once I was happy all the dirt had been removed it was left to dry out. There were a few loose tiles were lifted and secured back in place using a flexible floor tile adhesive rated for external use.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Pathway

The dry weather continued so I was able to return the following day and complete the project. Before sealing I resurfaced some of the tiles using a hand buffer fitted with a 400-grit burnishing pad and a little water to give the surface a consistent finish.

The last step was to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a fully breathable impregnating sealer that will cope with the damp external conditions. It also provides durable protection and has the added benefit of improving the colours in the tile.

Victorian Path After Renovation Cliftonville Margate

The path looked great after completion, the Victorian pattern looked lovely and the new sealer will ensure it is a lot easier to keep clean going forward. I discussed aftercare before leaving and recommended the use the Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, its concentrated product so a one litre bottle goes a long way and won’t harm the newly applied sealer. Most supermarket tile cleaning products are not pH neutral and too strong to use on a sealed surface.

 

Source: Victorian Tile and Path Cleaning and Restoration Service in Margate, Kent

Large Red Marble Patio Renovated in Berkshire

I recently had a call out to an unusual property in Newbury to renovate a large Red Marble Patio. The design of the house was clearly inspired by the Mediterranean and resembled a Spanish Villa. The UK winter had not been very kind to the large Red Marble patio and now looked faded and lifeless.

Marble Tiled Patio Before Renovation Newbury

I inspected the patio and could see that it had been previously sealed with a topical product that had deteriorated in parts over time leaving the stone looking patchy and dull. After having the same stone installed throughout the interior of the property she wanted to know if the exterior stone could be renovated to match.

To get a better idea of what it would take to complete the work and produce an accurate quote I ran some cleaning tests on a spare tile. The demonstration went very well, and it gave the client a good idea of the outcome they could expect. Happy with the potential result and my quote I was booked to return and complete the renovation.

Marble Tiled Patio Before Renovation Newbury

Cleaning a Red Marble Tiled Patio in Newbury

This was a large Patio to clean so I worked in sections and starting with brushing and vacuuming to remove all the surface dirt and debris that could impact the stone burnishing process. Then using water for lubrication, I started refinishing the Marble with a very coarse 100-grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. This pad cut through the layers of remaining topical sealant that had built up on the surface of the stone. After a rinse with more water I followed this with a less coarse 200-grit pad. I found that in some areas, such as along the edges of the tile, a thick build-up of old sealer needed to be weakened first using Tile Doctor Remove and Go before the pads could cut through.

Marble Tiled Patio During Renovation Newbury

Once the old seal had been removed, I could focus on burnishing the stone which is a polishing process that hones the stone and brings back its polished appearance. I did this using a set of diamond burnishing pads starting with a 400-grit pad and working my way through the sequence of pads with 800 and 1500-grit. The pads are applied using a rotary floor buffer and again lubricated with water, the stone is rinsed with water afterwards and the slurry picked up with a wet vacuum. The last pad to be applied is an extra fine 3000-grit pad which leaves the stone with a good sheen, the pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile.

Marble Tiled Patio Before Renovation Newbury

Sealing a Red Marble Tiled Patio

I returned the following morning to check the stone had thoroughly dried and could be sealed. Fortunately, the warm weather had persisted, and I was able to finish the stone with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealer is known for bringing out the natural colours in stone and it didn’t disappoint making the deep red colours in the Marble really stand out against the white veins. Colour grow is also an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and will fare much better protecting the stone in the UK elements.

Marble Tiled Patio After Renovation Newbury

This burnishing and sealing process was repeated in the numerous areas that made up the entire patio except for the stairs which had to be done using the same method but with a handheld polisher as the rotary machine was simply too large. Being external the work was weather dependant and so had to be done in stages as it rained between visits and the stone had to be left to dry out again before continuing. This slowed up the process, but we got there once the weather had improved.

Marble Tiled Patio Before Renovation Newbury Marble Tiled Patio After Renovation Newbury

Overall the client was very pleased with the work and was happy that both the newly installed interior and the rejuvenated old stone looked uniform.

For aftercare I recommended the use the Tile Doctor Stone Soap Cleaner which will clean and help maintain the patina on the stone, also it won’t prematurely erode the sealer like more aggressive cleaning products you find in supermarkets.

Marble Tiled Patio After Renovation Newbury

 

Source: Marble and Patio Cleaning and Restoration Service in Newbury, Berkshire

Renovating a Black Limestone Patio in Farnham, Surrey

This customer from Farnham called me with three requests. First, can you clean and seal our Black Limestone patio? Secondly can you remove some scratches? and finally, can you make it less slippery as my children have slipped a couple of times in the wet.

After discussing the problems over the phone, we agreed a convenient date and I went along to the property to have a look. I could certainly do the first and second but not the third. There are products on the market but most Anti-slip products I’ve come across contain acids which etch and roughen the surface. Her patio was made of dark limestone which is acid sensitive and applying an acidic product would ruin the look of the stone leaving it looking washed out. I discussed with her the options and the process and we agreed a price, booking the work in for later in the month.

Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Farnham

Cleaning a Black Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

First, I cleaned the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro Clean which was left to soak in for about ten minutes before being scrubbed with a nylon brush and being careful not to further scratch the stone.

The next step was to clean the stone with a series of burnishing pads starting with a coarse 400-grit lubricated with water then moving onto increasingly finer pads of 800 and 1500 grit. It’s important to rinse and extract the slurry after applying each pad. This process removes the existing sealer and slightly mills the tiles firstly opening the pores then slowly closing them as the process continues. I avoided the dark area in the picture where the table was situated as it had been protected from the weather, sun and small children. My aim was to get the same consistent colour across the whole patio.

Once I had used the three pads, I completed a final rinse and extraction with a wet vacuum. I then checked surveyed the floor looking for any areas that needed more work and to verify that the scratched had been removed as part of the process. The work went well, and I was happy to see that the scratches had been lifted and the appearance of the stone looked much better and more even.

Sealing a Black Limestone Tiled Patio Floor

It was a warm day, so it wasn’t long before the stone had dried and were dry enough to be sealed. I talked through the customers options for sealing and recommended the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as it contains a colour enhancer which would return the dark colour to the stone and match the original colour under the table. Colour Grow is also rated for external use.

Limestone Patio After Cleaning Farnham

Two coats of Colour Grow were applied, and this made a big improvement to the appearance of the stone resulting in a stunning transformation. The customer was over the moon and with the patio now ready for the summer she could not wait to get the patio furniture in place and enjoy the space.

 

Source: Black Limestone Patio Cleaning and Renovating Service in Farnham, Surrey

Brick Paved Patio Renovation in Duxford, Cambridge

I was called out to a house in Duxford to quote for cleaning kitchen floor tiles when the customer realised, we could also clean and re-sand block paved patios. We provided her with a quote and booked the work in alongside her kitchen tiles which I will detail in another post.

Duxford is a small village around 10 miles from Cambridge, and is an area which is rich in history. Duxford is most famous for RAF Duxford, a former RAF airfield that was used as a sector station during the Battle of Britain. Back in 1972 the Ministry of Defence began to store historically important aircraft in the hangars on the airfield and it is now used to house the Duxford Imperial War Museum .

Dirty Block Paved Patio Before Deep Cleaning Duxford

The block paved patio was looking worse for wear after the winter, what was once lovely shades of red brick was now dark and almost black in places with dirt and algae. Regular maintenance is always suggested to ensure the paving is looked after and to prevent it becoming slippery.

Dirty Block Paved Patio Before Deep Cleaning Duxford

Cleaning an outside Block Paved Patio

Our first job was to sweep the patio down to remove loose dirt and leaves.

Next job was to tackle the heavily stained areas that were treated with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean solution which was applied neat and left to soak in for fifteen minutes. Normally I would dilute Pro-Clean with water but in this case, I needed the full power of the product and even applying such a strong solution would not cause the brick pavers any harm. Whilst the Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was soaking in, I set up the high-pressure machine in my van and ran the long hose out to the garden area.

The Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was then scrubbed in by hand with a long handled scrubbing brush. The area was quite large, so this took most of the morning. The patio really was very dirty so lifting the layers of dirt took some time.

Next the block paving was deep cleaned using water delivered under high pressure from a wand supplied by our truck mounted cleaning machine. This machine can deliver water at various pressure levels, much higher than your average Karcher and makes easy work of cleaning patios. Immediately the patio started to look dramatically cleaner.

Once the block patio was done, I left it to dry and turned my attention to the decking around the other side of the house.

Re Sanding a Block Paved Patio

After a day of drying out we returned the following morning to re-sand the patio with kiln-dried sand which is essential to maintain the integrity of the patio and keeping the weeds down.

Dirty Block Paved Patio After Deep Cleaning Duxford

The renovation process worked really well, and the patio now looks as new as it did when it was laid. My customer was overjoyed with the results, hopefully the weather will enable them to get the patio furniture out so they can have lots of barbeques this year and make the most of the space.

Dirty Block Paved Patio After Deep Cleaning Duxford

 

Source: Brick Paved Patio Cleaning and Renovation and Sealing Service in Duxford, Cambridge

Putting new Life into a Sandstone Patio in time for Summer

The scorching hot summer has meant we are all in the garden and making much more use of our outside spaces. Our client got in touch because her Indian Sandstone patio was looking a little unloved. Looking forward to entertaining outside it was time to bring it back up to scratch so it wouldn’t be an embarrassment.

This house in Northampton which is the county town of Northamptonshire, lying on the River Nene it is one of the largest towns in the UK, had a lovely large patio. The Sandstone paving was looking tired and dirty, it was covered in lichen, embedded soil and was missing grout. I discussed with the client how Tile Doctor could help, and she agreed to go ahead so I returned a few days later. Indian Sandstone is a very hardwearing material, but one of the biggest problems we find with stone flooring outside is it soon becomes stained by the elements, especially with our great British weather, sun, (acid) rain, and ice. Without its’ protective sealer porous stone quickly becomes ingrained with dirt making it increasingly difficult to clean effectively.

Indian Sandstone Patio Before Cleaning Northampton

Cleaning and Restoring Indian Sandstone Patio in Northampton

I pre-treated the entire are with a medium dilution Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for about 15 minutes, so it started breaking down the soil. This is a highly concentrated multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner which is great on heavily soiled areas, breaking down the dirt and the lichen. This was then scrubbed in using a rotary machine and stiff buffing brush.

This was followed by pressure washing and rinsing the entire area with water, removing the soiled waste with a wet vacuum. It is always a little easier carrying out this type of messy job as we are outside. This process took much of the day to complete and got the Indian Sandstone tiles really clean. They were already looking good and had changed from a dull grey colour to a lovely warm beige.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Cleaning Northampton

Grouting and Sealing Indian Sandstone Patio Northampton

I allowed a few days for the area to dry and then returned to finish renovating the patio, thankfully the weather remained dry! My first task was to re-grout areas where the grout had become loose, this made an instant difference defining the tiles as they should be, also this will prevent the problem with weeds growing between the paving slabs.

Finally, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant to enhance the natural colours of the stone. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. It is also a breathable sealer which is ideal for external areas where moisture is an issue.

As you can see from the pictures this process made a huge impact and the colours appear much brighter, the customer was delighted with the results and she is looking forward to being able to enjoy her garden. The hot weather is thankfully continuing so she will be able to enjoy the space for many weeks to come.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Sealing Northampton

 

Source: Patio Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Northampton

Removing Grout Smears from a Black Limestone Patio in Walgrave

The following photos show a large black limestone patio that had been installed at a house in the village of Walgrave by a local builder who had sealed the stone before cleaning it first. Doing so trapped the dirt and grout smears (ka grout haze) underneath the sealer which resulted in a hazy appearance that could never be cleaned off.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Walgrave

Spring is an ideal time to work on patios which tend to get stained most from leaves and other detritus during the windy autumn and then ravaged by the winter frosts. If you want to seal the stone though its best to wait until a spell of continuous hot weather for the best results.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Walgrave

Cleaning a Black Limestone Patio

To clean the stone, I would first need to remove the builder’s sealer, so I started by applying Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a strong product designed to safely remove coatings such as sealers and paint from stone and tile. A strong dilution of Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about ten minutes before being worked into the Limestone using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor scrubbing machine. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off the patio with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning Walgrave

With the sealer removed along with the dirt then next task was to tackle the smears of grout that had been left on the surface of the stone. To do this I applied a specially developed product called Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is left to dwell on the surface of the stone just long enough to weaken the unwanted grout which can be then scrubbed off. The solution is then rinsed off the patio and extracted as before. This process was done in sections worked across the length of the patio and then when finished it was given a through rinse.

Sealing a Black Limestone Patio

I would need the limestone patio to be dry before sealing so I left it fully dry out over the course of a few days before coming back to finish off, fortunately the weather was good, and it wasn’t long before I returned.

Black Limestone Patio During Sealing Walgrave

My sealer of choice for Black Limestone is Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it’s an impregnating sealer the penetrates the pores of the stone protecting it from within and simultaneously enhancing the natural colours in the stone. This product is also fully breathable which makes it ideal for external use or damp areas where moisture needs to rise through the stone and evaporate. Two coats of Colour Grow were all that was required to fully seal the stone.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Walgrave

The work was a huge improvement to the look of the patio which is now vibrant, inviting and fully transformed by the process.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Walgrave

 

Source: Limestone Patio Cleaning and Renovation Service in Walgrave, Northamptonshire

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

Restoring Colour to Slate Patio Pavers in Berkshire

Details below of a job I completed earlier in the summer in the Berkshire town of Thatcham which is just east of Newbury. The customer had a lovely Slate Patio installed the year before which had not been sealed by the builder and it had since become dull, light grey and unpleasing to the eye. Additionally there was a haze on tiles from sand and cement that had been used to point between the paving which the customer couldn’t remove.

Exterior Slate Before Renovation Thatcham

I first went round there to take a look at the job and work out a price; we often get asked to quote over the phone but it’s really difficult to do that without look at the job as you never know how things are going to work out unless you do a test clean. In this case I was able to demonstrate the process to the customer on one of the paving tiles which you can easily pick out in the photographs below.

Exterior Slate Before Renovation Thatcham

Happy with the demonstration I was given the job to do the whole patio so I arranged to a date to come back and do the work.

Cleaning Slate Patio Paving

On my return the first job was to tackle the sand and cement haze that was covering much of the slate patio. Fortunately for me the builder had not sealed the tiles so this was just a straightforward case of applying a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, leaving it to dwell for ten minutes and then scrubbing it into the paving with a mechanical scrubbing machine to release the sandy haze as well as breaking down the soils on the tiles.

You should be aware that Grout Clean-Up is an acid based product and Slate like most natural stone is acid sensitive so it’s important to remove it as soon as its done its job and rinse down the stone with water soon after.

To rinse the slate patio I used our specialist truck mounted systems which gently blasts the soils from the stone with hot pressurised water whilst simultaneously recapturing the waste back into a tank on the van. This action also neutralises the stones which is important before applying sealer. The Slate pavers were then allowed to dry and being a very hot day this only took a couple of hours.

Sealing a Slate Patio

After a long lunch I returned to find the Slate was dry but still looking rather grey so to restore the natural dark colours to the stone I applied a coating of Tile Doctor Stone Oil then after approximately 1 hour any excess stone oil was buffed off the tiles leaving it to fully dry off overnight.

The following day I returned to apply two liberal coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a solvent based no-sheen, natural-look penetrating sealer that will provide the needed protection from the elements and make it easier to clean in future.

Exterior Slate After Renovation Thatcham

My customer was very pleased with the final results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“I had my patio and path cleaned and sealed. The service from the whole team has been exemplary from start to finish and I am delighted with the work that has been carried out. My particular thanks to Dennis who was friendly, helpful and exceptionally professional. He explained everything he was going to do and why, kept me informed throughout and worked really hard to produce a fantastic finish on my patio and path. I’m really grateful and will most definitely be recommending to friends. Thank you”

Exterior Slate After Renovation Thatcham

 
 
Source: Slate Patio Cleaning and Restoration Service in Berkshire

Restoring a Stained Marble Patio in Northamptonshire

Patios are particularly difficult to keep clean as they are continuously exposed to the elements fortunately Tile Doctor specialises in cleaning and restoring all different types of natural stone internal and external.

I was recently asked to restore a patio at a house in Bozeat, a village in Northamptonshire. The patio was consisted of both floor tiles and walls, and was made of a rather uncommon stone: Egyptian-style Marble.

Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat Before Cleaning

The customer had clearly taken pride in the presentation and aesthetic of his garden but, having a concentrated on other projects for the past couple of years, he had neglected to preserve the condition of patio. Making matters worse, the patio had never been sealed, and this had allowed dirt and moss to become ingrained in the stone. The customer was also concerned by a large rust mark left on the stone where old garden furniture had been sitting.

Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat Before Cleaning Egyptian Marble Patio Pond Surround Bozeat Before Cleaning

Upon my first visit to the property, I carried out a test clean on a small patch of Marble using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high-alkaline cleaner that we find particularly reliable to use on natural stone. The customer was very impressed by the sudden improvement in the condition of the test patch. I also tested a new product by the name of Tile Doctor Rust Away, which is a non-acidic rust remover. Amazingly, the product helped to reduce the rust stain by about 90%.

The full restoration was booked in to take place within a fortnight.

Cleaning an Egyptian Marble Patio

The first part of the restoration involved cleaning the entire patio with Pro Clean, although I worked one small section at a time. The product was worked into the stone using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was rinsed away using a Honda Petrol jet washer and a spinning tool, leaving the patio clear of most of the dirty, algae and moss.

Next, I treated the entire rust stain with Rust Away. The product was scrubbed in using a handheld brush and left to dwell for a few minutes, before I rinsed the area with the jet washer and spinning tool. The stone had a matte finish, but to remove the deeper staining, I needed to use a set of three diamond-encrusted burnishing pads, which we typically use for polishing stone and removing light scratches and marks.

Sealing an Egyptian Marble Patio

Luckily, the weather proved to be good, so I could return to the property the following day to seal the patio, including the walls, with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is an impregnating, natural-look sealer designed to ensure maximum stain protection.

Rust Stained Egyptian Marble Patio Bozeat After Cleaning Stained Patio Wall After Cleaning

The photos really do speak for themselves, showing the amazing results and transformation of the garden. I left the happy customer with some maintenance instructions to keep the appearance of stone up as it is exposed to the elements.

Egyptian Marble Patio Pond Surround Bozeat After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Patio Cleaning and Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

Maintaining a Slate Tiled Patio at House in Brighton

Brighton is a great location to work with a huge variety of property styles and tile installation but being such a popular location parking can be an issue. We need to park our van physically close to the property so we can make use of our powerful Truck mounted cleaning system that weighs in at 3/4 of a tonne! It’s a really clever system that uses water under very high pressure to clean the stone whilst at the same time recovering the waste back to a storage tank in the van making it a very clean operation even in the most awkward conditions.

I thought I would mention this first as I was asked to deep clean and seal the lower ground level Slate tiled courtyard patio at this property in Brighton which was located down a small side street where people rarely moved their vehicles due to lack of spaces available. Fortunately I was aware of the issue and managed to overcome it by arranging a parking suspension with Brighton and Hove City Council allowing me to park my van.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Parking Suspension Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning

This patio was open to the elements and was also used by the owner’s dog. Further due to its inaccessibility it had never been cleaned apart from with the general hosepipe sprayer. Any kind of porous stone will over time become dirty and stained if the sealer is not maintained, sealers do fail eventually and usually in the highest traffic areas first where they become worn down the most.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning Dirty Slate Patio

The first job was to pressure clean the entire area using the truck mounted system I mentioned earlier, it works well on patios removing all sorts of detritus that can build up over time.

With patio now clear I was able to see the condition of the slate which showed grout smears on the surface from installation as some stubborn staining that the pressure treatment had been unable to shift. To resolve this I mixed up a batch of Tile Doctor Cleaning Agent Oxy Gel together with Tile Doctor Acid Gel and applied it to all the problem areas. Liquids have a tendency to run (patios have a gentle slope to allow for rain run off) whereas Gel’s remain in place so they dwell on the problem areas longer and really get to work. I left the mixture in place for a short while before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush and then extracted it using truck mount system. The water from the truck mount also neutralised the acid which is important as you shouldn’t leave acid on natural stone for too long.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton During Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton During Cleaning

Sealing a Slate Patio

Fortunately there was no rain that night and being August also quite warm so I was pleased to find the Slate had tried off fully by the next day when we returned to seal it. To be certain however I ran some quick damp tests to check that the floor was completely dry and ready to be sealed. Once satisfied, I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which works really well on Slate giving it that much needed protection against dirt and stains, along with a full lustre finish that enhances the character of the floor.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning

The client was elated both with the result and even more so after we explained how to maintain the look of the tiles with having a doggy in the house!

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Slate Cleaning and Sealing Service in East-Sussex

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

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

Restoring the Appearance of a Brick Driveway in Pertenhall

While most of our work involves the restoration of interior tiles, our equipment is also suitable for exterior stonework, including driveways and patios. Here’s a quick example of a brick driveway I restored recently in the old parish of Pertenhall, famous for its old Norman-age church, near Bedford.

The driveway hadn’t been cleaned in a long time and had a serious problem with overgrown weeds and dirt. Needless to say, the property owner was keen to give it a new lease of life and this is something I would highly recommend if you’re looking to sell your property as improving curb appeal will ensure you make a good first impression.

Driveway before cleaning Pertenhall

Cleaning and Sealing a Brick Tiled Driveway

The restoration would take three visits to the property. On the first visit I tackled the weeds head on by applying a strong weed killer which needed to work its magic over a period of two weeks. When I returned to the property the second time the weeds had died away and the driveway was ready to be pressure washed with my industrial, petrol-powered pressure washer.

I returned to the property for a third and final time a few days later on a sunny day to find that the driveway had completely dried out. To finish the restoration, I applied some fresh kiln-dried sand to the gaps between the bricks and applied Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, a sealer which is approved for outside use.

Driveway after cleaning Pertenhall

The customer was not only happy with the refreshed appearance of the driveway, but also reassured that the weeds would be kept at bay for quite some time. This is because the kiln dried sand and sealant prevents seeds falling between the brick blocks and taking root.

Before leaving I advised the owner to brush and hosed down the driveway monthly as this will ensure its appearance is maintained for much longer.
 
 
Source: Driveway Cleaning and Refurbishment 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