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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The work was a huge improvement to the look of the patio which is now vibrant, inviting and fully transformed by the process.
Source: Limestone Patio Cleaning and Renovation Service in Walgrave, Northamptonshire
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.
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.
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.
The paving came out remarkably well as you can see from the photographs.
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
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.
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.
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