Patio Cleaning

Ruined Slate Patio Beautifully Restored in Pembury

Our client in the villager of Pembury was feeling really deflated after having a Slate Patio laid adjacent to the full length of her house, however the builder had not applied the sealer correctly creating a mess which ruined the appearance of the stone.

Slate Patio Before Renovation Pembury

Unfortunately, it is not that unusual to be contacted about this sort of situation, applying a sealer is not as easy as manufactures make out. There are lots of factors to consider, choosing the right sealer, is the stone damp, how do you know if you have applied too much, and it often catches tradesmen out. I was able to reassure them that with the right combination of products and equipment the problem could be rectified.

Deep Cleaning a Slate Tiled Patio in Pembury

The first job was to strip off the old sealer which was done using a product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go. The name of this product pretty much says it all and once applied to the stone it is left to soak in for ten to twenty minutes before being scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with an abrasive burnishing pad.

Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a multi-purpose stripper which will remove most coatings and sealers, including epoxy grout haze which is another common problem we encounter when tradesmen have not cleaned up properly after grouting. It is also good for removing heavy build ups of grease. I used several burnishing pads of different grits going from coarse to smooth on this patio, rinsing and extracting the soil after each pad.

It was a large area, so this process took up most of the day on its own, fortunately I use a van mounted high pressure cleaning and extraction system to remove the soil which is very efficient and leaves the stone bright clean and reasonably dry afterwards. This ensures the process can be carried out with minimal mess.

Slate Patio During Renovation Pembury

Sealing a Slate Patio in Pembury

It was a nice warm summers day and although cloudy we didn’t get any rain overnight, so after checking the forecast I was able to return the next day and apply a fresh sealer to the Slate.

My client wanted a natural look, so I used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. This product is a no-sheen, natural-look, impregnating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection. These impregnating sealers work by penetrating the stone, occupying its pores, and thus preventing dirt from residing there.

Slate Patio After Renovation Pembury

The client was so happy and relieved to see the results on what a very expensive patio and commented she was eager to get the first barbecue of the season underway.

We recommended that a regular with the jet wash should keep the patio in good condition and in a few years time we could return to reapply the sealer for them.

Slate Patio After Renovation Pembury


Professional Restoration of a Slate Patio in South Kent

Renovating a Large Indian Sandstone Patio in Southborough

A customer from the Tunbridge Wells borough of Southborough got in touch with me regarding the renovation of their Sandstone Paved Drive and Patio. The paving surrounded the property and since all the facias had recently been renewed on the house the stone was letting the overall appearance of the property down.

Indian Sandstone Patio Before Cleaning Southborough Indian Sandstone Patio Before Cleaning Southborough

It had been sometime since the Sandstone had been cleaned and as you can see from the photos what was once a beautiful stone had now darkened and lost much of its natural colour. I went to the property to do a quick site visit to check what needed to be done. I worked out a quote for cleaning to the stone which was accepted and a convenient time to carry out the work was agreed.

Indian Sandstone Patio Before Cleaning Southborough Indian Sandstone Patio Before Cleaning Southborough

I have a very powerful high pressure cleaning system installed in my van which makes short work of cleaning stone and brick. Not only is it very effective at cleaning its designed as a closed system, so all the waste is extracted back to a large grey water tank in the van. Now you can use an everyday power washer to clean up external stone however they are not as powerful and so take much longer, also the result does not tend to be as good.

Deep Cleaning an Indian Sandstone Patio in Southborough

It was a large area, so I approached the job in sections and started by pre-wetting the stone with water. Then I applied Tile Doctor Patio & Brick Driveway Cleaner which is a powerful outdoor cleaning solution formulated to power through patio blackspots, lichen, moss, and stains. This is a commercial product designed for professional use so if you are looking at using it yourself, please take care and use the right protection.

The cleaner was left to soak into the really dirty areas whilst I focused on the cleaning the other parts of the drive and patio with the van mounted pressure washer. I was then able to return to the deeper stains later. Using a combination of the Tile Doctor Brick and Patio Cleaner along with our van mounted pressure cleaning system we were able to completely transform the properties kerb appeal.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Cleaning Southborough Indian Sandstone Patio After Cleaning Southborough

Applying a sealer now the Sandstone was clean would have improved the look of the stone further and made the patio easier to keep clean going forward; however, it was a very large area which would require a lot of sealer. Keen to keep the cost down it was agreed not to apply a sealer and instead they intend to do more regular cleaning. The patio did look in great condition following the deep cleaning and so difficult to justify at this stage.

Indian Sandstone Patio After Cleaning Southborough

My customer was very happy with the transformed patio and the look of delight was clearly visible. It’s a great feeling when you have a happy customer and this was one of those jobs where their satisfaction was so uplifting, especially during these times.


Professional Renovation of an Indian Sandstone Patio in South Kent

Recently Laid Black Limestone Patio Renovated in Ashford

We were called out to look at this new Black Limestone patio in Ashford which was not looking as it should. The client had laid it himself but unfortunately had not managed to polish off all the grout from the surface of the Limestone thereby degrading the appearance of the stone.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Ashford
Grout Smearing or Grout Haze is a common problem when it comes to tiling and this problem seems to be on the increase due to new grout formula’s which are tougher but dry a lot faster. Usually, the excess grout can be removed using a mild acid however it is not possible to do that on Limestone as this Stone is acid sensitive and as well as etching the stone can cause it to turn white. I know Tile Doctor has resolved a few jobs like this in the past for builders who do not always understand the unique characteristics of the stone.

Black Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Ashford
I discussed with the client how Tile Doctor could help and gave him a quote for the work to be carried out. He was happy to go ahead so having consulted the weather forecast for a couple of dry days we agreed a date to return.

Cleaning a Black Limestone Patio Floor

To remove the Grout Haze and clean the appearance of the Limestone I applied a Tile Doctor Brick and Patio Cleaner and worked it in with a coarse 400 grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad. The coarse pad does leave the stone looking a little rough, so the surface was then renovated using the finer burnishing pads of 800 and 1500 grit using water for lubrication. By using the pads in sequence, it gradually smooths the surface of the stone. Once done the tiles were rinsed with water and the soil removed with an industrial wet vacuum. The patio was looking good, the day was nice and bright, so we left the patio for a few hours to dry in the sun.

Sealing a Black Limestone Patio

Once the stone was dry the patio was sealed with single coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil which is an impregnating sealer that improves strength and restores colour to the stone.

Once dry the Stone Oil was followed by a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer which like the Stone Oil penetrates the pores of the stone improving colour and adding protection. The treatment and combination of products transformed the appearance of the patio and provided the client with exactly the look he required.

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Ashford
As you can see from the after pictures the patio had a rich black colour and looked as it should. The client was over the moon with the result and was thankful that we had managed to rescue his work. Lesson learned for any future project he might take on, beware of grout haze!

Black Limestone Patio After Cleaning Ashford

Professional Restoration of a Black Limestone Patio in South Kent

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