This Slate patio that had been installed at a property in Brentford one year prior to our visit last year. It had not been sealed after installation and as you can see from the pictures it was now looking very tired after a very short period. Additionally, the pointing had not been cleaned off the slate entirely leaving a haze over the stone which detracted from its appearance.
I explained the process to tackle the grout haze, clean the Slate then finally seal it. I worked out a quote which was accepted, and a date scheduled for my return to complete the work which would take a couple of days.
Cleaning a Slate Tiled Patio in Brentford
My first task was to sweep up all the detritus that typically builds up on a patio, especially grit and small stones which can get caught in the cleaning pads and scratch the surface of the stone.
Once that was done it was time to tackle the grout haze. This was done by applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to the slate and scrubbing it in with a heavy-duty scrubbing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This product is specifically designed to remove excess grout and cement from the surface of tile and contains concentrated phosphoric acid. You need to be very careful with the use of acids on stone as it can cause surface etching if left on too long. In addition, I wouldn’t recommend the use of the brick acid products you typically find in DIY stores which are stronger and are likely to cause damage.
Once satisfied all the soil and haze had been released from the stone the patio was rinsed off with water and the soil extracted away with a wet vacuum.
The next step was to seal the stone however it would need to be dry before that could happen. Fortunately, I had managed to find a couple of days where the weather was unseasonably warm and for once it hadn’t rained for a while. So, the next day I was able to return and apply a sealer to help protect the patio.
Sealing a Slate Tiled Patio Floor
I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow for this, it’s an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone which would otherwise become occupied by dirt. Tile Doctor Colour Grow is also rated for external as well as internal use and enhances the dark tones in the Slate. Additionally, It should cope well with the weather in this part of the UK as long as we don’t see a really severe drop in temperatures over the winter.
Two coats of Colour Grow were applied to the slate which restored the floor to a nice dark charcoal colour. The client was extremely pleased with the outcome and were keen to recommend us to their friends.
For aftercare the Patio should be regularly hosed down to keep the grit and debris from accumulating and for cleaning I recommended using Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a pH neutral product which is safe to use on sealed Stone.