Just like any other part of your garden periodic maintenance is required to keep your paving looking its best. Care should be taken when maintenance tasks are carried out- using the incorrect technique or cleaning solution can result in permanently damaging your stone or porcelain tile. Transversely using the appropriate cleaning detergent can make light of your patio maintenance tasks. In this guide we cover best practice and tell you the secrets to keeping a patio looking beautiful for years to come.
Why Should I Seal Natural Stone?
Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do to your stone that will prevent it from becoming dirty or suffering from staining. Until we work out some kind of cool invisible force-field system of protecting paving we’re stuck with the tried and tested method of preventing any of these stains becoming permanent – a high quality sealant. Not only will a high quality sealant prevent dirt and marks permanently blighting the look of your stone it will also make your regular maintenance tasks of cleaning the paving much easier.
What Sealant Should I Use?
Not all stone sealants are created equal. We highly recommend using an industry leading sealant such as STAINPROOF by DryTreat. The unique properties of DryTreat’s products not only prevent anything penetrating the stone permanently, they also stop any substances coming back up from the lower portion of the slab, especially efflorescence which can temporarily ruin the look of some paving options. Alternative we provide budget sealant options that still protect your stone much better than if it were left unsealed. These sealants do not generally penetrate into the stone itself and therefore wear away in 1-3 years dependent upon your use of the paving area. Once worn away your stone will be unprotected once more and you’ll have to re-apply the sealant.
Why Do You Recommend Sealing all Sawn Stone Products?
All natural stone is porous, however with a sawn product you have literally opened the surface up, making the pores even more exposed. It’s for this reason that we strongly recommend you seal any sawn stone. This shouldn’t put you off using a sawn product as they are the perfect way of creating a clean contemporary scheme, and with use of a good sealant they are beautiful paving options that you can keep looking fabulous for years into the future.
As boring as it sounds, the best way to keep your paving in sparkling condition is consistent periodic cleaning with clean water and a stiff outdoor brush. Soak the area you wish to clean with fresh water and systematically agitate the surface dirt in sweeping motions. Rinse the dirt away with a hose or, even better, a power-washer and then leave your paving to dry.
Power washing using a jet wash cleaner is a fantastic way to get your patio looking it’s best. Not only can you thoroughly clean both the surface and paving joins you can often do so without the need to use detergents and chemicals. You can power wash your patio by just using the wand-lance however you should take care to maintain a distance of at least 500mm from the surface of the stone – any closer and you risk permanently damaging or etching your paving material. If your paving is extremely dirty or is suffering from ingrained dirt you can achieve excellent results by applying Stone & Masonry Cleaner (from DryTreat) and using an emulsifying pad to agitate the surface areas before jet-washing the detergent and debris away. Remember to maintain a good distance from the paving when using any power-washer at all times.
Detergents & Stone
Using the right cleaning detergent can dramatically improve the look of a soiled patio and in some cases completely restore it. However we always advise you use cleaning detergents with extreme caution as if they are not suitable for the stone you’re applying them to they can permanently damage it. Different stains and afflictions can be removed by different chemicals so you should choose the detergent you use with the specific circumstances of your paving in mind. Efferayza is an excellent choice for Sandstones and is particularly effective for removing efflorescence and rust stains. However as it is acid based it should never be used to clean PH sensitive stone such as Limestone. For a wonderfully effective all purpose cleaning detergent that is safe to use on all types of natural stone and porcelain we recommend Stone & Masonry Cleaner. It’s very easy to use and combats a range of stains extremely effectively. You can safely use it on any paving material. For ultra-stubborn stains you can maximise this cleaning agents power by using it in conjunction with the additive SMC Boost. In general you can use most paving specific cleaning detergents on porcelain tiles. They’re durable surface can with-stand most types of cleaner however we always advise that you read the instructions of any cleaning product in full before use. You should also apply a small amount to a test area that is not too visible before applying cleaner to large areas. If you are at all in doubt on how to approach cleaning your paving then please do contact a member of our sales team who will be more than happy to advise you on the best course of action – it’s what we’re here for.