Black Limestone Patio Renovated in Northamptonshire

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 Northamptonshire

Black Limestone Patio Ruined by Brick Acid Restored in Bromsgrove

A local company in Bromsgrove were commissioned to lay a stunning and expensive Black Limestone patio for a customer who was renovating their property. Unfortunately, the company tried to clean the finished patio with brick acid, and because limestone is generally very porous and acid sensitive this discoloured the tiles to a rather unsightly, dull grey – a far cry from what their customer was expecting!

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Before Restoration Bromsgrove

The company facing a large bill contacted Tile Doctor for expert advice to see if the beautiful tiles could be restored. If Tile Doctor couldn’t come to the rescue, then the company would have no choice other than to replace them at their own expense.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Before Restoration Bromsgrove Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio Before Restoration Bromsgrove

Black limestone paving has become incredibly popular over the last few years as its dark tones suit the current trend for a monochrome palette. It is also hard wearing and readily available.

Tile Doctor specialise in the restoration of all types of tile and stone and as their local agent, I was asked to go over and see what could be done. I realised that the brick acid will have damaged the surface of the stone so to restore it I first tried applying a coarse 200 grit diamond burnishing pad. The pad successfully demonstrated that the appearance could be restored and impressed with the difference the site foreman booked me in to complete the whole patio. Luckily the weather forecast was set fair for a few days, which would be needed to clean and seal the patio.

Restoring an Acid Damaged Limestone Patio

Made with industrial diamonds and available in different sizes and grits, burnishing pads are ideal for restoring the appearance of polished stone floors. The first step was to work on the tiles with a course 200 grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine and lubricated with water. This took off a layer of the limestone, bringing back the original black appearance of the tiles.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio During Diamond Pad Polishing Bromsgrove Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning With CRB Machine Bromsgrove

Next the patio was worked on with 400 grit diamond pads followed by 800 grit pads – the first stage of polishing – and each application was cleaned off with water. Because the property was being renovated there was a lot of dirt on the tiles and grout from construction, so I scrubbed in medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a CRB (counter rotating brush) machine. Once done I rinsed down the area with more water and left it to dry. As you can see from the pictures it was a large area, so this work took two days to complete.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio During Cleaning Bromsgrove

Sealing Limestone Patio Tiles to Restore Colour

I returned the next day to start the sealing process beginning with the application of Tile Doctor Stone-Oil which restores the deep black colour and texture to the limestone, it’s also an impregnating sealer that adds protection and improves mechanical strength once cured.

I allowed this to dry for 24 hours and then applied a coat of Ultra-Seal, a no-sheen natural-looking sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection.

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio After Sealing Bromsgrove

The customer was very happy with the results. The patio tiles were fully restored to their original glory and their customer was delighted. More importantly, the company had been saved from making an insurance claim. They left the following feedback on completion:

“Great job by Kieron after the wrong cleaning solution was used on a patio we installed. Came up better than new!”

Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio After Restoration Bromsgrove Acid Damaged Black Limestone Patio After Restoration Bromsgrove

 
 
Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Birmingham

Dealing with Deep Soiling on a 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 Cleaning and Polishing Service in Cumbria

Protecting Limestone Patios from the Elements

This beautiful Limestone patio had been installed in the back garden of a house in Nuneaton and then covered with some form of acrylic coating to protect it. Unfortunately the coating wasn’t able to defend against the ravages of the UK weather and had become loose leaving the Limestone exposed to the elements where it soon became very grimy.

Limestone Patio Before Cleaning Nuneaton

Stripping acrylic coatings from Limestone tiles

The acrylic coating had to be removed which was done using a combination of manual scraping using a fine blade and then with a 1:4 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was mopped onto the tiles and left for ten minutes to dwell before being scrubbed with a buffing machine fitted with a black pad. This process brought out the dirt that had become ingrained into the stone, there were some stubborn areas and these were treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Gof which is a stronger product. The resultant slurry was removed using a wet vacuum and the patio left to dry overnight.

Limestone Patio During Cleaning Nuneaton Limestone Patio During Cleaning Nuneaton

Sealing a Limestone patio

I came back the second day to seal the patio checking first that it was suitably dry. Two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that can be used internally and externally, it works really on Limestone and did well to bring out the natural colours in the stone.

Limestone Patio After Cleaning Nuneaton Limestone Patio After Cleaning Nuneaton

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Warwickshire