Black Limestone Patio Ruined by Brick Acid Restored in Berkshire

Black Limestone has become very popular in recent years, unfortunately however we find installers ruin its appearance with the use of unsuitable cleaning products. This was the case with this relatively new property in Highclere Village near Newbury in Berkshire.

Black Limestone had been installed throughout the exterior by a landscaping company, but the owner wasn’t satisfied with they had left the stone. It turns out they used brick acid to wash away the remaining residue that had been left from a messy installation. Limestone is acid sensitive, and this resulted in the stone being stripped of its natural oils that give it the rich black colour. The stone now looked very grey, bland and was extremely porous. It certainly wasn’t how the client expected the patio to look.

Black Limestone Paved Steps Before Renovation Highclere Village

I visited the house and conducted a test in a small inconspicuous area. Luckily the Limestone hadn’t been sealed which was fortunate as stripping back exterior stone sealers can be a very time-consuming process. After the demo was completed the client was very satisfied and a provisional date was booked in. The client was eager to have the Black Limestone patio looking lovely ready for the summer weather, but we would need a dry day to be able to complete the work.

Black Limestone Paving Before Renovation Highclere Village

Highclere is a village situated in the North Wessex Downs, an area of natural outstanding beauty. It is also home to Highclere Castle, which has been used in many films and TV series, including Downton Abbey.

Renovating Black Limestone Patio Tiles

The first job was to remove all the surface dirt that had built up on the surface of the stone since it had been laid. I did this using a cleaning and extraction system that’s run from my vehicle. It’s a high-pressure cleaner with long hoses that can clean and extract dirt keeping things as mess free as possible. Once the area was cleaned the stone was left to bake and dry out in the hot sun.

Later that afternoon I conducted several moisture tests with a damp meter. The readings were good so I was happy the stone was dry, and I could move onto the next stage of re-oiling the stone. I used Tile Doctor Stone Oil for this purpose, it’s a conditioning product that penetrates the stone and revives the colour. Two coats were applied throughout and any excess oil that hadn’t penetrated the stone was buffed off. The oil was then left to cure overnight.

Sealing a Black Limestone Patio

I returned the next day and was very pleased how the Limestone looked, the rich colour was now showing. The oil had cured, and the stone was ready to seal. Two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal were applied to seal the stone. Rated for external use Ultra-Seal works by occupying the pores in the stone thereby preventing dirt from become ingrained there. This product doesn’t change the appearance of the stone, resulting in a completely natural look.

Black Limestone Paving After Renovation Highclere Village

My client was over the moon with how her Black Limestone now looked and left the following feedback: “Dennis oiled and sealed our newly laid black limestone paving. He transformed it from grey and stained looking into a beautiful black even colour. He takes great pride in his work and I would recommend him highly.”

Black Limestone Paved Steps After Renovation Highclere Village

 

Source: Black Limestone Patio Restoration Service in Highclere, Berkshire

Deep Cleaning a Filthy Limestone Tiled Kitchen

Recently I visited a client in the town of Maidenhead, Berkshire who needed assistance restoring a very dirty pitted Limestone tiled floor which had suffered over the years due to poor maintenance choices. The pressures of a busy family life had, understandably, prevented my client from undertaking regular cleaning and the products and methods used for cleaning were by and large unsuitable for this type of natural stone. In addition, the pits in the tiles had been filled with grout; however, they were not flush to the tile and therefore a large amount of soil had collected in the pockets. The result was a Limestone tiled floor in considerably poor condition that was increasingly difficult to keep clean.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Maidenhead Limestone Floor Before Cleaning Maidenhead

My client had tried and tried to get the floor clean, using methods such as scrubbing with toothbrushes, steam cleaners, and mopping – but they weren’t getting anywhere! I explained to my client that steaming is, in fact, one of the worst cleaning systems to use on natural stone floors. Steam not only damages sealers, it also thins out greasy soils. Some of these soils are absorbed onto the domestic microfiber pads, however a lot of the soil becomes thinner allowing it to penetrate deeper into the pours of the stone and grout. This in itself starts the vicious circle to rapidly soiled and dirty tiles and grout. This happens because the grease soils magnetise dirt!

Solution: cleaning a Limestone tiled floor

My first task in the cleaning process was to mix a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner. This solution was applied liberally across the entire Limestone tiled floor and grout. It was allowed to dwell for 30-40 minutes, giving it time to seep into the stone to get underneath and lift the ingrained dirt to the surface. During this time, I scrubbed the grout lines using a specialist stiff grout brush. The Limestone tiles were then scrubbed with heavy mechanical rotary agitation machine.

Limestone Floor During Cleaning Maidenhead Limestone Floor During Cleaning Maidenhead

I then gave the floor a thorough rinse using the latest in cleaning and capture technology, which involves firing hot water at high pressure in a spinning motion across the floor, in effect blasting away the ingrained soils from the grout and pitting in the limestone. The high pressure is delivered from a system mounted inside my van which also contains waste tanks to capture the extracted soiled water.

Solution: sealing a Limestone tiled floor

After being allowed to dry thoroughly for 24 hours, I returned to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which would have brought out the deep colours in the stone, however after discussing the options with the client it became clear that they wanted to keep the floor looking as light as possible so Tile Doctor Ultra Seal was applied. Ultra Seal is a natural look impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone and protects it from within.

Limestone Floor After Cleaning Maidenhead Limestone Floor After Cleaning Maidenhead

The floor now looks fantastic and the sealer should ensure it remains looking that way for some time to come and before leaving I made sure to provide my client with some professional maintenance advice.
 
 
Source: Limestone Floor Cleaning and Sealing service in Berkshire

Refreshing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen

This wonderful Limestone tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house near the town Staines where it had become dirty and tired, helped I might add by the customers dog who loved to swim in rivers and get muddy at every opportunity. The customer was struggling to clean the floor, the grout lines wouldn’t come clean and after spending hours scrubbing with a tooth brush and getting nowhere she called Tile Doctor.

Deep Cleaning the Limestone Tiled Floor

The floor was clearly in need of a deep clean and re-seal a very mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean applied liberally across the floor and allowed to dwell and penetrate through the soils engrained into the grout. The grout lines were scrubbed with a specialist grout brush to release the soil and a rotary machine with a nylon deck scrubbing brush was used to release the soils from the Limestone tiles.

After approximately half an hour of scrubbing, the Limestone floor was extraction cleaned using our truck mounted clean and capture system. This system combines heat, pressure, and vacuum extraction to gently blast engrained soils away from the limestone and the grout lines.

To get the Limestone really clean a two pad diamond burnishing process was used; normally we use four pads however the customer did not want the stone to be too shiny and reflection was already starting to happen after the second pad had been applied. Using diamonds to refinish calcium stone such as marble, travertine and limestone is the modern chemical free solution to restoring the surface of sedimentary stones.

Sealing the Limestone Floor

After deep clean and refinishing the surface of the limestone, it was allowed to dry for a period of 36 hours, after this a liberal coat of Colour Grow which is a solvent based impregnator was applied to the stone. The sealer was allowed to sit on the surface of the stone for approximately 5 minutes before the excess was buffed away. Buffing the excess away is important to ensure a great, smear free finish.

Before leaving we recommended a system to care for the floor to ensure is continues to look as good as the day we left. Also we recently contact the client to check everything was ok and I’m proud to confirm they are still really pleased with the floor and after professional cleaning and sealing is now finding the floor is much easier to clean and maintain herself.
 
 
Source: Stone Floor Cleaning and Polishing in Berkshire

Putting the Shine Back on Water Damaged Limestone Tiles

This 50 m2 Limestone tiled floor at an old thatched cottage in Slough had unfortunately been stained following a radiator system leak which covered the tiles in dirty radiator water and sludge. The limestone tiles had been laid on a floor without a screed damp proofing membrane which resulted in the release of efflorescent mineral salts rising up through the stone from the soil beneath. This left a constant layer of reforming fine salt on the surface of the stone which looked like fine dust. The water had also damaged the surface of the stone leaving patches of dull etched stone next to clean polished areas.

Waterleak Stains on Limestone Tiles Slough Before Cleaning Waterleak Stains on Limestone Tiles Slough Before Cleaning

Stripping the Limestone Tiled Floor

To encourage the stone to dry out thoroughly we left a number of dehumidifiers in the room for a week and increased the room temperature. Once the stone was dry, it stopped releasing effloresce salts and we were able to restore the surface polish by burnishing the floor.

Waterleak Stains on Limestone Tiles Slough During Cleaning
Burnishing involves stripping back the Limestone surface using a set of burnishing pads, these diamond encrusted pads come in a number of grades and each one does a different job. I started with the coarse pad together with water removed the slurry with a wet vacuum, rinsed the floor and then carried on with the medium, fine and super fine pads using the same processes until the surface was polished again. Finally when I had dried the floor I used a green buffing pad to buff the floor up.

Sealing the Limestone Floor

The next step was to seal the Limestone with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will provide a durable protective sealer against future staining. The result was an even, polished limestone tiled floor with a durable sealing to protect against future soiling and staining.

Waterleak Stains on Limestone Tiles Slough After Cleaning Waterleak Stains on Limestone Tiles Slough After Cleaning

Source: Residential and Commercial Tile Cleaning Services in Berkshire

Antalya Limestone Tile Restoration

I don’t mind a few stairs but these Antalya Limestone tiles were installed in a flat at the top of a three storey residential block in Reading with no lift. The sealer had worn down over time which was making the floor hard to clean and always looking dirty.

Cleaning a Limestone Tiled Floor

To clean the floor we applied a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaning product specially designed for cleaning stone floors. This was left to dwell for a while and then agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a Black Scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was then rinsed down with fresh clean water.

Antalya Limestone During Cleaning

Limestone Tiled Floor Polishing

We used a set of diamond encrusted Twister Burnishing Pads fitted to a rotary buffing machine to polish the Limestone floor. These pads are ideal for restoring the shine on hard stone surfaces such as Limestone and Marble, the come in a set of four and you start with the Red pad together with plain water and this cuts through and removes surface grime and any surface seal. You then progress through one by one until you get to the final Green pad which provides a high polish.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

Once the floor was dry I sealed it using two coats of Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a penetrating sealer that provides a natural look and will help protect the floor going forward.

Antalya Limestone After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Restoring Antalya Limestone Tile in Berkshire