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

Pitted Jerusalem Limestone Floor Renovated in York

Jerusalem Stone is a pale variety of Limestone that comes from Israel and is available in different colours. It’s a high-quality material that has been used in construction for thousands of years however like all Stone used as flooring, it benefits from being sealed to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone.

Jerusalem Limestone Before Cleaning York

This ground floor of this house in the historic walled city of York had around 60 metres of Jerusalem Limestone installed throughout the kitchen area and some adjacent steps. Its appearance had degraded with use and was now looking flat, dirty and generally uninviting. Additionally, the customer didn’t like the natural pitting in the stone which proved to be a trap where dirt became ingrained making it more difficult to clean.

Jerusalem Limestone Before Cleaning York

I surveyed the floor and discussed the process required to restore the floor including restoration work to fill the pitting. I also worked out a price which was agreed and booked a date in the diary for the work to be done.

Cleaning and Filling a Jerusalem Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first task was to fill the holes using three different colours of grout. The floor was a mixture of shades, so I chose the best match based on the different colours in the stone. This work was tedious and a little slow but worked well and I was very pleased with the result. I come from a Tiling background so am quite used to working with grout in this manner.

Jerusalem Limestone Before Filling York Jerusalem Limestone After Filling York

Next the floor was deep cleaned with the 400, 800 and 1500 grit diamond burnishing pads fitted to a weighted floor buffer and lubricated with water. The pads are applied in sequence starting with the 400-grit pad first and the soil generated is rinsed off with water in-between. This process removes grease marks, old sealers, ingrained dirt and builds the polished finish of the limestone. I also used a hand-held burnishing block on the steps to get into the intricate corners.

The grout was particularly dirty and was cleaned by hand using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush and the soil rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. This product is a multi-purpose cleaner and degreaser and it really gets to work on the hard to shift build-up of dirt, grime and grease.

The floor was left to dry off overnight, the lovely warm weather was a blessing as the floor was pretty large, thankfully we didn’t need to install any driers on this occasion.

Jerusalem Limestone During Grout Cleaning York

Sealing a Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day to finish the polishing with the final 3000-grit pad applied with a little water sprayed onto the tile. once done I tested the floor with a damp meter to make sure it was nice and dry and ready for sealing. The filled areas were looking particularly good, eliminating the issue the customer was having with dirt getting stuck in them.

To seal the Jerusalem Limestone and protect it from ingrained dirt I used two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t alter the appearance of the stone. As well as providing the natural no-sheen look that the customer wanted it will provide stain protection and is recommended for food preparation areas such as kitchens. It also was excellent for sealing the grout and the areas I had filled.

Jerusalem Limestone After Cleaning York

The customer was very happy with the result and couldn’t believe how fast we had worked to restore the floor. She was relieved it would now be much easier to clean and maintain.

Jerusalem Limestone After Cleaning York

 

Source: Limestone Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in York