Bleach-Damaged Slate Poolhouse Tiles Restored in Oundle

This very nice house in a village near Oundle in Northamptonshire features something we don’t see too often in residential property – an indoor swimming pool. The pool is surrounded by some very complementary and rustic looking Slate tiles which act as the flooring in the poolhouse.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village Before Cleaning

However, over the years, the Slate tiles had been badly damaged by the chlorine bleach which is used to sterilise the pool water. The cumulative effect of people splashing water onto the tiles or walking around wet on the floor had caused the sealant to break down and the bleach had left a white blotchiness on the stone. I was asked to rectify the situation by deep cleaning the tiles, resurfacing some of the damaged stone, and applying a fresh sealant.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village Before Cleaning

Cleaning Bleach-Damaged Slate Tiles

My first course of action in restoring these tiles was to clean the entire floor using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline-based cleaner for most types of natural stone. This product was scrubbed into the tiles using a stiff brush fitted to a rotary machine. After cleaning, I rinsed the floor with fresh water and used a wet vacuum to soak up the resulting slurry. Although the pool was protected with a cover I had to take care not to allow any of my cleaning water to contaminate the pool.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning

The process was effective in removing most of the white calcium deposits caused by the bleach, but not all of them. I tackled the more embedded stains with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids which treats stubborn smears such as these. The gel was brushed onto the tiles and left to dwell for 15 minutes, and then agitated using a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine.

After rinsing the floor again, I found that there were yet still stubborn stains remaining that didn’t respond to chemical cleaning. I decided that removing these would necessitate a more aggressive approach, and so used a set of diamond-encrusted burnishing pads to literally remove the damaged layer of stone and resurface the face of some of the badly damaged tiles.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village During Cleaning

Sealing Slate Tiles

The tiles were left to dry overnight after being cleaned and repaired. The next day, I returned to the property to applying the fresh sealant. For this I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a sealant which impregnates the stone to provide maximum protection and enhances its natural colours.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village After Cleaning

The customer was very impressed with the result and was very much keen to make sure the tiles remained in such good condition, so I made sure to provide the groundsman with instructions on routine maintenance.

Slate Tiled Pool Surround Oundle Village After Cleaning

I informed him that each time the pool is used the entire area needs to be hosed and brushed down as no sealer can withstand continuous exposure to chlorine bleach. I also left a complementary tin of Colour Grow sealant with him for periodic top-ups, as well as information on the yearly maintenance plan we offer at Tile Doctor.
 
 

Professional Removal of Calcium Deposits from Slate Pool House Tiles in Northamptonshire

Annual Maintenance of a Victorian-Era Quarry Tiled School Floor in Oundle

It was back in 2013 that I first visited this school in Oundle to attend to a 150-year old Victorian Quarry tiled floor which, at the time, had extensive problems with damp and a poor performing sealer that had gradually peeled away.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Oundle School in 2012

Over a few weeks, we successfully stripped away the old and ineffective sealant and addressed the damp issues, before applying a breathable sealer. We subsequently allowed the tiles to successfully dry out for several months before returning to the school to provide a light clean and apply our topical sealer, known as Tile Doctor Seal and Go, as the school required a shiny, yet hard-wearing finish.

I posted a story on my website about this original job, which you can see here:

150 Year Old Quarry Tile Restoration in Northants School

As part of my initial visit, I had supplied the school with five litres of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is a pH neutral formula designed for regular use, and a white buffing pad. I had also spent an hour with their in-house cleaner (who was already familiar with using a buffing machine) to talk through daily maintenance of the floor, as over 100 children can be walking over these floors at any one time on an almost daily basis.

Of course, not every floor will receive this amount of traffic and suffer from this level of wear and tear, but in these situations Tile Doctor can offer a maintenance plan for our customers.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Oundle School in 2013

Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiles for Maintenance

The school have me back annually to carry out a full maintenance clean and seal. This involves, firstly, etching the top coats of sealant with a green diamond-encrusted burnishing pad to remove any build-up of dirt and staining. Then, I rinse the whole floor with fresh water and soak up the residue with a wet vacuum.

After drying the area with fans, I proceed to reapply two fresh coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This is now my fourth year of visiting the school and, as the photos show, an annual maintenance plan is the best way to keep floors in top condition without the disruption caused by a full clean or restoration.

Victorian Quarry Tile After Maintenance Oundle School in 2017

Contact your local Tile Doctor consultant about the maintenance plan we offer for any natural stone flooring after an initial clean.
 
 

Professional Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Maintenance at a School in Oundle