Restoring a Riven Slate Patio Suffering from Grout Haze in Wollaston

This customer, who lives in Wollaston, a small village in Northamptonshire, called me to look at the unfortunate condition of her Riven Slate tiled patio. She had hired a builder to install it, but he had neglected to remove the grout haze which had occurred quickly enough, allowing it to set. He was subsequently unable to remove the haze because he had already sealed over it. This had left it looking very unsightly, as you can see in the photo below.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Before Cleaning

The customer initially contacted me back in December 2016. At that time, I did explain to the customer that the Winter wouldn’t be an ideal time to restore the patio, and that it would be best to carry out the work in the Spring. However, she was so unhappy with the appearance of the patio and – knowing she had guests coming over for Christmas – wanted something to be done to improve the condition of the tiles as soon as possible.

It was agreed that I would immediately carry out the removal of the old sealer and the grout haze beneath, but leave the re-sealing until the Spring of the following year when the weather was dry. The customer understood that when I returned in the Spring, the patio would require another light clean and brush to prepare it for sealing.

To put the customer’s mind at rest somewhat, I carried out a test clean on one slab of the patio using Tile Doctor impregnating, colour intensifying sealer, known as Colour Grow. This darkened the tile and provided a natural look finish, which was preferred by the customer. I also returned to the property several days later to carry out a water repellency test, but as you can see from the photo below, the rain beat me to it. Thankfully, the repellency test had positive results.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Testi Cleaning

I was then able to begin the cleaning process.

Cleaning and Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Patio

To begin, I removed the old sealer using a strong mix of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a stripper and cleaner. This product was scrubbed into the tiles with a rotary brush machine. Net, I rinsed away the resulting slurry and soaked up the water with a wet vax machine.

This initial clean exposed the true extent of the grout haze – it was over all every tile! My next course of action was therefore to remove this using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a gel cleaner specially formulated to neutralise grout haze. This was allowed to dwell for a short period before I brushed it in.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston During Cleaning

Following this, I gave the whole area a second brush with a small amount of water, before using a wet vax machine once again to make sure all cleaning chemicals were removed. I used the customer’s hosepipe to rinse down the entire patio as there was good drainage.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 2nd Cleaning

I allowed the tiles to dry out naturally, before waited for a dry day in April this year to return to the property. During this day, I sealed the entire area with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to really deepen the colour in the stone and provide the whole patio long-lasting protection against the elements.

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston After 1st Coat

The customer was exceptionally happy to have the patio restored to perfect condition. I’m sure she’ll make great use of it over the Summer!

Newly Laid Riven Slate Patio Wollaston Completed

 
 

Professional Riven Slate Tiled Patio Restoration in Northants

Cleaning and Grouting Sandstone Patio Paving in Kettering

At the start of the year we usually get asked to restore the appearance of patios and other outside areas which have suffered from the staining of autumn leaves and the ravages of winter cold snaps. Most patios are quite straight forward to maintain however when you’re dealing natural stone then it’s best to call in your local Tile Doctor to ensure nothing is applied to the stone that could damage it.

Such was the case with this four-year-old Sandstone Patio at a house in the town of Kettering. Unfortunately, it was not sealed when it was first installed and the combination of weather and UV sunlight had faded the tiles, this together with general soiling had greatly affected the appearance of this beautiful stone and could almost have been mistaken for concrete slabs.

Sandstone Patio Before Cleaned Re-grouted and Sealed Kettering

Maintaining Sandstone Patio Paving

My first course of action was to lightly spray the area with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful tile cleaning product that is safe to use on Stone. The solution was allowed to soak in for a while before being agitated with a brush to bring out the dirt. This was followed by pressure washing with a spinning tool at a medium pressure so as to not damage the stone.

Once dry I re-grouted the entire area and then sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a impregnating breathable product (essential for damp environments) that also enhances the natural colours of the stone.

Sandstone Patio After Cleaned Re-grouted and Sealed Kettering

Within hours of finishing the customer came home and called me straight away to say he couldn’t believe the transformation that was achieved and they looked better than when they were first laid.
 
 

Sandstone Patio Maintenance in Northamptonshire

Stained and Damaged Sandstone Patio Restoration in Rushden

Lichen, moss and other plant-based staining is a common sight on patios exposed to the UK climate. For many property owners, it’s a very difficult task to keep patios looking great in the face of the natural effects of the environment. However always happy to help Tile Doctor is available to provide the professional cleaning and sealing needed on a regular basis.

This Sandstone tiled patio in Rushden was certainly a prime candidate for restoration. Not only was it completely covered in lichen and moss, but it was also cracked in parts and missing grout. The patio would therefore need not only cleaning and sealing, but also re-grouting.

Sandstone patio slabs before cleaning Rushden Sandstone patio slabs before cleaning Rushden

Cleaning a Stained and Damaged Sandstone Patio

To begin the restoration, I opted to power jet wash the entire area to remove as much of the initial layers of moss. Then, I mixed a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a powerful and reliable alkaline cleaner suitable for use on both internal and external natural stone tiles. This was applied liberally to the patio and scrubbed into the stone to cut through the particularly stubborn stains. The two photos below show the fantastic result.

Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden

Re-grouting and Sealing a Sandstone Patio

After completing the cleaning phase, I allowed the patio to dry completely overnight before returning to re-grout the entire area with mortar. To finish off I applied a fresh sealer in the form of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which an acrylic-based, fully breathable sealer appropriate for outside use.

The below pictures show the final result. As you can see, it was a complete transformation – and my very happy customer will agree! With the right products and methods, it’s possible to bring new life back to weathered patios.

Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden Sandstone patio slabs after cleaning Rushden

 
 

Professional Sandstone Patio Restoration Northamptonshire

Slate Patio Tiles Treated for Grout Haze and Sealed in Brackley

Along with internal tiled floors at residential and commercial properties, we also specialise in the cleaning, restoration and sealing of all types of external tiled floors, including patios.

This customer, who lives in the small town of Brackley in Northamptonshire, had made the unfortunate mistake of sealing a brand new Slate tiled patio without removing the layer of grout haze smeared across the surface of the tile first. With the grout trapped between the tile and the new sealant the sealer was unable to fulfil its potential and the entire floor appeared really dull and patchy. The customer contacted me about setting the situation right.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Before Cleaning Brackley

Treating a Slate Tiled Patio for Grout Haze

My initial course of action was to remove the new sealer using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is specially designed to strip away sealant, as well as adhesives and paints in cases where building and decorating works have left the tiles stained. The product was applied liberally across the surface area of the patio and agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a special stripping pad. Of course, this was necessary because the grout haze could not be treated without removing the sealant first. The soiled cleaning solution was promptly soaked up using a wet-vac machine.

Once the tiles were exposed I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in more manageable gel form, all over the patio and allowed it to dwell for ten minutes to begin neutralising the grout haze. I then added a little water and worked the product into the patio with a stiff scrubbing brush and a rotary machine to ensure all grout haze was removed from the surface of the tiles. The remaining slurry was then removed using the wet vacuum, and I rinsed the area twice with plain water to ensure all cleaning products had been removed. It was them left to dry completely.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Being Cleaned in Brackley

Sealing a Slate Tiled Patio

I returned to the property several days later to give the patio a fresh seal now that it was free from grout haze. First, I gave the patio a vacuum and light mop to remove any dust and debris. The customer wanted the tiles as dark as possible, therefore I suggested we use Tile Doctor Stone Oil before sealing, as this would darken the Slate significantly.

Once this was agreed, I applied one coat of Stone Oil, allowed an hour for the product to dry, and then followed this applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is our impregnating, colour enhancing sealant which provides maximum protection against ingrained dirt and stains, as well as a durable no-sheen finish.

Patio Slate Tiles with Grout Haze Removed and Sealed in Brackley

As you can see from the photographs, the Slate tiles experienced an impressive transformation. The fresh sealant, combined with the Stone Oil, really took the appearance of the tiles to a new level and, what’s more, it will be easier for the happy customer to keep it clean in the future.
 
 

Restoring the Appearance of a Natural Slate Patio in Northamptonshire