Green Indian Limestone Patio Treated for Heavy Staining in Windermere

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.
 
 

Deep Cleaning a Stained Indian Limestone Patio in the Lake District

Victorian Black and White Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Windermere

This job was at a house in near Windermere in South Cumbria, a place which is very popular amongst tourists to the Lake District. My client had a Black and White Victorian tiled floor in dire need of a clean and re-seal.

Victorian Black and White Tiles before cleaning and sealing Windermere

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

Prior to the application of any cleaning products, my first task was to run damp tests to make sure there were no inherent damp problems. With old floors of this type it’s good to know if there is a damp problem as this will affect the choice of sealer and also the length of time the floor requires to dry.

Fortunately, there were no damp issues present, and I was able to proceed however had the floor been damp and being December I would have offered to carry out the clean and seal in the Summer, when the water tables were lower and the damp levels would be more settled, thus creating a better environment for the sealer to operate in.

I started cleaning the Victorian tiles with Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a product which breaks down old sealers in preparation for a fresh seal to be applied. The product is diluted with water and then scrubbed into the floor with a scrubbing pad fitted to rotary machine; the resulting slurry is then removed using a wet vacuum.

Next step was to apply Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was applied liberally to the floor, left to dwell for a short period and then agitated with a black scrubbing pad to lift out the ingrained dirt. I also paid special attention to cleaning the grout lines with a stiff scrubbing brush. The floor was then rinsed with clean water, and the resulting residue was extracted using a wet-vac machine.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

After the cleaning was completed, the tiles were left for a couple of days to allow them ample time to dry. Upon my return to the house I checked the damp levels again and then applied two coats of the impregnating, colour enhancing sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow which gives the black tiles more depth of colour, along with the robust surface seal and Matt finish my client had requested.

Victorian Black and White Tiles after cleaning and sealing Windermere

My client was exceptionally pleased the results – but really, the photographs speak for themselves.
 
 

Professional Victorian Floor Restoration in the Lake District

Black and White Terrazzo Tiled Floor Refinished in Windermere

For this job, I paid a visit to the bustling town of Windermere in South Cumbria. My client asked me to refinish a black and white Terrazzo tiled entrance and hallway floor. Terrazzo if you’re not familiar is a very interesting and beautiful stone of Italian origin, which has been used for flooring in houses for centuries.

We had previously quoted to do the work on this floor however the customer has also received a quote from another firm in Glasgow and had chosen to go with them solely because they were more expensive. However, it stands to reason that the most expensive companies are not always the best quality and Tile Doctor prides itself on the amount of customer feedback we display on our websites which we believe is a far better indicator.

On the arranged day no one from the Glasgow firm showed up and after following up with the firm a young man in his early 20s arrived five hours late and began work on the floor. According to the customer he spent three days attempting to complete the job, but ran out of time and asked the client to apply the sealer themselves. The client applied the sealer, but as she had never done it before the floor turned out blotchy in appearance and she was far from happy.

Black and White Terrazzo Tiles Before Cleaning Windermere

To cut a long story short, my client complained to the Glaswegian company, after all she had paid for a full service and not received it. Unable to get a satisfactory conclusion from them she decided to call in Tile Doctor to put the matter right. I must point out that although I have included before and after photos one this post it’s really difficult to appreciate the extent of the problem without seeing the floor in real life.

Re-Applying Sealer to a Terrazzo tile floor

To resolve the sealer, and to provide my client with the polished finish she had originally wanted, I burnished the floor using a set of four Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Each of the four pads has a different grit: I first applied the coarse pad and worked my way through medium, fine and eventually very fine using a little water to lubricate and rinsing the floor between each pad to remove any residue; after the burnishing process was complete I gave the entire floor a final, thorough wash.

I then used a wet-vac machine to extract the water and get the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the day and allowing it to fully dry completely overnight, it’s very important that the floor is as moisture free as possible before being sealed as it can affect the final result.

The next day I returned to the house and sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer that really accentuates the look of the black and white tiles.

Black and White Terrazzo Tiles After Cleaning Windermere

Now that the problem has been resolved, my client is very happy with the condition of her Terrazzo tiled entrance and hallway floor.

Black and White Terrazzo Tiles After Cleaning Windermere

 
 

Burnishing and Sealing Black and White Terrazzo tiles in Cumbria

Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Sealed in Windermere

I recently paid a visit to Windermere in the Lake District to clean and re-seal a Victorian Tiled hallway floor. The customer wanted the shine putting back on the Victorian tile and some tile grout had become loose and needed replacing.

Victorian Tiled Floor Windermere Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Windermere Before Cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles

On arrival I set up my tools and covered any areas that needed protecting against water. Once that was done I started to strip the floor of any remaining sealer using Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coatings and sealer remover product that is safe to use on tile, stone and grout. Working in small areas the product was scrubbed into the tile and then washed it off with water using a wet vacuum to remove the soiled solution. This process was repeated until the whole floor was clean, there were a few stubborn areas and for these I mixed the Remove and Go 50/50 with Nano Tech Ultra Clean which adds tiny abrasive particles into the solution to make a more effective product. The process of scrubbing the floor made me realise that the loose grout problem was greater than first thought and some tiles need re-laying so I decided to come back and do this the next day, before leaving however I gave the floor a thorough rinse to ensure any trace of cleaning product was removed.

Grouting Victorian Tile

The next day I arrived and fixed all the loose tiles, my preference is to use the Mapei range of tile adhesives and grout, in fact the grout comes in a range of colours which is very useful if your filling in holes in travertine etc. One the adhesive had gone off I began to grout them in including those areas where the grout was missing or become loose. The last step was to wash off the grout from the tile surface and making sure it was all tidy for the next day.

Victorian Tiled Floor Windermere During Cleaning

Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles

On the third day I returned to the house and after verifying the floor was dry with a damp tester and the grout had hardened I started sealing the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go putting on thin coats which took about twenty minutes to dry, in total seven coats were applied which gave the floor the nice shine the customer was after.

Victorian Tiled Floor Windermere After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Windermere After Cleaning

This job took me three days in total and after I had finished we discussed how to maintain the appearance and increase the longevity of the sealer by using a Neutral Cleaning product which unlike many acidic cleaners does not eat away at the sealer.

NB..Reproduction Victorian Tiles can be difficult to source so if you’re looking for replacements contact www.KendalTileandStone.co.uk who stock a good range.

Cleaning and Sealing Victorian Tiles in Cumbria

Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiles in Windermere

A Kendal Tiles customer from Windermere called me in to take a look at their Multi Coloured Chinese Slate tiled kitchen floor which was looking very dirty with ingrained stains and marks on the stone from spills etc. that were proving difficult for the customer to clean. The brief was to give the floor a deep clean, remove the stains and make it easier for them to maintain thereafter. On inspection I could see the sealer had broken down, which is why the slate was getting stained and hard to clean. I did a test area on the slate and grout to show them how it could look and it came up really well so the signed my Work survey form and booked me in to do the work.

Slate Tile Floor Cleaning Before Slate Tile Floor Cleaning Before

Cleaning Slate Floor Tiles

On my arrival I covered the wood and carpet in the kitchen and hallway to protect it then started on removing what was left of the old sealer with Tile Doctor Remove and Go; I sprayed it on working in small areas and activated it with a brush making sure I scrubbed well around the areas of slate that are risen as in this slate its uneven and then washed it off using a wet vacuum to remove the soiled solution. It was very satisfying to watch the tiles come back to life with bright colours, I kept at it all day until all the Slate tiles were clean and the sealer was fully removed, I then scrubbed all the grout joints to make sure they were all clean then I washed all the floor down before I left ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing Slate Floor Tiles

The next day I sealed the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go to protect and enhance the tile putting on five coats before it was fully sealed. I used an industrial air blower to help it dry quicker as the house owner had a dog and I did not want any paw prints in my work. Below is a photograph of the end results in which you can see the natural colours have come back to life.

Slate Tile Floor Cleaning After

This job took me two days and the owner was extremely happy with the result, I also spent time to explain a maintenance program discussing how to clean the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which has a low PH and not an off the shelf supermarket cleaner which being mildly acidic can break down the sealer and reduce its life.
 
To Buy These Multi Coloured Chinese Slate tiles contact Kendal Tile and Stone.

Restoration of Slate Floor in Windermere