This Limestone patio had been poorly sealed, resulting in a lack of protection from weather and the general wear and tear of nature. As such, the patio was in need of a thorough clean, and any remaining sealer stripped off and replaced. In addition, the pointing between the Limestone tiles was crumbling, and in places the stone was marked by oil spots. The patio was installed at a house in Ipswich, Suffolk which incidentally is considered to be one of, if not the oldest town in England. I knew the Limestone tiles would be difficult to clean, especially after being exposed to dirt and wear for so long so I figured this would take some time to resolve.
Removing tough stains and dirt from a Limestone patio
My first step was to give the patio an initial rinse with clean water in order to remove any loose debris. Following this, I mixed up an equal cleaning solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and NanoTech HBU. Pro-Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner which can be used on a variety of natural stone floors, whilst NanoTech HBU (formerly known as Ultra Clean) is specifically designed to tackle the heavy build-up of dirt and stains. It does this by using nano-sized particles to penetrate beneath tough stains to dissolve and lift them out.
As you can see from the photographs, the combination of the two cleaning products was highly effective. After completing the cleaning, I left the house for two days to allow plentiful time for the patio to dry completely, and therefore ready to be sealed.
Sealing a Limestone Patio with Stone Oil
Fortunately the weather held and I was able to call in as planned and applied Tile Doctor Stone Oil, an easy-to-apply product that adds colour to the stone. I left the floor for a further two days and then returned again to protect the Limestone using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal.
After cleaning and sealing the patio, my final task was to deal with the pointing issue. I replaced any missing pointing and fixed the loose pieces, before colouring the grout using a dark colourant to provide uniformity. This was difficult, but highly rewarding work, as the patio now looks bold and inviting.
My customer was certainly pleased with my work, and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:
“I couldn’t have been more pleased with the service I received from Bruce Copping. He communicated well, was reliable and managed to breathe life back into my very unattractive limestone garden patio that had been excruciating badly sealed by my original contractors…The whole area, which is around 30ft square, now looks fantastic.”