Tips for cleaning natural stone terraces
Natural stone aftercare is simple, you just have to waterproof it once or twice a year. Besides, a special detergent maintains stone surface clean without any influence on waterproofing (which in turn prevents staining).
Here's everything you need to know about cleaning and refurbushing natural stone terraces:
Necessary tools, materials and solutions
An upright stiff broom with soft brushes easily removes dust without scratching the natural stone surface (marble, travertine, granite, slate etc). You can also use the vacuum cleaner, but pay attention to avoid scratching the surface.
A hose connected to a water source is also necessary, because it will help you remove dust and rinse the surface, after using detergents that require rinsing.
The exclusive detergents for natural stone are recommended, because they have slight acid pH that will not influence waterproofing. For travertine flooring, we recommend LTP Floorshine or LTP Waxwash and for an enhanced appearance you should add with each wash a capful of LTP Mattstone, LTP MPG or LTP Colour Intensifier (maintains the waterproofing layer). If you need to remove grease / oil stains (in the dining area or the grill area) we recommend the combination of LTP Fullers Earth and LTP Spot Stain Remover.
A semi-stiff brush helps you with persistent stains. You can also use it for ingrained dirt in the joints.
Housekeeping / surgical gloves protect your hands from the harmful action of chemical detergents.
For complete protection, have a pair of protection goggles at hand. This way you will be able to thouroughly clean your natural stone terrace without irritating your eyed from the fine specks of dust or the volatile substances included in the detergents.
A measuring glass or other special measuring container will be useful for measuring the recommended quantities of detergent. Of course, without plastic bucket and a wash bowl, it is not possible to combine detergents with water, so these are are also needed.
Microfibre cloths and cotton cloths are recommended for polishing after cleaning. Use clean cloths with high absorption power if you want optimum results. You can also use a microfibre mop for better results.
Best tips for a perfect cleaning operation
Carefully study every stain on your terrace for determining its origin and decide on a cleaning procedure. Luckily, since being an outdoor space, you can wash it without problems, however specific grease or smoke-impregnated stains require more than water. We mean the stains next to the barbecue, if you have it on your terrace. Based on the origin of each stain, you will be able to choose the suitable method and solutions to remove it easily.
Sweep the entire surface to get rid of sand, leaves, debris and other residues. Sweep with the broom in one direction and repeat at least once. This procedure will help you remove all residues from cracks or tiles joints. A vacuum cleaner helps this procesure. When you have a travertine flooring, for example, using the vacuum cleaner will clean every speck of dust from the unique travertine surface.
Use a water spray to wipe the dust resulted from sweeping and soften the persistent stains. For grease stains, from grill, use shoud use two solutions from LTP: Fullers Earth and Spot Stain remover. These must be used together: first, apply the liquid solution and give it a few minutes to be absorbed, then apply the dust, for bringing the stain to the surface.
Remember to always wear protective gloves, perhaps even goggles, so you don't hurt your hands from detergent water and avoid the dust that might get into your eyes.
Then, after dealing with the problem areas, you can move on to terrace washing. Use special detergent for natural stone diluted in water (dilution recipe can be found on the package) and then wash tiles with a mop (for flooring) or a soft cloth (for walls / other stone cladded areas). Allow the detergent to react for some minutes and take your time. If you feel necessary, you can wash the area two or three times. Upon finishing, wash the tiles agains with clean water for removing the detergent.
For areas with serious problems (scratched or difficult stains), you can contract a team of experts for cleaning the waterproofed layer (by grinding with a special instrument), then re-grout the joints and then apply the protective layer of waterproofing. Also, pay attention to travertine holes in the surface which might enlarge: holes must be filled with synthetic resin / grout, or a colour pigment similar to the tile.
For further details on choosing the natural stone best suited to your project give us a call at +40318.222.333, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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