These photos of a Slate Patio were taken in 2019 at a property in Wantage. It’s an excellent example of the transformation that can be achieved with stone patios and given the current situation something we would like to do more of.
Although structurally sound the stone looked bleached by the weather and the owner of the property wanted the patio to look like it did when it had been first laid with the colour and character of the Slate restored.
I called in to do site visit to take a closer look. The patio was situated in a sunny spot, so had indeed been bleached by the weather. I discussed what we could do to restore the tiles and they were very happy to go ahead with my quote. We booked to return the following week weather permitting.
Incidentally Wantage is an historic market town that was part of Berkshire, but it has been administered as part of the Vale of White Horse district of Oxfordshire since 1974. The town is situated around 8 miles from Abingdon, with Reading, Newbury and Oxford nearby.
Deep Cleaning a Slate Patio in Wantage
It was a large patio, so I did the work in sections starting with the application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak in for ten minutes. This is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser that can be diluted at varying strengths, its effective on mildew and algae in areas that have been neglected or subjected to heavy use. Tile Doctor have numerous products that could have been used to renovate stone patio including a dedicated Patio Cleaner which is something I considered using if I needed extra cleaning power.
After ten minutes the solution was scrubbed into the patio with a rotary floor scrubber fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This action lifted the dirt and previous coatings out of the stone turning the cleaning solution into a dark slurry. The slurry was rinsed off and extracted with a wet vacuum.
I then gave the patio an Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to further clean up the stone and disperse any residues, after another rinse with water the patio was dried with a wet vacuum. This product is a cleaner designed to penetrate below the surface to remove light grout smears (grout haze), mineral deposits, rust stains and efflorescence. We also use this product for the removal of most hard water stains, lime deposits and soap scum, it is very effective especially when used in conjunction with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Our client had not realised quite how dirty the patio had been!
Sealing a Slate Patio in Wantage
To apply the sealer, I had to wait for a weather window when it would be dry for a few days. I know from experience that applying a sealer to damp stone results can lead to an inconsistent result that customers are rarely happy with.
After returning, I started the sealing process with the application of a pre-sealer called Tile Doctor Stone Oil which soaks into the stone and adds the deep colour the slate really needed. Once this was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to lock in the Stone Oil and add protection.
The Slate patio was completely transformed and needless to say, the owner of the property was very pleased with the result. They were looking forward to using the space and entertaining friends and family.