After weeks of wet weather - and, for many, a fair covering of snow - our patios are looking rather worse for wear. And, whilst it may seem a little bit early to brave the cool temperatures, now’s the perfect time to get your patio ready for spring. In our latest blog, we look at the most important steps and recommend the best treatments for cleaning and protecting pavers – and tackling specific issues:
A thorough sweep
First of all, remove furniture and pots and give the surface a thorough sweep to remove leaves, organic growth, dirt and debris. Pay attention to accumulation in grout joints and any hidden areas.
A deep down clean
To properly remove stains and ingrained dirt from all types of natural and engineered stone (including porcelain), we recommend a thorough wash with LTP Grimex. A blast with a jet wash may seem like a much quicker and easier option but it will only wash dirt off the surface. Stone pavers – especially limestone and sandstone - are porous and a specialist treatment will react with stubborn, ingrained residue and organic matter, drawing it out of the stone’s porosity.
How to apply LTP Grimex:
- To remove mild staining, dilute one part of Grimex with 10 parts of warm water. Wash the surface thoroughly, using a brush or yard broom, and rinse with clean water.
- For more severe staining, dilute one part of Grimex with 3 parts of warm water. Agitate with a scrubbing brush and leave to act for 5-10 minutes, adding more solution to keep the surface wet.
- Sweep up any residue and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
Removing black spot and slippery matter
If your patio is prone to black spot, lichen, moss and algae, it’s worth targeting this now too. Periodic treatment with LTP Blackspot & Algae Remover will break down microspores and black spot ‘hyphae’ before they colonise within the stone. LTP Blackspot is acid-free, so it’s safe to use on all types of paving, even acid-sensitive stone. However, it does contain a bleaching action to remove stains, so always carry out a test on an inconspicuous area first.
How to apply LTP Blackspot & Algae Remover:
- Apply neat Blackspot onto pavers with a plastic watering can or light pressure garden spray.
- Leave to absorb for 2-4 hours; the product will begin to fizz as it gets to work.
- Hose off thoroughly with clean water.
Stopping water ingress
- Once you’ve cleaned your pavers and they’re dry, it’s an ideal time to replace any lost jointing sand or cement mortar. This will stop the ingress of water and will help protect paving during the freeze and thaw cycle next winter.
Added protection for the seasons ahead
If your patio hasn’t been sealed, consider applying a protective treatment. We recommend LTP External Stone Sealer for natural stone and our new barrier treatment, LTP Porcelain Tile Protector for matt porcelain pavers. Both are non-film forming and will help prevent the absorption of moisture and organic particles, reducing staining and the spread of algae, mould and black spot.
LTP External Stone Sealer is a water-based, impregnating sealer that’s applied using a foam roller or paint brush, as shown in the Video Aid. It can be applied over residual moisture and it will protect pavers from stains, weathering, damp and efflorescence. It’s also UV resistant and non-yellowing. LTP Porcelain Tile Protector creates a barrier against organic matter and makes ongoing maintenance easier. On newly laid tiles, it also protects against staining and helps increase working times of grouts and jointing compounds. Our External Porcelain Tile guide includes lots of useful information on cleaning, protecting and caring for these surfaces.