A less common question that we receive is how we’re able to help our customers with maintaining and protecting their external stone work, whether it be a patio or a driveway, or any form of external stone. Bizarre though, many stones we see have uses both internally and externally, take sandstone for instance, hundreds of homes have beautiful Indian sandstone kitchen floors, with loads of vibrant colours running through them, a real focal point of any kitchen, without a doubt…..it’s also incredibly popular to have outside used as a patio, yet people seem to be of the opinion that because it’s outside and open to whatever mother nature can throw at it, they don’t need to look after it. However, it’s equally as expensive as having it fitted in your kitchen, yet you wouldn’t dream of treating your kitchen floor the same as how you treat (or don’t treat) your patio?
We drive past so many properties on a daily basis with stunning looking block paved drives that must have cost an extortionate amount, or we’ll be restoring a lovely Rainbow Sandstone kitchen floor only to look out of the window to see that our client has a sandstone patio as well which is covered in dirt, algae and looks extremely worn out. Why not give your external stone some love as well and protect it from the harsh winters that we seem to be experiencing all too often in the UK?
A lot of people we speak to, or see looking for someone to help clean their patio immediately turn their thoughts to using a pressure washer. They’ve purchased one from the DIY store or hired someone with a high-powered pressure washer to blast the dirt from their drive or patio, leaving it looking new again. GREAT! Or not. Pressure washing works, but does it work as well as you want it to on your precious sandstone patio? In short, no, it doesn’t. It may remove the dirt from the surface and leave you with a lovely looking patio again but in doing so, due to the extreme pressure of the jet, it’s blasting the stone and opening up the surface in the process. The surface will remain “open” if not sealed and will be more susceptible to black spot and a speedy return of all that algae as the algae, a form of bacteria, isn’t being killed, it’s just blasting the top off. Within 6-9 months, you’ll have to get the same company out or pull on your wellies and do it all again, and you know how much of a mess that creates!
We have a slightly different way of approaching external stone, using the same machinery we would use on internal stone but some slightly different products which, when used correctly, will work deep into the stone, killing anything inside instantly, stopping it from returning so quickly and then once we’ve finished restoring the stone and killing off the algae growth or black spot, we’ll apply special seals to the stone to protect it and help fend off the nasties that will contaminate the stone. If you have the luxury of a beautifully coloured stone such as Indian Sandstone or Rainbow Sandstone, we also have some incredible seals that create a darker and denser colour, really bringing out the natural beauty of the stone some more and giving you something that you’ll want to show off at as many summer BBQ’s as possible!
There is nothing wrong with using a pressure washer, but it’s something that you’ll have to have done sooner and sooner each time it’s done. Having it done with a less aggressive approach will keep it looking better for longer and save you the hassle of having to dig your welly boots out from the cupboard or forking out money every 6 months to have someone wash it for you again. Be sure to give us a call this spring/summer to see how we can help you clean, maintain and protect your external stone.
Thanks for reading.
Chris – Head Technician at Powerdean Floor Maintenance.