Sealing Stone Outside

Limestone, Sandstone, Travertine, Marble, Slate, Granite, concrete:
Regardless of what type of flooring you choose, the likelihood is it will require some form of sealing.

This is because natural stone is porous, and therefore if left unsealed, any moisture will be soaked up by the stone making it very difficult to remove, and potentially leaving the surface permanently stained (sometimes even fallen leaves can cause stains).

The best way to prevent all this is to seal the stone.

When you seal a stone, you are essentially filling any voids or pores of the stone with the sealer. This prevents any further liquid to absorb in to the tile, as demonstrated here with this close up shot of a water droplet on a tile sealed with LTP Mattstone.

When sealing natural stone outside it is important to use a breathable impregnating sealer, this will allow the transition of moisture from underneath.
Examples include LTP Mattstone H20 which will leave the stone looking as it does naturally. And LTP External Stone Sealer which will enhance any natural colour in the stone, both of these are water based breathable sealers and will require 24 hours to cure.

It is important to note that all stones located outdoors are susceptible to a condition known as efflorescence.
This blooming is caused by water moving through the substrate of a material and carrying minerals and salts found in the mortar bed, grout, soil or the stone itself.
We have a blog here all about efflorescence.

Its also very important when laying Natural stone to make sure that its fixed on a full bed of adhesive and not spot fixed.
The end result could look like this if its spot fixed.
Spot fixing issue Sandstone

If this has already happened to your patio, we have a blog here.

When sealing different natural stones, what will vary the most will be how many coats the stone will need before it is fully sealed.
Each stone exhibits different levels of porosity. A tumbled Limestone may have a higher porosity level than a Honed and filled Limestone.

Sealing natural stone with Mattstone H20 

Shake bottle before use.

Test the porosity of your stone with water and a teaspoon, using the LTP porosity test.

Once surfaces are clean and dry, apply the product to the surface evenly using a sealant applicator pad, brush or soft cloth.

When sealing its important not to over apply the sealer and redistribute excess, avoid letting the sealer pool on the surface, as this can cause white marks to appear on the stone when it dries.
On highly absorbent surfaces apply several coats wet-in-wet.
After 15 minutes, remove any excess sealer with an absorbent cloth. Do not allow residues to dry on the surface.
Do not walk on the surface for 3 hours and protect from wet conditions for 3 days.

Sealing Stone With LTP External Stone Sealer.

Shake bottle well before use. Apply evenly to the surface using a foam roller or paint brush. On more absorbent surfaces apply further coats at hourly intervals until the surface is completely saturated. Remove any residual sealer if still visible after one hour

Cleaning Tiles Outside

Before you start sealing your stone it is important to make sure your stone is clean and dry, other wise you will just seal in dirt and grime.

Old layers of sealer, dirt residues and light deposits of organic matter and algae must be removed from the surface and pores of the stone.

This can be done by either using LTP Grimex which is a intensive cleaner or LTP Mouldex Paving Cleaner.

To Clean with LTP Grimex, dilute 1:3 with water, apply to the surface with a sponge or water brush and leave to sit on the surface of the tiles for as long as it takes for the dirt to release. (5-30 minutes depending upon the level of dirt). If areas look as if they are drying out just add a little more solution to keep the area wet.

Agitate the surface with a stiff deck brush after approx 10 minutes (scrubber machines can be used).

Continue to scrub while adding clean water. Remove residues from the surface with water or scrubber machine.

Rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water to remove all remaining residues. Use a power washer if necessary.

Allow the surface at least 24 hours to dry before sealing.

To clean with LTP Mouldex Paving Cleaner, Shake well before use.
Surfaces to be treated should be completely dry before application.
Pour solution undiluted directly onto the pavers and spread out evenly using a sponge or paint brush, Garden sprayers can also be used and leave for a minimum of 1 hour.

Apply a little water and agitate with a stiff Deck brush or emulsifying pad to release the dirt and grime, and then rinse thoroughly using a hose or jet wash.
Some stubborn stains and black spot may require a longer treatment, in which case apply and leave on surfaces overnight. If some black spot remains after treatment, It should fade and disappear after a few days following the treatment. If not: re-apply. Keep pets off at all times during treatment. In case of contact with metals, fabrics and painted surfaces rinse with water immediately. Do not use on warm surfaces. Do not apply if rain is imminent. Avoid contact with ponds & plant life: if contact is made rinse well with plenty of water.

General Maintenance.
Weekly or daily depending on conditions, use a hose and a brush to remove any debris that may be lying on the stone.
Then annually if required use LTP Grimex, this will remove surface dirt and grime, possibly every 6-12 months depending on condition.
Dilute Grimex 1:3 parts water and apply the solution on to the surface and agitate.
Leave for 10 minutes before agitating again and then rinse with water.
Allow 24 hours to dry and then if necessary re-apply a light coat of sealer.

PLEASE NOTE: Always follow the detailed instructions on the product labels. Protect stone surfaces from contact with acidic substances. Do not use abrasive materials on honed or polished stones. Avoid using normal detergents or strong bleach cleaners on sealed surfaces as they will gradually remove the protective seal.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

Preparing Surfaces Before Sealing

All to often we see stone surfaces on busy sites that have been sealed, but not properly prepared before the sealing.

Resulting in sealed in boot prints, milling dust from cutting and grinding, and general dirt and grime.

Initial conditioning and cleaning before sealing is an important part of the protection process and ensures that the open pores of the stone are free from contaminants before filling with sealer.

The simple first step is quite commonly missed out and the consequences of this can lead to inadequate sealing resulting in staining and aftercare issues quite soon after installation.

To avoid these issues use LTP Grimex intensive cleaner.

Dilute 1:10 with water.  Wash down surfaces, rinse with water and then leave overnight to dry before sealing.

The result of this simple first step is deeper penetration of sealer, which will provide longer lasting protection………and of course…….no boot prints!

For more information about LTP visit our website.

LTP Grimex

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee.  Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach.  In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

Problem Solving Black Limestone

We are often contacted in particular about black limestone, the appearance of stains and mineral deposits is not uncommon and occurs with most types of limestone, however the appearance on black limestone or darker stone is more prevalent. This is why it is possible to notice some marks appearing even before sealing. As a naturally occurring chemical reaction it is often difficult to avoid. So this blog is all about some of the different things that can happen, what you can do to prevent it or what you can do to resolve the issues as best you can.

Mineral Stains

Mineral deposit stains on black limstone

Mineral stains are sometimes caused when rain water trickles through sand-cement mortar screeds, toppings and bedding under limestone paving can become moderately alkaline. As this rainwater evaporates, its alkalinity increases until the solution becomes saturated.
This solution then can travel to the surface within the limestone where it starts to deposit solids such as white and grey encrustations of calcium carbonate also known as lime plumes.
To remove the the mineral salts from the surface wash the surface with a mild solution of acid*. This will help disperse the mineral salt deposits from the surface.
LTP Grout Stain Remover is a product suitable for the task, dilute 1 part LTP Grout Stain remover in 4 parts warm water and apply to the surface of the stone. Agitate using an emulsifying pad or similar abrasive pad and then rinse thoroughly with plenty of clean water. Repeat process if necessary.
For more information about LTP Grout Stain Remover please see the Technical Data Sheet.

*N.B Grout stain remover may etch the surface and cause the stone to dry lighter.
If the Limestone is either Honed or Polished do not use LTP Grout Stain Remover and instead use LTP Powerstripper.

Mineral deposits causing a banding effect

Halo Stains & Bands Of Mineral Deposits.

This is caused by trace amounts of sodium and potassium oxides within the Limestone which can also be activated by rain water. Even where rain is slightly acidic, the solutions of these salts in rainwater will gradually become alkaline. Surface wetting and evaporation can produce recurrent patches and bands of dampness known as accumulation zones ( rainwater pooling on the surface where it cannot run off).

Evaporation concentrates the alkaline solutions until they become saturated at the  outer limits or edge of accumulation zones. Further evaporation then causes precipitation, crystallisation and immobilisation of the salt at the surface and in pores immediately below the surface. The resulting bands of distinct pigmentation are halo stains as seen in the image above of Limestone.

Grout & Adhesive Stains.

img_0122

Adhesive Stains On Limestone

Grout and adhesive stains like this appear often, if the stone has been sealed beforehand then the process of removing the residues is easier.
After grouting most of the residues should be taken off with water before it fully dries on the surface. For the removal of most grout residues on Limestone we would recommend using LTP Powerstripper. However on more severe cases as shown in the picture above, using a mild solution of LTP Grout Stain Remover may be more effective.
Grout Stain Remover is an acid based cleaner and will etch any acid sensitive surfaces (Limestone, marble, some sandstones, chrome etc).
We would always recommend to test on a small inconspicuous area first.
LTP Grout Stain Remover Tech Data Sheet.

General Dirt & Grime

If your limestone has been outside for a couple of years, it may have seen better days.
General dirt and grime can be easily removed with LTP Grimex.
Dilute in a bucket of water as per instructions on the back of the bottle, then apply and leave for 10 minutes. Give it a scrub with a deck brush or an emulsifying pad and then rinse with plenty of clean water.
After cleaning allow to dry for 24 hours and then the stone will be ready for resealing.

Protect your Limestone with the correct sealing product.

Sealers used to enhance the appearance and help prevent limestone pavers staining from organic matter outside need to be breathable. LTP Mattstone H20 & LTP Stone Oil are examples of breathable sealers suitable for external use. As well as protecting the stone from staining, breathable sealers will allow the microscopic transition of moisture assisting any trapped moisture to escape through the stone from the mortar and sub surfaces. However, moisture permeating through the stone and sealer to the surface can still dry to leave a calciferous deposit.

Once the stone is thoroughly dry and mineral salt deposits are greatly reduced, general dirt and grime has been cleaned off, reseal the stone with an appropriate limestone sealer. LTP Mattstone H20 is highly effective natural stone sealing solution and is suitable for exterior use. However many of our customers have used LTP Stone Oil after acid washing their stone as it helps to re-enhance and deepen the colour.

Apply LTP Stone Oil to the surface of the stone using a paint brush. Allow it to absorb into the stone and then remove any visible excess from the surface after 45 minutes using an absorbent dry towel. The aim is to completely saturate the stone with as many coats of the sealer as necessary, but do not allow the sealer to dry and leave a film on the surface. Do not apply in direct sunlight.
For more information on how to apply please see the Technical Data Sheet.

LTP Mattstone H20 is applied to the surface with a paint brush, allow to absorb for 15 minutes and then apply a second coat. Remove any visible excess on the surface after 45 minutes.
For more information on how to apply please see the Technical Data Sheet.

 

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicous area before general application. 

Sealing Stone Outside.

Limestone, Sandstone, Travertine, Marble, Slate, Granite, concrete:
Regardless of what type of flooring you choose, the likelihood is it will require some form of sealing.

This is because natural stone is porous, and therefore if left unsealed, any moisture will be soaked up by the stone making it very difficult to remove, and potentially leaving the surface permanently stained (sometimes even fallen leaves can cause stains).

The best way to prevent all this is to seal the stone.

When you seal a stone, you are essentially filling any voids or pores of the stone with the sealer. This prevents any further liquid to absorb in to the tile, as demonstrated here with this close up shot of a water droplet on a tile sealed with LTP Mattstone.

When sealing natural stone outside it is important to use a breathable impregnating sealer, this will allow the transition of moisture from underneath.
Examples include LTP Mattstone H20 & LTP External Stone Sealer both are water based breathable sealers and ideal for use outside.

It is important to note that all stones located outdoors are susceptible to a condition known as efflorescence.
This blooming is caused by water moving through the substrate of a material and carrying minerals and salts found in the mortar bed, grout, soil or the stone itself.
We have a blog here all about efflorescence.

Its also very important when laying Natural stone to make sure that its fixed on a full bed of adhesive and not spot fixed.
The end result could look like this if its spot fixed.
Spot fixing issue Sandstone

If this has already happened to your patio, we have a blog here.

When sealing different natural stones, what will vary the most will be how many coats the stone will need before it is fully sealed.
Each stone exhibits different levels of porosity. A tumbled Limestone may have a higher porosity level than a Honed and filled Limestone.

Sealing natural stone with Mattstone H20

Shake bottle before use.

Test the porosity of your stone with water and a teaspoon, using the LTP porosity test.

Once surfaces are clean and dry, apply the product to the surface evenly using a sealant applicator pad, brush or soft cloth.

When sealing its important not to over apply the sealer and redistribute excess, avoid letting the sealer pool on the surface, as this can cause white marks to appear on the stone when it dries.
On highly absorbent surfaces apply several coats wet-in-wet.
After 15 minutes, remove any excess sealer with an absorbent cloth. Do not allow residues to dry on the surface.
Do not walk on the surface for 3 hours.

Sealing natural stone with External stone sealer.
Apply evenly to the surface using a foam roller or paint brush. On more absorbent surfaces apply further coats at hourly intervals until the surface is completely saturated. Remove any residual sealer if still visible after one hour.

Cleaning Tiles Outside

Before you start sealing your stone it is important to make sure your stone is clean and dry, other wise you will just seal in dirt and grime.

Old layers of sealer, dirt residues and light deposits of organic matter and algae must be removed from the surface and pores of the stone.

This can be done by either using LTP Grimex which is a intensive cleaner or LTP Mouldex Paving Cleaner.

To Clean with LTP Grimex, dilute 1:3 with water, apply to the surface with a sponge or water brush and leave to sit on the surface of the tiles for as long as it takes for the dirt to release. (5-30 minutes depending upon the level of dirt). If areas look as if they are drying out just add a little more solution to keep the area wet.

Agitate the surface with a stiff deck brush after approx 10 minutes (scrubber machines can be used).

Continue to scrub while adding clean water. Remove residues from the surface with water or scrubber machine.

Rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water to remove all remaining residues. Use a power washer if necessary.

Allow the surface at least 24 hours to dry before sealing.

To clean with LTP Mouldex Paving Cleaner, Shake well before use.
Surfaces to be treated should be completely dry before application.
Pour solution undiluted directly onto the pavers and spread out evenly using a sponge or paint brush, Garden sprayers can also be used and leave for a minimum of 1 hour.

Apply a little water and agitate with a stiff Deck brush or emulsifying pad to release the dirt and grime, and then rinse thoroughly using a hose or jet wash.
Some stubborn stains and black spot may require a longer treatment, in which case apply and leave on surfaces overnight. If some black spot remains after treatment, It should fade and disappear after a few days following the treatment. If not: re-apply. Keep pets off at all times during treatment. In case of contact with metals, fabrics and painted surfaces rinse with water immediately. Do not use on warm surfaces. Do not apply if rain is imminent. Avoid contact with ponds & plant life: if contact is made rinse well with plenty of water.

General Maintenance.
Weekly or daily depending on conditions, use a hose and a brush to remove any debris that may be lying on the stone.
Then annually if required use LTP Grimex, this will remove surface dirt and grime, possibly every 6-12 months depending on condition.
Dilute Grimex 1:3 parts water and apply the solution on to the surface and agitate.
Leave for 10 minutes before agitating again and then rinse with water.
Allow 24 hours to dry and then if necessary re-apply a light coat of sealer.

PLEASE NOTE: Always follow the detailed instructions on the product labels. Protect stone surfaces from contact with acidic substances. Do not use abrasive materials on honed or polished stones. Avoid using normal detergents or strong bleach cleaners on sealed surfaces as they will gradually remove the protective seal.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

 

How do I clean my external paving?

Featured

Patio’s can give that refined and uniform look to a garden area, a clean cut from grass to stone, and when newly laid they look fantastic.

olive-limestone

If you had them laid before the winter months however they probably won’t look the same now as they once did. With the amount of rain that we have had over the last few months, the probability is that you will have some form of green growth on the tiles.

This green growth is a mix of Algae, moss and lichen which builds up on the tiles, normally more common in areas of higher rainfall, as this is the perfect place for algae to grow, high rainfall and with areas for the algae to cling to.

However this isn’t the end of your patio, as this can be easily fixed with the correct tools.

Cleaning Patios With LTP Mouldex

Firstly you will want to brush the stone with a stiff bristle deck brush to remove any leaves, dirt or debris from the surface of the stone.

Making sure the area is now free of loose debris, pour LTP Mouldex direct on to the stone and spread out over the area with a brush or sponge. (Garden sprayers can be used)

Black limestone with LTP mouldex applied on it with a sponge.

Leave for a minimum of one hour, then add a little water and agitate with a emulsifying pad or stiff deck brush to help loosen algae, dirt and grime.

After a minimum of 1 hour, agitate with emulsifying pad.

After a minimum of 1 hour, agitate with emulsifying pad.

Rinse thoroughly with water. Garden hoses and jet washes can be used. Be careful though as jet washes force water at the surface at high pressures and can cause damage to some stones.
Some stubborn stains and black spot will require longer treatment, in which case apply and leave overnight.

Rinse well with plenty of water

Rinse well with plenty of water

Once fully dry, (normally 24 hours) we recommend sealing with LTP Mattstone H20, this will prevent moisture and organic molecules from absorbing into the surface.

Black Limestone once cleaned and sealed

Black Limestone once cleaned and sealed

LTP Mouldex is a highly effective HSE registered product which has been developed to Help restore natural stone and paving to its original colour.

Grey Limestone with LTP moudlex.

Grey Limestone with LTP moudlex.

KILLS & REMOVES:

  • Algae
  • Black Spot
  • Mildew
  • Mould
  • Lichen
  • Fungus
  • Pollution
  • Pollen stains

Anti-bacterial action helps prevent re-growth.

Suitable for use on all external stones and concrete paving.

Simple to use….apply and leave….scrub and rinse.

The fast acting formula will restore external paving and help prevent re growth.

Protecting stone surfaces after treatment with LTP Mattstone H20 will further reduce the possibility of black spot and mould spores from returning. It will also help prevent deep staining from falling organic matter and make any future cleaning much easier.

Grey Limestone After cleaning and sealing.

Grey Limestone After cleaning and sealing.

One 5ltr can will treat up to 50 sq.m deepending upon the extent of soiling.

LTP Mouldex 5ltr only £39.54 Inc VAT.  (click here to buy or find your nearest stockist)

2_73_e

For further information on the application of LTP Mouldex watch the video below.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

Roaming in Romania

Sales Director Mark Atkins

Sales Director Mark Atkins

Last week the team from LTP flew to Bucharest for a one day workshop with power point presentations and practical demonstrations on cleaning sealing and aftercare for stone, travertine marble, slate and granite.gama_ltp-1024x729

The venue for the presentation was the stunning new showroom and offices of Piatra online who as well as being Romania’s highest profile stone merchant are also LTP’s distributor for the country .http://blog.piatraonline.ro/conferinta-piatraonline-ingrijirea-si-intretinerea-pietrei-naturale/

The demand for stone is growing steadily in Romania as more and more people are made aware of its natural qualities and beauty. This resulted in a high attendance for both presentations which were also filmed live for broadcast on Youtube.https://www.youtube.com/user/sergiudedu/videosRomania workshop on LTP products

ingrijirea-pietrei-naturale-piatraonline-730x300

Mark Atkins with LTP’s MD Richard Osborne

After the presentation the floor was opened for a question and answer session as well as providing opportunities for the delegates to try some of the practical demonstrations for themselves.

Sales Director, Mark Atkins, commented that whilst he has always been impressed by the dedication interest shown in the subject following many similar visits over the past 5 years, he felt that this was the best yet.   He also added that after 5 years he was becoming quite an expert on the restaurants in Bucharest which he felt rate amongst the finest in Europe

 

 

Has your Natural Stone been damaged by Household Cleaner?

We were contacted recently by a customer whose pet had a little accident on their Stoneworks Tumbled Pietra Limestone and tried to remedy it by spraying CIF Bathroom cleaner on it, the result is shown in the photo below!

Stone damaged by Cif Spray

Stone damaged by Cif Spray-Image supplied by Stone Works Ltd

Our response to help rectify was…………….

LTP Grimex should be used to clean the surface of the stones that have been damaged by the CIF spray. This will help to neutralise the reaction that has caused a change in the character of the stones surface. The Lighter marks will still remain following cleaning, but LTP Grimexshould appear a little darker.

Remember to work on the entire piece of stone and not just the areas that are affected. This should be done in a way that does not allow the cleaning solution to spread over onto neighboring tiles, so whole pieces of stone, but only up to the grout joints.

Apply LTP Grimex diluted 1 : 3 with water and agitate the surface….leave for 10 – 15 minutes….agitate again and then rinse well using a sponge and water.

Leave the stone to dry.

 

Apply LTP Stone Oil to the surface and allow to absorb. Check the surface after 45
LTP-StoneOil5LTin_1L_Grp_Webminutes and then wipe up any excess from the surface. ThisLTP-Mattstone5L,1L_500ml_Grp_Web should be repeated until the colour of the stone has been restored. For extra protection and after a 24 hour curing time for the Oil a coat of LTP Mattstone can be used over the top.

 

LTP-Master500mlSpray_2011_Web

For dealing with spillages quickly when they occur we would suggest LTP Stonewash Spray.
This is a spray and wipe cleaner which will remove spillages without compromising the seal or damaging the surface of the stone.

For daily/weekly mopping use LTP Waxwash. This cleaner is PH Neutral and contains a trace of linseed oil, which makes it ideal for cleaning and embellishing sensitive sealed surfaces. A 1 ltr bottle is enough solution to wash a 20 sq.m LTP-Waxwash1L_Webfloor 40 times.

Hope this helps…

Customers response “Hip hip hooray”

  • It’s worked hooray
    Thank you so much
  • Please thank your guy for his help
    I can’t believe it

Thanks very much again xx

This information is offered without guarantee.  The material should be used so as to take account of the local conditions and the surfaces to be treated.  In case of doubt, the products should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

How to achieve different finishes on Natural Stone

Different finishes on natural stone

SEALING:                       LTP MATTSTONE                    500ml, 1 & 5ltr containers

LTP MATTSTONE (Natural Finish): Apply evenly to the surface using an applicator LTP-Mattstone5L,1L_500ml_Grp_Webpad or soft cloth.  Leave the sealer to absorb into the stone for 30 minutes.  Work into and then buff off any excess using a micro-fibre cloth. Apply further coats using the same method until the stone is fully saturated. Leave to cure overnight.  This should be done before grouting. Finish by applying a further coat of sealer making sure to cover the joints as well.

Buff off any excess sealer between coats…allow to dry for 24 hours before allowing heavy traffic.

SEALING:                       LTP STONEOIL                                    1 & 5ltr containers

LTP STONE OIL (Super Enhanced Finish) – Apply evenly to the surface using an applicator pad or soft cloth. Leave the sealer to absorb into the stone for 30 minutes. Work into and then buff off any excess using a micro-fibre cloth. Apply further coats LTP-StoneOil5LTin_1L_Grp_Webusing the same method until the stone is fully saturated. Leave to cure overnight. This should be done before grouting, followed by a second coat making sure to cover the joints as well. Blemishes and minor scratches when they occur can be treated with the application of a little more Stone Oil. For extra stain resistance in bathrooms and kitchens a thin layer of LTP Mattstone or Colour Intensifier can be applied over the Stone Oil.

SEALING:                    LTP COLOUR INTENSIFIER      500ml, 1 & 5ltr containers

LTP COLOUR INTENSIFIER & STAINBLOCK (Enhanced Finish) – Apply evenly to the surface using an applicator pad or soft cloth. Leave the sealer to absorb into the stone for 30 minutes. Work into and then buff off any excess using a micro-fibre cloth.LTP-ColourIntensifier5L_1L_500ml_Grp_Web Apply further coats using the same method until the stone is fully saturated. Leave to cure overnight. This should be done before grouting. Finish by applying a further coat of sealer making sure to cover the joints as well.

Buff off any excess sealer between coats…allow to dry for 24 hours before allowing heavy traffic.

IMPORTANT NOTES:
Over applied sealer left to dry on the surface can be removed with the application of a little more sealer, which should then be buffed immediately to remove the excess. If left for too long then removal can be achieved using LTP Power Stripper in which case surfaces will need to be re-treated.
This information is offered without guarantee.  The material should be used so as to take account of the local conditions and the surfaces to be treated.  In case of doubt, the products should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

PROBLEMS WITH STEAM CLEANING LIMESTONE

The simplicity of water-based steam cleaning can be appealing, but repeated use of too much super heated water can lead to risks of residual staining, mobilisation of salts and corrosion of hidden particles of Iron within some limestone surfaces.

 

Mud vein in limestone magnified 120 Microns

Surface of a Limestone magnified by 120 microns

Steam can penetrate the small cracks and fissures on the surface of the limestone.
This does clean the limestone, but will also embed water into the surface.
Repeated cleaning using a steam cleaner can activate salts and weaken the stone over time. This can also lead to spalling or fragmentation of the surface.

Cleaning to expose new fissuresCOMPROMISED SEALER?
Surfaces that have been treated with an impregnating sealers can also be compromised. Steam cleaning does not normally remove the impregnating sealer, however repeated use can expose new fissures and capillaries within the stone. The newly exposed and unsealed surface takes in more dirt and becomes harder to clean, which then requires more frequent cleaning. This increase in cleaning can exacerbate the problem.

 

SURFACE SEALER DAMAGE?Damage to stone surface

Sealers used to finish the surface of stone can also be damaged. Steam is often used to remove paints, wall papers and other
coatings from surfaces. If a film forming
sealer has been used then contact by a
steam cleaner can cause a partial separation of the seal from the surface of the stone causing it to turn white or opaque.

 

                                                                        Rust stains in Limestone after spalling
RUST STAINS ON THE SURFACE?                                  
Rust stains:  These stains are reddish-orange and are caused by the oxidation (rusting) of iron. The source of iron staining is normally from within the stone, as most of the iron on the surface is normally
removed or discarded at the point of fabrication by the quarry. Therefore most Iron remains hidden and within the stone rather than on it; however, water from steam cleaning penetrating through natural fissures in the  stone can activate or accelerate rusting.
CRUMBLING OF THE SURFACE?
Moisture from repeated steam cleaning can in someSpalling Limestone
cases cause spalling or fragmentation of the surface.
The migration of salts from moisture in the limestone can promote crumbling of the surface causing larger fissures and craters to appear. This is more
common in Limestone’s and marbles that contain naturally occurring mud or calcite veins which are more vulnerable to this issue.

 

WHAT TO DO?

COMPROMISED SEALER: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Grimex. Leave overnight to dry. Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

SURFACE SEALER DAMAGE: Remove the Film forming sealer using LTP Grimex or LTP Solvex. Leave overnight to dry. Re-apply the film forming sealer – LTP Ironwax Satin or LTP Ironwax Gloss. For routine aftercare use LTP Floorshine. This gentle cleaner will clean the surface and repair the seal where it has worn from abraision every time the floor is washed.

RUST STAINS ON THE SURFACE: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Power Stripper. Leave overnight to dry.Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

CRUMBLING OF THE SURFACE: Intensively clean the surface of the stone with LTP Grimex. Leave overnight to dry. Use a suitable resin stone filler of the correct colour to fill in the voids. Re- hone the surface of the stone using a twister pad and sponge down with a little water to remove any dust or sediment. Leave to dry. Re-apply impregnating sealer – LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier. For routine aftercare use LTP Waxwash. This is a PH neutral cleaner that will not damage the stone or compromise the seal.

This information is offered without guarantee.  The material should be used so as to take account of the local conditions and the surfaces to be treated.  In case of doubt, the product should be tried out in an inconspicuous area.

LTP cleaning of natural stone

Cleaning tips for natural stone wall and floor tiles

When is intensive stone or deep cleaning required?

  • As an important stage in the installation process of wall and floor tiles.
  • Where poorly maintained natural stone floor tiles need a top up seal.
  • When restoring natural stone wall or floor tiles.
  • For routine cleaning of unsealed external patios and paved areas.

Why would newly installed wall or floor tiles require intensive cleaning?

Keeping natural stone wall and floor tiles scrupulously clean before and during the fixing process, is vitally important. Intensive cleaning of stone floors and walls before application of the correct protective sealing product will make sure the result does not disappoint. Installing stone flooring and worktops by nature creates grit, dirt and adhesive residues. Ensuring that a vacuum is used (being careful not to scratch the surface) to remove loose dirt from your new stone floor or worktop will not address stains and residue marks. Simply washing stone flooring in water will not be effective in removing ingrained marks or adhesive. Using standard household cleaning products that often contain bleach is likely to damage the surface of your newly installed natural stone floor or wall. You should make sure that the correct cleaning product is used for the natural stone material being installed. Need more information about surfaces? Visit our identify your surface selector.

Selecting the correct intensive cleaning product for your natural stone flooring or wall tiles

LTP has developed a range of four intensive cleaning products that offer intensive cleaning solutions for most commercial and domestic applications. Each of our intensive cleaning products has been designed to address the needs of specific circumstances related to artificial and natural stone. We have solutions for all types of natural and artificial stone flooring, granite countertops and fireplace surrounds. Ensuring you have the correct product for the task by simply contacting our Technical Helpline on +44 (0) 1823 666213.

Removing grout stains1. LTP Grout Stain Remover (1&5 litre containers)

An intensive cleaning solution for removal of cement and grout residues from stone flooring and wall tiles. Extremely effective against mineral salt formations (efflorescence) and the removal of plaster and dust stains. Useful for routine cleaning of unsealed patios and other outside paved areas. LTP Grout Stain Remover may be used on glazed ceramics, quarry tiles, terracotta and some stone. (Do not use on limestone, marble or other acid sensitive surfaces.) Buy LTP Grout Stain Remover

 

 

Cleaning grime from natural stone2. LTP GRIMEX (1&5 litre containers)

The answer to stubborn grime, oil, old layers of wax or acrylic and even rubber sole marks on terracotta and natural stone flooring. Ideal for removing ingrained dirt and grime, both internally and externally. Suitable for use on glazed and unglazed tiles this product is excellent for renovating old quarry tiles, terracotta, slate, stone, marble, stone fireplaces and can be used to clean brick and external paving.
Buy LTP Grimex >>

 

 

Removing oxidised linseed oil3. LTP POWER STRIPPER (1&5 litre containers)

For removing existing layers of sealer from tiles. One of the few intensive cleaning products on the market capable of breaking down oxidised boiled linseed oil and beeswax from the surface of terracotta. Powerful amines, ammonia and alkalinity penetrate and help lift the hardest, heaviest films. Ideal for intensive cleaning of heavily contaminated vitrified quarry tiles, limestone, travertine, sandstone, slate, glazed ceramics and porcelain. Strips most things first time thereby minimising labour costs. Buy LTP Power Stripper >>

Removing tick layers of sealant4. LTP SOLVEX (1&5 litre cans)

A powerful non-caustic stripper that softens most types of solvent based surface sealer, which can then be removed with ease. Suitable for removing most wax, oil, emulsion and polyurethane sealers. Will not discolour or damage natural stone, slate, terracotta or quarry tile surfaces. After washing and rinsing, surfaces are ideal for re-sealing. Buy LTP Solvex >>