How do I clean my external paving?

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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)

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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.

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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.

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 >>

Sandstone-Fixing & Sealing Outside.

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We have recently been contacted by numerous customers who have been having problems with spot stains appearing on their sandstone patios.

Sandstone Flags with Spot Fixing Issues.

Sandstone Flags with Spot Fixing Issues.

This is a common problem, so we thought we should share why and how this issue sometimes occurs. The pictures in this post are supplied by customers showing the problems that are occurring.

 

Understanding Sandstone

Many of the imported sandstones, and some limestones and granites,are very porous. If fixing natural sandstone or limestone outside DO NOT SPOT FIX!!

They are not man made concrete pavers and should not be treated the same.

The sandstone should be fixed to an even mortar bed and then each piece of stone back buttered for a solid fix…

This will help illuminate possibilities of staining from moisture and mortar.

Natural stones like sandstone are not as dense as concrete pavers and are full of microscopic capillaries. These capillaries can draw up moisture from mortar through to the face of the stone. The moisture dries out to leave a deposit of mortar residue and minerals within the pores of the stone.Img3701 Sealing too soon after spot fixing can sometimes highlight these issues and also slow down the transition of moisture, suspending the cement residues within the stone.

The introduction of moisture from rain can also further highlight these issues. This is because the moisture collects and dwells within the voids between the mortar spots underneath the stone. As it dries out and the moisture rises carrying more minerals from the sand and cement to the surface of the stone.

Most sealers used for outside use are breathable and allow microscopic transition of moisture, so any trapped moisture is still able to dry out should it become trapped beneath the stone. Sealing does not cause the issues associated with spot fixing nor should it be considered a method for covering up the stains should they occur.

If your stone pavers have been spot fixed, then we would suggest not sealing them for at least 3 months after installation. This should allow for any mortars to full harden and any released minerals to completely dissipate. Clean surfaces well using LTP Power Stripper and leave to dry for 24 hrs. Test the sealer on a small area before general application to make sure that the mortar spots are not highlighted and after a few days make the test area wet and allow it to dry out. If staining does not occur the rest of the surface can be sealed.

If your stone has been fixed correctly into a solid bed then we would suggest a drying time of two weeks before sealing. This should allow enough time for all mortars to fully dry. Solid fixing will not allow any rain water to sit beneath the pavers and dwell. Clean surfaces well using LTP Power Stripper and leave to dry for 24 hrs. Seal using an impregnating sealer and apply as many coats as necessary to completely saturate the stone.

When sealing using an impregnating sealer it is important to remember that the solution needs to fully absorb into the stone without drying on the surface and do not apply in direct sunlight. If sealer is still visible on the surface after 45 minutes saturation has been achieved and any excess should be toweled off. For best results allow at least 3 full dry days after treatment.

 

LTP IMPREGNATING SEALERS SUITABLE FOR EXTERNAL USE

LTP MATTSTONE H20

LTP EXTERNAL STONE SEALER

LTP STONE OIL

 

CLEANING SANDSTONES & LIMESTONE  WITH SPOT FIXING ISSUES

Use: LTP Power Stripper

Apply undiluted to the surface of the stone and agitate using a black emulsifying pad. Add a little water and agitate again. Leave the solution on the surface of the stone for 15 minutes and agitate again. Rinse well with water. Repeat until the stains are no longer visible. Leave to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before sealing. Before re-sealing the whole area test the sealer on a small area before general application to make sure that the mortar spots are not highlighted. Leave to dry and after a few days make the test area wet and allow it to dry out. If staining does not occur then the rest of the surface can be sealed.

CLEANING MORTAR STAINS FROM SANDSTONES AFTER POINTING

Use: LTP Grout Stain RemoverGrout_Residue_Remover_Pack2

Apply un-diluted onto the surface of the stone and agitate immediately using a black emulsifying pad to release the mortar stains from the surface of the stone. Using a sponge and water rinse well immediately after use and change rinsing water after every 5 sq/m.

MOULD, MILDEW AND BLACK SPOT

Use: LTP Mouldex

Spray LTP  Mouldex onto the surface of the stone and leave for 1 hour. Using a black emulsifying pad agitate the surface and rinse well with plenty of water. Repeat until all organic matter has been removed. Re-seal surfaces once thoroughly dry.

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

 

How do I remove white marks (Calcium Carbonate Deposits) from the surface of Slate

Slate tiles showing calcium carbonate deposits onDESCRIPTION:  Slate is basically squashed mud and silt from ancient oceans and river beds subjected to tremendous pressures in a hot environment deep underground. Eventually being forced to the surface by the collision of continents. Slate is hundred’s of million’s of years old. It is possible to get deposits of limestone and marble pebbles or stones, which crush between the layers of silt and then harden to form a calciferous deposit. This is normally visible on the surface of slate after it has been split. It is not a defect, but a natural characteristic of the stone. Aesthetically these deposits are not always appealing, so the following is a guide, which should help aid their removal.

LTP Grout Stain Remover applied to the surface of slateLTP Grout Stain Remover is applied to the surface.

The moment it makes contact with the calcium carbonate deposit it begins to dissolve.LTP Grout stain remover agitate with black emulsifying pad

Agitating the surface using a black   emulsifying pad aids removal without damaging. Make sure to clean           the whole surface and not just the deposit. Rinse well with plenty of water.

Once Dry surface of slate is sealed with LTP Colour IntensifierOnce dry the surface is sealed with LTP Colour Intensifier and Stainblock.

After treatment the slate should appear darker. This also helps to further disguise the blemish that is left following the removal of the calcium carbonate deposit.

Sealed surfaces should be maintained with a mild PH detergent such as LTP  Waxwash.

Repeated use of stronger detergents for maintenance can cause un-necessary damage.

INITIAL CLEANING:                   LTP GROUT STAIN REMOVER       1ltr & 5ltr

  • LTP-GroutStainRemover5L&1L_2011_WebThis should be done after fixing and before sealing and grouting to remove calcium carbonate deposits, dust and dirt that have accumulated during the production and fixing process.  Apply undiluted solution to the surface of the stone and agitate immediately with an emulsifying pad. Rinse thoroughly with a separate pot of clean fresh water. Wipe away the released calcium dirt and grime with a mop or sponge and water and leave to dry for 24 hrs.

TDS – http://www.ltp-online.co.uk/images/tds-Grout_Stain_Remover.pdf

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

  • LTP-ColourIntensifier5L_1L_500ml_Grp_WebBefore grouting apply a coat of LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock, check that all of the sealer has been fully absorbed within 40 minutes, any excess that remains on the surface after 40 minutes should be worked in with a soft cloth or buffing machine. Leave for a further 4 hours or overnight before grouting the joints. Once all residual grout has been removed and the surface and joints are thoroughly dry; apply a final coat of sealer covering the joints as well. Buff to remove any excess within 40 minutes and then leave for a minimum of 3 days to fully harden before making excessively wet.

TDS – http://www.ltp-online.co.uk/images/tds-Colour_Intensifier.pdf

MAINTENANCE:               LTP WAXWASH                            1ltr & 5ltr

DAILY/WEEKLYLTP-Waxwash5L&1L_Web

  • Add 1 cap full of LTP Waxwash per litre of warm water. Apply to the surface with a mop to remove daily dirt and leave to dry. Does not require rinsing.  Using the correct low ph maintenance cleaner will help to increase the life of the seal.

TDS – http://www.ltp-online.co.uk/images/tds-Waxwash.pdf

IMPORTANT NOTES:

When cleaning or sealing vertical surfaces start at the top and work down.

Provided the surfaces are correctly sealed and maintained protection should last 4 – 5 years before considering applying a top up coat. Sealing will not prevent wear from abrasion.

After Intensive cleaning to remove any ingrained dirt or other staining and once dry, always test for moisture ingress. If evident cleaned areas should be re-sealed.

When using LTP Grout Stain Remover, gloves should be worn and ensure you fully read & understand the directions for use.

For detailed application instructions please see Technical Data Sheets.

Natural Stone and Tiles – Common Stains: Water

How to remove Water Stains ­from Natural Stone and Tiles

A water stain mark on natural stone

A water stain mark on natural stone

Natural stone and tiles are an investment that can add real quality to your home or office environment. When staining or marking of a stone surface on a kitchen, bathroom or office floor or work surface occurs, such as water stains; this can create a potentially difficult situation to resolve. This is the first in a series of articles from the LTP Technical Team that identify the most common stain issues for natural stone and tiles.

Understand your surface

Ensuring that you know what has caused stains on stone, the material stained and whether the surface is protected can all have a bearing on how you should address the issue. If you are in any doubt it is often more straightforward to seek expert assistance. At LTP we offer FREE technical assistance via our Helpline +44 ( 0) 1823 666213. In most cases, it will be easier to assist you if you are able to supply photographs of the issue and surface. Please send images to info@ltp-online .co.uk with as much information as possible.

Is your stone surface protected?

Natural stone protected with LTP Mattstone

Knowing if your stone surface or tiles has a protective seal applied is important in understanding the best solution to address the issue. Often when a protective seal is in place the method for tackling the problem is much less aggressive and simpler. Essentially this is because the stain is most often only affecting the protective seal.

To protect natural stone and tile surfaces to help prevent staining LTP recommends for following sealing products.  LTP Mattstone or LTP Mattstone H20 for a natural (invisible finish) or LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock for an enhanced appearance. LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock deepens the colour and enhances the appearance of the stone surface.

Common stains on natural stone and tiles – Water Stains

Water stains can appear on natural stone and tile surfaces such as floors and worktops when water is left to stand, as it dries into the surface it can cause a stain. This is most common with porous stone surfaces such as limestone, flagstones, sandstone and terracotta, but water stains can also affect glazed ceramics, porcelain and polished surfaces such as porcelain, granite and marble.

The most common causes of water stains are outlined below…

Using the wrong maintenance cleaner can gradually affect the performance of the seal. This after a while allows water to penetrate beyond the seal. In areas of hard water, these water droplets can dry out to leave a lime deposit on the surface. Hard water stains are difficult to remove using normal detergents.

Repeated cleaning of stone surfaces using water and a mild detergent can create a film on the surface.  When we mop and clean our surfaces the water dries off to leave a very slight film of residual detergent. In the months that follow this can create a micron thick film across the surface.  Water droplets can dilute the detergent in the area that they sit on leaving a spot mark.  This all happens on a fairly microscopic level, which is why staining of this nature is sometimes only visible when looking across a surface towards a light source.

The LTP approach to removing water stains

The method that LTP recommends for tackling water stains differs depending upon the surface type.

Limestone, Marble, Travertine and other Acid Sensitive Surfaces

For acid sensitive surfaces, we recommend using LTP Grimex or LTP Power Stripper. Simply wash the area as directed by the label instructions, rinse and allow to dry. Note that if the surface has a protective seal the surface may need re sealing. To make sure that you achieve a uniform finish a wider area may need treatment.

Porcelain, Terracotta, Sandstone and other NON Acid Sensitive Surfaces

For surfaces that are not acid sensitive, we recommend using LTP Grout Stain Remover. Treat the affected area as directed by the product label, rinse and allow to dry. In some cases you can simply buff the surface to its original shine. Where this is not effective and to help maintenance you may consider applying LTP Glaze Protector.

If the stain persists repeat the treatment, if this is unsuccessful please contact our FREE helpline.

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.

At LTP we believe in helping to offer solutions and this is why we offer a no obligation
LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk and we will be happy to help you.

Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy or find out more about our range of products.

Natural Stone Tiles – How to Fix & Seal to Avoid Discolouration?

Installation of natural stone tiles can cause discolouration?

Poor tile installation and fitting of natural stone surfaces is often the cause of discolouration of the surface. Natural stone tiles should always be buttered on the back and then laid into an even bed of adhesive. Spot fixing often causes issues with discolouration of the tile surface.

Stone floor that has been spot fixed

Natural stone floor installed using spot fixing. This has caused discolouration of the tiles.

What is spot fixing?

This is a method of tile installation and slab laying that involves only placing enough grout or cement at the corners and centre of the tiles, in order that it is laid level. This process will leave voids between the adhesive, tile and the sub floor. These voids will be the root cause of the issue of staining and discolouration.

What causes the discolouration?

Tile installation requires the use of moisture with in the adhesive used to fix the tile. When using spot fixing to install tiled surfaces this moisture can collect in the voids between the tile, adhesive and sub floor. When this occurs, minerals from the adhesive or concrete sub floor become activated. These minerals can then travel through to the face of the stone leaving a ring mark or staining effect. Each ring outlines where the spot of adhesive is under the stone.

Interior floor showing spot fixing discolouration

When spot fixing is used the appearance of interior floors can be significantly effected

The difference between Natural Stone and Concrete?

Spot fixing natural stone is not the same as spot fixing a concrete paver. Concrete pavers are in general much denser with fewer larger capillaries. Fixing concrete to concrete with cement does not normally result in the same staining issues. However, when fixing a natural stone paver it is important to butter the back of each slab with mortar before laying them into an even bed of mortar to avoid staining.

Natural Stone Patio with Spot Fixing Discolouration

Spot fixing is also an issue when natural stone tiles are laid outside

Removing spot fixing discolouration

Removing staining associated with spot fixing is very difficult. This is because it is not just on or near the surface, but right through the stone. Scrubbing the surface with a residual grout or efflorescence remover such as LTP Grout Stain Remover may help to lighten the appearance of the ring marks, but it does not always completely eliminate them. It is also often harder to remove the marks if the surface is sealed when laid.

Acid based cleaners such as LTP Grout Stain Remover can also affect acid sensitive surfaces such as limestone or marble, however if the they are rough cut or tumbled the contact with an acid makes little difference to the overall appearance provided that it is applied evenly. Stones such as sandstone and slate are not normally affected.

Quite often the only effective method of resolving this issue is to rip up and replace and then complete tile installation correctly following your adhesive suppliers recommendations.

Laying natural stone tiles correctly

When laying natural stone tiles correctly we would suggest sealing the stone with LTP Mattstone, LTP Mattstone H20 or LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock, depending upon your surface type and desired finish. These are impregnating breathable sealers that will help to enhance and protect the stone and at the same time allow the microscopic transition of moisture.

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.

At LTP we believe in helping to offer solutions and this is why we offer a no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 or email info@ltp-online.co.uk and we will be happy to help you.

Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy or find out more about our range of products.

Patio & Driveway Surfaces – Cleaning, Sealing & Maintenance

Natural Stone Surfaces – External Application

Cleaning, Sealing and Maintaining Natural Stone – Part Three

Natural stone has been used as an external surface covering for paths, driveways, patios, court yards, terraces, porch areas,verandas, loggia and sun decks for centuries. As with all natural materials, it does need a certain level of care.

This is the third in a 16 part series of posts that will offer a comprehensive guide to cleaning, sealing and maintaining all types of stone, porcelain, quarry, terracotta and glazed ceramic tiles and surfaces. This post explains the LTP three-step approach to cleaning, protecting and maintaining natural stone surfaces used in external applications such as paths, driveways, patios, court yards, terraces, porch areas,verandas, loggia and sun decks. Natural riven or rough cut stones are often used outside because they are naturally slip resistant. Normally thicker than internally fixed stone they are more robust and harder wearing. The following guide will explain the process and help keep your surfaces maintained and in good condition for many years.

Natural Stone Surfaces – External Application

The following instructions are for sawn and honed, riven or rough cut finish: sandstone, slate, granite, quartzite and rough cut and riven limestone.

Step one: Initial cleaning

Before sealing, clean natural stone thoroughly to make sure that the surface is sealed  effectively. This is true of newly installed surfaces, as well as existing, due to the contamination that can occur during fitting. On existing surfaces such as patios, driveways, paths and terraces remove old layers of sealer, dirt residues and light deposits of organic matter and algae  from the surface and pores of the stone. For newly installed surfaces cleaning should remove all grout and cement residue and any general dirt or grime that has built up while fitting. Bucket, mop, sponge, scrubbing-brush or scrubber dryer machine if available.

Newly installed surfaces

Before grouting and once surfaces are clean and dry: Apply one coat of LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock before grouting. This treatment will help with the removal of residual cement and grout from the surface of the stone paths, driveways, patios, court yards, terraces, porch areas, verandas, loggia and sun decksLTP recommends using LTP Grout Stain Remover to clean and remove residual grout and mortar from the textured riven surface of natural stone driveways, patios, court yards, paths, stone terraces,verandas, porch areas and sun decks once they have been laid.

Please note: Do not use LTP Grout Stain Remover on honed and smooth limestone. 
This product is only suitable for use on riven limestone.

Cleaning newly installed reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled stone surfaces

  1. Dilute LTP Grout Stain Remover 1:2 with water. On rough cut limestone dilute 1:6
  2. Apply solution to the surface with a stiff brush and agitate immediately.
  3. Leave for 5 minutes and agitate again. Rinse well with water.
  4. Rinse well with plenty of clean water.
  5. Allow the surface to dry.

Step One Cleaning External Stone Surfaces

Refurbishing used and heavily soiled stone surfaces

  1. Before sealing the clean stone thoroughly. 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.
  2. Dilute LTP Grimex 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.
  3. Agitate the surface with a stiff deck brush every 5-10 minutes (scrubber machines can be used).
  4. Continue to scrub while adding clean water. Remove residues from the surface with water or scrubber machine.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water to remove all remaining residues. Use a power washer if necessary.
  6. Allow the surface a minimum of 3 dry and damp free days before applying the protective seal.
  7. For the removal of other types of dirt refer to the table below.
  8. Do not allow the sealer to dry on the surface. Carefully buff with a soft cloth or machine to remove any excess. Complete this within 1 hour of application.

For the removal of other types of dirt refer to the list below. If you are unsure please call our helpline for advice.

Step two: Protect your natural stone surface from stains

To protects sawn and honed, riven or rough cut finish: sandstone, slate, granite, quartzite and rough cut and riven limestone surfaces and help prevent staining LTP recommends the application of LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock.

The equipment you will need for this task: bucket, applicator, brush, cloth.

Application of LTP Colour Intensifier Stainblock: Enhanced natural finish protects against water, oil, grease, dirt, grime, organic matter and aids maintenance

  1. Clean surfaces and ensure they are dry.
  2. Apply the product to the surface evenly using a sponge, brush or soft cloth.
  3. Redistribute to remove excess product and avoid pooling on the surface.
  4. Allow to dry. Do not walk on the surface for at least 3 hours.
  5. Protect from damp and wet conditions for at least 3 days.

Step 2: Sealing external stone surfaces

Step three: Maintaining your reclaimed flagstones, rough cut, honed and tumbled stone surfaces

Using the correct maintenance product will increase the life of your stone seal, provide more protection against staining and make sure your path, driveway, patio, court-yard, terrace, porch area, veranda, loggia or sun deck looks great. Common household cleaning products often contain harsh substances that can breakdown sealing products applied to stone. For this reason LTP recommends using LTP Grimex on external surfaces sealed with LTP Colour Intensifier & Stainblock. LTP Grimex will remove surface dirt when required (normally every 3-6 months).

Regular maintenance on sawn and honed, riven or rough cut finish: sandstone, slate, granite, quartzite and rough cut and riven limestone

  1. Dilute LTP Grimex 1:3 with water.
  2. Apply the solution to the surface and agitate.
  3. Leave for 10 minutes before agitating again and then rinse with water.
  4. Leave to dry for 24 hours and then if necessary re-apply a light coat of sealer.
  5. Protect from damp and wet conditions for a minimum of 3 days.

Step 3: Maintaining External Stone Surface.

Should you use a professional floor restoration company?

The application techniques described above are achievable by a competent DIY enthusiast using the products as described. However, natural stone products are often expensive and by nature each stone has its own characteristics. We often find that many of our customers prefer to use the experience and skills of a professional stone restoration and cleaning company to make sure that their project is completed to the highest standard. LTP is pleased to associate with the following companies that specialise in natural stone restoration and cleaning:

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.

At LTP we believe in helping to offer solutions and this is why we offer a no obligation
LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE
, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 and we will be happy to help you.

Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

 

Stone fireplace protection – Clean, protect and maintain

Natural Stone FireplaceHow do you make sure your natural stone fireplace looks great?

Natural stone has been used to create dramatic stone fireplace surrounds and carved chimney pieces since before roman times. The choice is now extensive from traditional grand style to a simple minimalism design or a contemporary stone fireplace for a modern home there is something suitable for every taste. There are even ultra-modern shapes in which you are more likely to insert a TV set than a real fire.

Owning a natural stone or brick fireplace can add real quality to your property and bring an individual room to life. Buying a natural stone fireplace is a significant investment and one that you should protect to make sure that it remains in the best condition and looking great.

Understanding your natural stone fireplace

If you have a fireplace made of natural stone it is important to realise 3 things:

  • A stone fireplace can and will stain. Although natural stone looks impermeable it is actually similar to a sponge, with many tiny pores and fissures. Unless these pores are sealed they will be vulnerable to staining and permanent discolouration from soot, smoke, candle wax, red wine and coffee.
  • Many newly installed stone fireplaces will not be sealed.
  • It is easy to prevent stains and keep the stone fireplace protected using a simple 3 step process to clean seal and maintain the surface without altering the appearance.

Step 1: Cleaning

Whether your stone fireplace is newly installed or well used it is common sense to clean the surface before sealing. New stone fireplaces are likely to have accumulated a degree of dust during installation and this should be removed to ease sealing. Existing stone fireplaces will need reconditioning.

Cleaning Stone FireplacesLTP STONECLEAN – Intensive Cleaner

A fast acting foaming cleaner for polished and unpolished surfaces. Ideal for cleaning and renovating stone fireplaces and worktops. Removes dirt, soot, grime and the build-up of wax and aftercare product. Can also be used on laminate and acrylic worktops. LTP Stoneclean is formulated to penetrate deep into the micro pores of the stone and is especially effective at soot removal. As a foaming aerosol cleaner, stone clean is easy to use and is suitable for all stone surfaces.

Simply point and spray, once the foam has disappeared (2 -3 minutes) the cleaner has worked. Heavily contaminated surfaces may need repeat treatment.

Buy LTP Stoneclean individually >>>

Step 2: Now sealing

Sealing a Stone FireplaceLTP STONESEAL – Protective Sealer

A quick drying spray on impregnating sealer that forms a colourless barrier and helps to protect porous stone surfaces from water, dirt, oil, grease, soot and limescale. Makes treated surfaces easier to keep clean. LTP Stoneseal is a breathable impregnating sealer. Again, it is easy to use and being an aerosol there is no danger of over application or liquid spillage. LTP Stoneseal does not greatly alter the character of the natural stone fireplace as it seals just below the surface. This stops stains sinking into the stone.

Buy LTP Stoneseal individually >>>

Step 3: Maintenance

Maintaining a Natural Stone FireplaceLTP STONECARE – Routine Maintenance

Easy to apply, low foaming maintenance cleaner ideal for use on a natural stone fireplace which cleans without damaging even the most delicate surfaces. Easy to apply and does not need rinsing. Use LTP Stonecare for regular maintenance and it will keep stone fireplaces clean and protect the seal. Beware other household cleaners are likely to compromise the seal.

Buy LTP Stonecare individually >>>

The all-in-one solution for care, protection and maintenance of stone fireplaces

LTP Stone Care KIT – 3 x 250ml aerosols

The LTP Stone Care Kit for Fireplaces and WorktopsInterior and exterior use

The LTP Stone Care kit has the three key products for the care and maintenance of all types of polished and unpolished natural and artificial stone including travertine, limestone, sandstone, slate, marble, granite, quartz, terrazzo, basalt, concrete and all other types of masonry surface.

Buy LTP Stone Care Kit >>>

At LTP we believe in helping to make sure our solutions work for our customers every time and this is why we offer a no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 and we will be happy to help you. Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.

Grout care – cleaning and maintenance

How to get grout clean? – Top tips

Mould & Mildew on groutWhy does grout discolour and become dirty?

Most grout used in domestic situations such as bathrooms and kitchens is water-resistant and not water proof. This means that while your tiles may repel moisture your grout can often absorb it. When mopping dirt off the surface of tiles it is the moisture carrying dirt particles that absorbs into the grout causing it to discolour. In wet areas such as showers or wet rooms it is possible to get a build up of soaps, moisture and sebum within grouting. If not cleaned properly this will stay within the grout and encourage mould spores and mildew to grow.

Approaches to cleaning grout

Cleaning groutThere are many ways that people choose to tackle issues of mould growth, mildew and dirty grout between wall, floor and surface tiles. Household chlorine based bleach; baking soda and vinegar are three common approaches. While these methods can prove effective for cleaning glazed ceramic tiles, there are a number of issues that can make them inappropriate for use with natural stone and tiles. General-purpose chlorine bleach cleaners can damage the stone or the protective sealer applied to the surface. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on acid-sensitive stones such as limestone, marble and terrazzo as these may etch the stone surface and damage the polish or sealer. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface. This can also apply to glazed tiles. Hydrogen peroxide cleaners can also be mildly corrosive. They give short-term cleaning benefits with limited effectiveness on fungal spores, making them poor at preventing re contamination. Baking soda is a great option with fewer disadvantages. However it can often prove ineffective in tackling stubborn stains and often requires excessive scrubbing to deliver results. In all cases the use of highly abrasive cleaning tools such as wire wool should be avoided, as these will scratch the surface. Ensure you use an appropriate abrasive cleaning pad designed for natural stone.

LTP Tips for cleaning grout between tiles

LTP has been producing natural stone cleaning sealing and maintenance products for over 25 years. Our goal is to produce highly effective solutions design specifically for natural stone and ceramic tiles. To clean dirty grouting on floors and walls we recommend the use of LTP Grimex.

LTP GrimexLTP Grimex

An intensive grease and grime cleaner suitable for intensive cleaning of grout between glazed ceramic or porcelain tiles or unglazed natural stone. LTP Grimex is also excellent for renovating old quarry tiles, terracotta, slate, stone, marble and stone fireplaces.

For further information or to buy LTP Grimex >>

Please note: LTP Grimex will not damage natural stone surfaces if used correctly. It does however breakdown protective layers of sealer and waxes on the surface. It is therefore recommended that the product be tested on a small inconspicuous area before general application. Natural stone tiles should also be resealed after use. Glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles are not affected. Please contact our technical helpline for further advice and assistance.

LTP grout cleaning tips for mould growth and mildew

Grout is porous and absorbs water, especially in humid places like the bathroom. As a result, fungi such as mildew can often be found growing between tiles, in the grout. Removing unsightly mould growth and mildew stains can prove a difficult challenge. The LTP Research & Development Team has developed a unique solution to this problem called LTP Mouldex.

LTP MouldexLTP Mouldex

Formulated to cling to grout and remove mould spores, fungus, algae and moss from grouting, silicone seals and other damp places. LTP Mouldex has antibacterial properties that help to prevent re-growth. LTP Mouldex a 500ml trigger spray ideal for use on bathroom and kitchen wall tiles but can also be used to tackle small areas of floor grout.

For further information or to buy LTP Mouldex >>

When Grout Cleaning Tips Don’t Work

If all your grout cleaning attempts fail, it is time to remove the grout. This doesn’t automatically mean redoing the entire grouted area. If the stain only affects a small area, try removing just the small section affected by the mould growth or stain. For a shallow stain, use a hand-held rotary tool or mini sander to remove just the top layer of the grout. Take care not to damage your tiles. Re-seal the grout to give future protection. A deeper stain means more of the material will need removing. Removing such a stain may need a fresh coat of grout altogether.

The most important tip of all – Protect your grout!

Whether tackling mould growth, mildew, stubborn stains or ingrained grime, grout cleaning is not the most pleasant housekeeping job to perform. Most people avoid it as long as possible, which exacerbates the problem.

So the very best tip we can give is to make sure that you protect you grout and stone surfaces when they are installed and after intensive cleaning. Maintain your tile and stone surfaces regularly. Always make sure that you top up the protection to your grout after cleaning.

LTP Grout Protection

LTP offer two grout protection options:

LTP Grout Protector 1LLTP Grout Protector – 1L 

Recommend for sealing newly laid grout. LTP Grout Protector is a colourless barrier suitable for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Helps protect absorbent, porous grout joints from water, dirt, oil, grease, sebum and limescale. Ideal for use on newly laid glazed ceramic wall and floor tiles where in normal conditions unprotected grout joints quickly become dirty. This product is also ideal for sealing grout between natural stone tiles that have been sealed prior to being laid.

For further information or to buy LTP Grout Protector – 1L >>

LTP Grout & Tile ProtectorLTP Grout & Tile Protector
– 600ml Aerosol Spray

This product is an easy use as a top-up coat. Helps protect natural stone and all other types of masonry surface. Provides a colourless barrier that helps to protect porous wall and floor grout joints from penetration by water, dirt, oil, grease and limescale. Treated surfaces are easier to keep clean and repel dirt and grime. Ideal for use in wet rooms and shower enclosures as a top up protection for grout after intensive cleaning.

For further information or to buy LTP Grout & Tile Protector >>

At LTP we believe in helping to provide solutions and this is why we offer a no obligation LTP TECHNICAL HELPLINE, so please give us a call on +44 (0) 1823 666213 and we will be happy to help you. Visit www.ltp-online.co.uk to buy from the LTP Range of products or find out more about us.