How do I clean my external paving?

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.

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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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Understanding Slate

Brazilian Black Slate

Brazilian Black Slate

In our showroom in wellington, somerset. We have noticed an increase in customers wanting to know the ins and outs of slate and the process in how they are made and what the different finishes before being sealed really mean.

We are finding that the most popular slate at the moment is Brazilian.

Available in grey/greenish and black often used for Wet-Rooms both on the wall and floorDSC_1075 and available from stock in sizes of 900×900, 900×600, 600×600 and 300×300 though other sizes are avalible to order.

Slate

Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock.  Foliation is caused by strong compression causing fine grained clay flakes to regrow in planes perpendicular to the compression. When expertly “cut” by striking parallel to the foliation, with a specialized tool in the quarry, many slates will form smooth flat sheets of stone which have long been used for roofing and floor tiles and other purposes.

Because slate was formed in low heat and pressure, compared to a number of other metamorphic rocks, some fossils can be found in slate, sometimes even microscopic remains of delicate organisms.

Slate that comes from the UK, China, Spain or Canada are produced by metamorphism. These seams can contain twists produced by geological activity.

Brazilian slate is actually a sedimentary rock or mudstone, with significantly different properties. It cleaves very cleanly, and all rock deposits are naturally very flat. This gives a very consistent appearance.

Slate can be Hand split or calibrated,  Honed or Riven.

Honed slate is when the surface of the slate has been ground to a smooth, flat, consistent surface. It also means, in the case of normally shiny stones such as granite or marble, that the polish or shine has been removed leaving a matte (unpolished) surface.

Riven Slate is a natural cleft face of stone, achieved by splitting blocks of stone along natural laminations, formed by strong compression of fine grains forced to grow perpendicular to the compression. Here is a link to a video to see hand splitting being done. Hand Splitting slate.

Calibrated slate is machined on the underside to give a consistent thickness making it uniform in depth.

We recommend cleaning, sealing and maintaining with LTP Products, and the link here will help you identify what surface you have, what finish you would like to achieve and what sealers you will need.

Different methods of sealing can achieve different looks.

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Cleaning tips for slate wall and floor tiles

When is sealing or deep cleaning required?

  • As an important stage in the installation process of wall and floor tiles.
  • Where poorly maintained slate floors need a top up seal.
  • When restoring slate 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 slate wall and floor tiles scrupulously clean before and during the fixing process, is vitally important.

Intensive cleaning of slate floors and walls before application of the correct protective sealing product will make sure the result does not disappoint. Installing slate 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 slate floor or worktop will not address stains and residue marks.

Simply washing slate 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 slate being installed. Need more information about surfaces? Visit our identify your surface selector.

Sealing of slate guide can be downloaded here: LTP application guide.

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 Keep My Grout Clean?

Why 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

There 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.

Tips for cleaning grout between tiles

To clean dirty grouting on floors and walls we recommend the use of LTP Grimex.

LTP 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.

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.

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. 

LTP 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.

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 – 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.

LTP 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.