How to Clean and Care for Stone Patios and Walkways
Natural stone is a wise investment for surfaces inside and outside residential homes including surrounding patios and walkways. Natural stone can last for decades, is visually appealing, and does not take excess effort to maintain. So how exactly should you clean natural stone patios?
Although not difficult to care for, these surfaces cannot be neglected. Regular care and maintenance are critical for the integrity and life of these surfaces. Individuals are more likely to neglect a natural stone surface when it is located on outdoor patios and walkways. This informational guide was created to help homeowners care for their stone patios and walkways and prevent avoidable damages.
How to Clean Natural Stone Patios
Natural stone provides a timeless aesthetic beauty around the outside of a home or business. These areas can quickly become less visually appealing when covered in dirt, mildew, and/or stains. Not cleaning and caring for patios and walkways will likely result in discoloration and damage that can be expensive to repair.
Homeowners must take extra care when cleaning a natural stone patio. The most important thing is to remember to sweep patios and walkways regularly. A buildup of leaves can decompose and stain the surface. Other debris can cause eventually erosion, resulting in other damages, including chips and scratches.
Regular cleaning should also be performed in addition to sweeping. Use the following method to safely clean stone patios and walkways:
- After a thorough sweeping use a water hose to rinse off all surfaces. Use the fan setting on your water hose to avoid using too much water pressure.
- Use a stone-safe cleaner. There are products specifically developed for each type of natural stone. If these are not available, use mild dish detergent mixed with warm water.
- Use a non-wire brush to scrub patio and walkway surfaces. Never use wire brushes because this result in scratches on the stone.
- Leave water on the surface for up to ten minutes, rescrub if stains are still present, followed by a rinse with more warm water.
This process should remove grime and minor stains from the stone. Home and business owners will need to contact a professional for an evaluation if stains are still present after regular stone cleaning. Deep set stains may require a technician to use professional equipment to polish and restore the stone.
How Often Should Natural Stone Surfaces Be Cleaned?
How often stone patios and walkways should be cleaned will depend on several factors, including the number of people who traffic the area, and the amount of foliage and dust that are prevalent. Homeowners typically need to clean their outdoor areas a minimum of 3x a week to keep the areas clean and prevent stains.
Businesses with natural stone walkways and/or patios will need to clean these surfaces on daily basis for protection.
Outdoor stone is at an increased risk of damages from the elements. Rain, ice, debris, and dust from stormy weather can result in damages if neglected. Be sure to always clean or (at minimum) dry stone after it is affected by the weather.
Should Stone Patios Be Sealed?
Seal outdoor stone regularly to increase its protection it from the elements, spills, and scratches. After sweeping and cleaning the surfaces a stone sealer can be buffed onto the surface. This is an intricate task that requires an individual to work carefully, section by section until the entirety of the area is buffed.
Many home and business owners choose to hire a stone professional for this task to prevent hazing. This is the best decision because these technicians are experienced in stone care and maintenance services, making them aware of this risk, and providing them the knowledge to avoid it from occurring.
There are several preventative tips to keep the natural stone from suffering from avoidable damages. These include cleaning up messes when they occur and using the appropriate cleaners.
Always clean up any and all spills on natural stone as soon as they occur. Use warm water and a stone-safe cleaning agent to remove the stain before it penetrates the stone. After a stain soaks into the stone, it will become nearly impossible to safely remove.
This is particularly important if you have a grill on your patio. Always be extra cautious and keep an eye open for any grease splatter, food droppings, or spilled beverages.
Never use a harsh household cleaning agent on patio and walkways. This can lead to several unsightly issues, including etching and/pitting on the stone. Acidic cleaners are the worst product for stone surfaces. Repairing the damages from this mistake could be costly.
Professional Stone Services
Stone surfaces are an expensive investment that should be regularly examined for damages. Check for cracks, etching, scratches, chips, or any other sign of an issue with stone. Never try to repair these issues without a professional evaluation. Attempting to fix natural stone can further damage the surface because it does require specialized tools and skills.
Just Call Classic
Just Call Classic is the only team of licensed, trained, natural stone specialists that South Florida trusts to care for their stone surfaces. Just Call Classic provides its clients with commercial, residential, and yacht stone repair, care, and maintenance services.
This team of experienced and qualified technicians works with a wide range of natural stone, including:
Just Call Classic is family-owned, licensed, and insured. Committed to providing the best stone care in the state. Trust your investment to a team of experienced professionals to provide stone maintenance, repair, and/or restoration. Reach out today for more information about their list of services.