There comes a point after a new patio is laid when it somehow doesn't look quite as good as it did. Has it already lost its mojo, or is its new-laid charm suffocating under a layer of dirt? We'd suggest the latter.
Pollution, pets, Nature, general use—all put a layer of grime on stone. Some stone shrugs it off a little easier than others. Water and oil carry dirt down into the stone with them and less porous natural stone, such a slate and granite, and those in darker colours tend not to show the effects so much. However, these too will lose their just-laid freshness.
Fortunately, the answer is simple. Regular cleaning helps to keep your natural stonework the way you like it. At London Stone, we offer standard and deep cleaning and to help you decide which is necessary, we perform a free survey, sending our expert operative Boris to assess your needs. A standard clean is generally sufficient, but a deep clean might be required for more ingrained dirt, while stains caused by, for example, red wine spills, will probably respond best to our specific stain removal service.
Stone can be cleaned at any time, assuming the weather allows, but the most popular times are in spring, in readiness for enjoying your garden in the summer months, and in autumn, to remove the dirt that the extra summer use has created. Every six months is recommended. Some people prefer to leave cleaning till spring but it's worth bearing in mind that stains and marks—caused by, for example, fats splashing from barbeques or timber tannings from furniture that sits on the stone—will lift more easily if they've not been there for a long time.
If you've had your stone sealed, it's likely that dirt will penetrate less easily (though it depends on the sealing product that's been used as to how effective that is. We'll cover our Sealing service in the next blog post). However, the sealed stone is not self-cleaning stone and even the densest material, such as Porcelain, will need cleaning. This is because algae will eventually grow on any surface, turning it green, although its progress is slower on non-porous stone. Cleaning protects you from the build-up of micro-organisms that eventually turn any surface slippery, especially in shady areas.
Standard and Deep Cleans are available in Paving Stone or Bespoke versions. The former is fine for single level patios, while the latter is required for areas with coping stones, pool surrounds, steps, pier caps and feature walls—which require different equipment and methods of application to do justice to step risers and the sides and underneath of edges.
London Stone offers one-off cleaning or a regular maintenance service. Why not give us a call today for details and plan to put your patio to rest in a good state this autumn?