Outdoor Natural Stone Flooring Maintenance

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Outdoor Natural Stone Flooring Maintenance

Outdoor Natural Stone Flooring Maintenance

Natural stone – the likes of marble, slate, onyx, travertine, and limestone – comes with its unique charm and beauty. These stones are carved out by nature, and are directly removed from quarries. Slabs get cut or cut quarried blocks, and are then taken through fabrication processes to wind up with the final stone tiles that will be installed. The natural formation processes mean that each block will be different from the next, and you won’t find any two slabs being truly identical – even when they are cut from the same block. Add this to the customising or machining that is carried out, where skilled crew come in to craft a design that will bring out a unique style – the end result are structures that are elegant in their own right. 

Different Stones, Different Needs

The first step is knowing your stone. Each material will have particular traits that are unique to it, and these will impact the floor cleaning and maintenance products that will be required for it. For instance, the formation processes that result in travertine cause the stone to have voids in its structure. There are some types of white marble floors that will yellow over time as a result of exposure to direct sunlight. Different treatment products are used, such as when sealing it, with factors such as the porosity of the installation having a huge bearing. As such, you will need to know the precise type of stone you’re dealing with. 

Tip: Get some extra stone for future replacements right from the word go. Since you don’t know if part of the floor will ever get damaged and need to be replaced, it is recommended that you have some around that will match the original floor. Remember that due to the natural processes that the stone goes through for their formation, stones from different quarries will end up looking different from each other – and you don’t want to struggle years later looking for a match that resembles the stone slabs you have in place. This is especially since the outdoor flooring is exposed to more threats compared to indoors. 

  • Regularly steal and reseal the stone

Natural stone installations are more porous compared to other kinds such as ceramic tiles. This causes them to readily soak up the spills that wind up on the floor, opening up different sets of problems. For instance, for some spills the main issue will be staining. Others have chemical properties that trigger reactions with the stone, such as the acids that dissolve the material. Applying the sealant is the first line of defence. 

The sealants used are not meant to last forever. They will wear down over time. How do you know that your floor is ready to be resealed? Pour some drops of water on it. If the water is quickly absorbed into the stone, leaving behind a dark spot, then it should be resealed. However, if the water beads on the surface, then the existing sealer is in good condition. 

  • Dusting or vacuuming

Dirt and grit particles on the surface of the stone will scratch it – so don’t allow them to accumulate. Moreover, dust mopping or vacuuming before you proceed to apply the floor cleaning solution is key to enable the latter to focus on breaking down the dirt and grime. 

  • Use natural stone cleaning agents

Conventional soaps and detergents or powerful cleaners like vinegar, lemon juice, or bleach are not ideal here. At best, they will leave a residual film on the surface or dull the floor. At worse, they will react with the stone and damage its structure, especially for the acidic solutions. Here, use a neutral pH floor cleaning agent that has been developed for such types of installations. These are suitable for most cleaning tasks, effectively getting rid of the dirt and grime. There will be cases when you’re confronted with stubborn stains, in which case a mild-pH product may be used – and even for these situations there are natural stone cleaners that have been available. Here, the emphasis will be on ensuring that you stick to the recommended dilution ratios when preparing the floor cleaning solution. 

  • Deal with water and spills immediately

Being outdoors does not mean that you leave the natural stone structure to the mercies of the elements. Stains will end up forming, ruining your curb appeal. Pay particular attention to the water from the sprinkler, positioning it in such a way that it is not watering the floor while it waters the rest of the lawn.

 

Bringing In The Pros For Quality Care

Sure, you can handle the day-to-day cleaning, but when you want to give the surface a deep clean and clear those stubborn dirt spots and stains that have developed over time, it is recommended that you get a professional to handle the task. This entails dealing with an experienced and licenced floor cleaning contractor, with the equipment and personnel to take on the task to deliver quality results in moments. A company that has been in business long enough to have a track record that you can verify, and where the personnel give you a detailed walk-through of the measures they are going to implement to revitalise the installation, breathing new life into it. 

A deep clean on those outdoor floors calls for high capacity machinery, especially with the level of grime that tends to build up on them. This, coupled with potent cleaners, will get the task done, but there is a thin line separating “powerful cleaner” and “destructive cleaner”, since you don’t want the structure getting ruined during the push to clear the grime. A team that has proven experience in handling a wide range of floor cleaning tasks comes in handy for you to rest assured that your installation is in safe hands. Go through the reviews and testimonials on the company’s social media pages – and even business directory listings if need be. What do past clients have to say about the business and the floor cleaning services they offer? Do they have satisfaction guarantees – and what steps can you take if you’re not happy with an aspect of the job? Getting this cleared up at the onset will avoid arguments and confrontations later on.

Outdoor Natural Stone Flooring Maintenance

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