How to Seal and Maintain Outdoor Stone Tiles and Cladding
Stone is a beautiful material that has become an extremely popular choice for modern outdoor areas thanks to its contemporary look and feel as well as its overall durability. What a lot of people don’t realise, however, is that stone tends to stain easily. Despite it being a hard material, stone is porous, which is what makes it susceptible to stains. That doesn’t mean there’s no solution, however, maintaining your beautiful stone tiles is actually relatively easy to do, and with the right attention they can outlast any other surface.
How to seal your stone to protect from moisture
Because stone is porous, it needs sealing to protect it from the infiltration of foreign liquids and moisture. Sealing is a relatively simple process and there are a range of products available to assist, but before doing so the stone needs to be sufficiently clean. Use our AquaKleen to provide the cleaning power required to first get your stone in good shape for cleaning.
Once the stone is clean, the sealing process can begin. Liberally apply a product like our Penetrating Sealer using a brand new mop or sponge (for extra cleanliness). Allow the sealer to penetrate the stone for up to five minutes before wiping it dry with a clean towel. Depending on the surface, you may need to repeat this process for multiple applications, but you can test each application after 2 hours.
Our High Gloss Sealer and Enrich N Seal allow for a different finish, with a glossy and darker stain respectively. When applying the sealer it’s recommended that you use our Sealer Application Kit to ensure clean application and drying. The kit includes an application pad for even application and microfibre towels for efficient drying; all crucial for a successful sealing exercise that lasts.
Once the sealer is applied, you must allow enough time for it to dry sufficiently. After this process is completed, any grouting can also be done and then sealed with a product like our Aqua Mix Grout Sealer.
Maintenance and cleaning your stone for longevity
Keeping your natural stone in good shape is a matter of taking the proper steps to keep it maintained on a regular basis. Vacuuming or sweeping is usually the first port of call in clearing surface debris. After this, some water based cleaning is usually the most effective. Rather than using plain water or a standard soap solution, our cleaning products are specifically formulated for cleaning stone.
The AquaShield Cleaner and Resealer is non abrasive and has a resealing function as it cleans the surface of your stone. It’s vital that you don’t use abrasive cleaners on your stone tiles. Think of it in the same way as if you were to use abrasive cleaners on wooden floors; you certainly wouldn’t want to scratch them and the same applies for natural stone. If you have neglected your stone for some time (it happens), a product like the Stone Deep Clean may be more useful in helping to restore some of its natural finish and removing the effects of any hard or excessive wear.
While deep cleaning and specific products are always good to use to ensure proper maintenance, there are also some general things that you can do day to day to ensure that your stone is always well looked after. For example, if you have any spills, be sure to wipe them up immediately rather than giving them a chance to settle in and absorb (even on a sealed surface). Paper towels can be good for the initial spill as they’ll absorb the liquid. The best motion to use is a dabbing motion rather than wiping or rubbing the spill. Regular sweeping will also help to ensure that debris doesn’t have a chance to stick or leak into the surface of the stone. Remember to also pay attention to any grouting as well, as this is a crucial part of your stone surface.
One of the benefits of natural stone is that if it’s properly cared for it can last a lifetime. Additionally, stone can actually improve over time with the right maintenance, adding long lasting character to your space. By using the right products and keeping the surface clean, you’ll be sure to enjoy your stone for years to come.