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HOW TO: Clean & Care for Natural Stone Patios

Natural Stone Patio

Outdoor patios are the idyllic stage for long-awaited barbecues, lazy Sunday afternoons, and summer evening gatherings.


These functional extensions of our living spaces offer a breath of fresh air, quite literally. However, to keep our outdoor sanctuaries looking their best, a bit of maintenance is in order.


Picture-perfect patios don't clean themselves, but don't panic – we've got your guide to getting the most out of your patio with our cleaning and maintenance guide.


Prevention is better than cure

Sealants


Sealing your new patio isn't a necessity, but with the pros outweighing the cons it seems like a bit of a no-brainer, especially for natural stone slabs.


With our famously changeable weather in the UK, natural stone can become tired and worn long before it's time, so treating with a good quality sealant can allow you to get the best from your investment.


Natural Stone Patio

Less maintenance

The hours spent brushing, jet-washing and scrubbing can really add up, not to mention the cost if you outsource. Using a good quality sealant can reduce the time spent maintaining your new patio - so much so that a heavy downpour, or a simple rinse down with a hose, can do the job.


Stronger for longer

How annoying is it when you step on a slab just to be splashed with the old rain water which has been marinating underneath? Although jointing compound does help stop rocking slabs, adding a sealant will provide another level of strength to your patio and reduce the need to relay slabs.


Restore or replace?

A new patio can cost a pretty penny, so if you can restore your existing patio at a fraction of the cost, why wouldn't you? Although sealants aren't the answer to all ailments, they can refresh a well-worn patio into something to be proud of again.


Bring that colour back to life

Natural stone can loose it's pizzazz over the years (don't we all!), so much so you might forget what colour it was in the first place. Most wet look sealants (look for wet-look or gloss finish on the tin) now include a colour enhancer, so you get protection and a new-look patio for your money!


As an added bonus, they usually resist UV rays - helping the stone retain it's natural look for longer.



Sealant Top Tips

  • Sealants can often change the look of natural stone, so make sure to patch test on a spare slab before applying.

  • Make sure the slabs are clean and bone dry before applying sealant.

  • Always make sure to follow the manufacturer's advice before applying products, and don't hesitate to seek advice from your patio installer if you're unsure.

  • Give your patio a regular clean with a light jet wash each season, to prevent build up of dirt which could cause staining.

  • We recommend waiting at least 30 days before jet-washing new patios to avoid any issues with lifting.



Natural Stone Patio

Removing moss, lichen, algae and weeds

Fed up with your patio being covered in unwanted greenery?


A bit of elbow grease and some good quality weed or moss killer should do the trick – remove weeds by hand, scrape out the joints with a patio scraper, and on a dry day apply your weed killer.


In a few days, you’ll see a noticeable reduction in weeds, and the now dead growths can be brushed off with a broom.


The weed killer will leave a residue within the joints which should reduce the likelihood of regrowth, making the whole process even easier next time around.


De-Icing Natural Stone Paving

When temperatures drop, and you find yourself walking like Bambi across your new patio to save yourself a nasty fall, you may find yourself reaching for the salt. We’d really recommend you didn’t – salt, and especially rock salt, can cause irreparable damage and overtime can cause long term breakdown of the stone.


If not salt, then surely de-icer is the next best option, right?


Unfortunately not – they can contain strong chemicals which cause discolouration and cracks, ruining your natural stone patio.


Instead, we recommend using sand. Although it doesn’t actually melt the ice (or snow) it provides a good amount of grip underfoot, and can be washed right off once the ice underneath has melted.



 

Visit any of our branches to find the tools and materials you need to carry out any DIY task. We're also happy to help with any advice you need.

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Where to find us

Biddenden

Dymchurch

Folkestone

19-23 Hythe Road, Dymchurch, Kent, TN29 0LN

Opening hours

Monday to Friday 7.30am - 5pm

Saturday 8am - 2pm

Tel: 01303 875588

Benenden Road, Biddenden, Kent, TN27 8DX

Opening hours

Monday to Friday 7.30am - 5pm

Saturday 8am - 1pm

Tel: 01580 292322

Caesars Way, Folkestone, Kent, CT19 4AL

Opening hours

Monday to Friday 7.30am - 5pm

Saturday 8am - 1pm

Tel: 01303 768500

If you'd like to discuss your project needs, give us a call or email our team at sales@doityoungs.com

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