Tuesday, September 25 2012
Cleaning & Sealing Exterior Tile & Grout Surfaces:
We have spent a great deal of time on this website discussing the importance of cleaning and sealing your tile and grout lines in your home. But what about those exterior tile & grout surfaces? If you own a home or have rental property you probably have some type(s) of exterior hard surfaces such as: concrete pathways, flagstone patios, cool decks around your pool, slate patios, brick or stone fireplaces, BBQ pits, etc. These exterior tile & grout surfaces add beauty, comfort, and increase property values, but they can also be a pain to clean and protect.
Because these exterior tile & grout surfaces are exposed to the great out doors they can become quite dirty and difficult to clean. These surfaces, unlike indoor floors, are constantly being exposed the sun's harmful rays, animal poop, dirt, leaves, etc. It doesn't take long for a build up to show and possibly mold and mildew to dominate your once beautiful exterior surfaces.
The nice thing about cleaning an exterior hard surface is that you don't have to worry about baseboards, carpeting, wood floors, or scratching the paint. Often times these surfaces can be cleaned with a broom, leaf blower, and a power washer. If you are using a cleaning agent (soap) make sure to select something that won't kill your plants and NEVER use acid. People think that acid is a cleaner and it is NOT. Acid is used, and sparingly I might add, to remove stains that can not be cleaned other wise. The problem with acid is that it will etch (scar) your stones, concrete, and grout. You want to use a alkaline cleaning solution with a stiff brush. After you have power washed the surface you can use your leaf blower to dry out the surface before applying a sealer. NOTE: NOT ALL SURFACES SHOULD BE SEALED. It is also important to point out that a power washer can damage your exterior surfaces IF you do not know what you are doing.
Cleaning, Sealing, and Restoring your exterior tile & grout surfaces can be time consuming and may cost you some money if you do not already own the proper equipment. If you do not have the time or the patience for this type of work you may want to consider hiring a professional. Here at Liberty Floor Solutions we are experts at cleaning exterior tile & grout surfaces. The best time of the year to clean exterior surfaces is in the Fall and the early Spring before it gets too hot or too cold. I hope this has been helpful to you, please email me if you have questions or concerns.