Just like any other floor tiles for your home or garden, you spend months planning and picking the perfect material and colour for the tiles. Marvelling at your beautiful outdoor area, are you suddenly overcome with lethargy when you consider how to care for your tiles? No, the same passion that drove the planning and installation stages will continue to drive you to maintain your patio tiles.
These 5 tips will keep your patio looking as beautiful as it first did when the final tile was laid down. It doesn’t matter what material your patio tiles are made from, these cleaning tips apply to any material.
Your patio is the ultimate symbol of your mastery over nature, so the sight of a weed poking out through the grout between tiles is a serious insult to our advances as human beings. Along with this insult, weeds allowed to take root and grow will forcibly move and damage your patio tiles.
To extend the life of your tiles, you must thoroughly weed your patio regularly. Use whatever method you wish; weed killer or pulling them out manually. Note that the weed will probably take some of the grout with it if you pull it out, so you'll have to replace it once you’ve finished weeding.
There’s something therapeutic about a gentle sweeping of your patio tiling. It provides a supreme sense of home ownership and well-being, while getting an important garden maintenance task ticked off. The wet and windy autumn weather is certain to have strewn leaves, branches and general debris across your patio.
As well as for aesthetic reasons, it’s important that you keep your patio clear of organic debris because it provides the perfect place for plants and fungi to grow. Debris also gets in the way of the cleaning process if your tiles have gotten dirty. Get your Nimbus 2000 out and start sweeping.
Being outside, there are all kinds of things that can dirty and stain your patio tiles; soil, fertiliser, whatever the dog brought in. If it’s soil then it’s a simple job to get rid of it. The garden hose should provide enough pressure to wash away dirt, but if it doesn’t then get the bucket and sponge out.
All you need to do is fill a bucket with warm water and some washing up liquid and get scrubbing with a rough sponge. For larger areas, dip your broom in the solution to increase your productivity. Once it’s clean, leave it to dry before doing any other patio maintenance.
Weeds aren’t the only living thing that take a shine to patios. In wet climates, algae will really thrive on the hard and porous surface of your patio. If you don't like the murky green tinge it gives your tiles then there’s a simple solution.
Household bleach is a really effective way of banishing the green menace and it’s readily available. Make a solution that’s 50% water and 50% bleach and pour a little onto the surface. Leave it for a few minutes and it should get to work, killing the algae. Rinse it off with water and leave it to dry.
The best way to safeguard your tiles against further weeds and damage is to seal them. The materials used in patio tiles tend to be quite porous; limestone, concrete and brick are a few examples. Porous stone tiles offer advantages, such as a less slippery surface and an array of beautiful natural colours, however they are also more susceptible to moisture.
A tile sealer will basically seal out the elements with a protective layer. This is an excellent way to extend the life of your tiles. As well as keeping out water, this layer will prevent weed growth and will generally make caring for your tiles easier. Sealant doesn’t last forever, however, and will have to be redone every year or so to maintain its effectiveness.
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