Maintenance Of External Stone Floors
(Flamed sandblasted, brushed, chiselled or bush-hammered surfaces)
Non-slip finishes vary in degree of difficulty to clean. The more effective the non-slip finish the more difficult it is to clean! The easier to clean the less effective the non-slip finish!
On installation of any stone floor or paved area in a non-slip finish, we recommend that it be sealed with recommended penetrating sealer, (see attachment for options to consider or refer to the website). Penetrating sealers do not change the appearance of the material or leave a film on the surface. Note that it is critical that the floor is professionally cleaned prior to sealing allowing adequate time to dry prior to application of the sealer.
It is recommended that cleaning and application of sealer is done by a recommended sealing contractor, (see list of recommended application contractors attached or refer to website). As external substrates can hold high moisture content, it is recommended that the background, concrete slab or top surface of the screed, be waterproofed prior to installation of tiles to minimize any risk of efflorescence. To minimize the risk of efflorescence and or damage caused by water and salts over time consider an application of Dry-Treat 40SK, (for more information refer to www.drytreat.com.au).
Note however that the extent of any efflorescence is environmental and will vary from one site to another. Most important is that if efflorescence occurs it should be cleaned promptly to avoid the salts and impurities being “baked” on the surface. If cleaned promptly a combination of high pressure water and scrubbing with a white nylon pad may be enough, otherwise, an acidic cleaner may be required.
Apple Cider Vinegar is considered to be a safe household product to use if such a cleaning agent is required. If other commercial acidic cleaners are being used it is preferable to have this done by a recommended sealing application or cleaning contractor as these products may be hazardous to skin eyes and nose. Etching from the use of an acidic cleaner should be acceptable due to the non-slip, or more rustic surface finishes recommended for external floors.
As an external surface, some weathering is likely and may result in some fading of the colour, corrosion from acid rain & or pool chemicals. This may result in some veins or fissures becoming more open and to some extent more accentuated. The manner in which this occurs varies from one material to another as the structure and behaviour when exposed to the elements is unique to each individual material.
The ageing process may be more becoming on some materials, however, if there is a requirement to rejuvenate the general colour and appearance of the stone after some years, one may consider applying an application of colour enhancing sealer, (see attachment or refer to the website for a list of recommended colour enhance sealers).
Washing and cleaning
Washing of the floor for general maintenance purposes should be carried out using a high-pressure water source and done as often as required to maintain an adequately clean appearance. Depending on the extent of traffic and soiling, it may be necessary from time to time to “scrub wash” either manually using a standard scrubbing brush or a commercial scrub cleaning machine. If using a cleaning agent we recommend Johnsons View Quick, a non-rinse product that should help remove dirt and grime and enhance the appearance of the floor.