Are you looking to lay or renovate a patio in Australia? Natural stone paving slabs such as Bluestone slabs are one of the most durable, beautiful choices you could make. Unlike concrete or liquid limestone surfacing options, quality paving slabs can be moved and re-laid should you require access to underground services. Here are five tips for cleaning, protecting and sealing your natural stone paving slabs to keep them looking at their best.
Tip 1. Use A High-Pressure Washer With Degreasing Agent
The easiest way to clean natural stone paving slabs is to use a high-pressure washer. Oftentimes, water alone will be sufficient to remove dirt, grease and grime. If you don’t already own one, invest in a lance with bottle attachment and use a degreasing agent such as Hydra Sprint V2. Degreasing agents make child’s play out of removing anything from grease to oil or other surface contaminants.
Tip 2. Use A Film Sealer
The quickest and cheapest way of protecting new paving slabs is to use a film sealer from a trusted company such as CSW Coatings. Film sealers are not absorbed by the stone and will provide protection against chemicals, discoloration, and staining. Film sealers are easily brushed, rolled or sprayed onto paving slabs, making cleaning a cinch.
Tip3. Use An Impregnating Stone Sealer
One way to reduce the frequency with which your stone paving slabs require cleaning is to use an impregnating stone sealer. Sealers such as DryTreat or Resiblock create a deep barrier of protection within the natural stone. This protects against staining, discoloration and the risk of contaminants bonding with the surface. Apply the sealer according to directions immediately after cleaning. Unlike film sealers, penetrating stone sealers do not flake, are resistance to salt and make the slabs easier to clean. You can expect to pay more for penetrating sealers than for film sealers but you will get your money’s worth. As these sealers are absorbed into the stone, they prevent other contaminants from being absorbed and staining the stone, something that can be very hard to rectify.
Tip 4. Use Water-Based Sealers For Peace Of Mind
According to the Housing Industry Association who award the GreenSmart Professionals certification, water-based paving slab sealers are kinder to the environment. They have a lower environmental impact and ensure that your paving slabs look great while being safe for kids and pets too. Choose a water-based sealer if being green tops your list of priorities.
Tip 5. Restore Old Slabs With Solvent-Based Paving Sealer Enhancer
If your existing paving slabs are discolored and grimy, you many think that investing in new paving slabs such as bluestone pavers is your only solution. In fact, old paving slabs can be restored to almost ‘as-new’ condition with the use of a sealer enhancer. According to the Master Builders Association, only solvent-based sealer enhancers can give ultra deep, rich surface enhancement of old surfaces so don’t waste your money on water-based products if you want enhancement.
These five tips should help any homeowner choose the right steps to clean, protect and seal their paving slabs. What do you think of our tips? What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section below!