How about this for something different, a roof top patio in Guilford that was tiled with Ceramic Tiles. The work has been done some years prior and I understand from the owner that a crane was needed to bring all the materials onto site. The owner had called me in because grout had turned brown and there was what appeared to be limescale forming in some places.
Ceramic tiles by their very nature are very easy to clean however grout can be problematic due to its cementitious rough texture that can trap dirt and cause it to discolour. Ceramic tiles actually make the problem worse as their glazed coating makes them impervious and dirt washes off the tile straight into the grout line.
It was clear to me that deep cleaning the grout would improve the general appearance of the patio and after agreeing the solution with the client a date was agreed for my return to do the work which should only take a day. I needed a dry period to do the work and fortunately the weather gods were in our favour so the date worked out.
Cleaning a Ceramic Tiled Patio Floor
I returned on the scheduled date and set about preparing the tile and grout with strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This product is our go to tile and grout cleaning product and works best when left to soak in for ten minutes first. I then scrubbed all the grout lines by hand with a wire brush to really work the solution into the grout and get the best result. Once done the now dirty cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.
Although an improvement there were several areas that had experienced deep seated staining. I suspect the overhanging trees and other greenery were to blame for some of the staining but being outside and exposed to the British weather can also cause issues. To resolve I removed the stained grouting by running a sharp blade along the joints and a Fein oscillating tool. Once done the grout was replaced with a matching product.
Next, I removed the limescale with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and a Stanley blade. For maximum effect the product is left to soak in for around twenty minutes first so I used this time to bring up my machinery in preparation for cleaning the tiles. I use a rotary floor cleaner fitted with a black nylon pad to remove the dirt. After vacuuming away the limescale and other detritus I cleared the area of all tools so I could seal the grout.
Sealing Grout on a Rooftop Patio
I left the patio to dry out for a few hours and then proceeded to apply the sealant for which I used Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. We find the best method is drop the sealer along the grout line using a Pipette and then to rub off the excess later.
Sealing grout this way is a slow but very effective method but it’s worth doing as it will protect the grout from future staining, allowing it to keep its appearance for longer and make it easier to clean. I often get asked how long sealers last but it’s a tricky question to answer in this case as being external it really depends on the weather.