York Stone Cleaning and Sealing
York stone is one of the nicest natural materials for a patio. It’s Solid, durable it’s British and it looks great. That is when it is looked after properly. When York stone is neglected, especially in our British climate, the stone, due to its form and porous nature easily becomes covered in organic growth. This organic growth in most cases presents itself in a black appearance across the stone. This makes the stone look dull and the original vibrant colours are hidden under the blanket of organic growth.
York Stone Cleaning
Many people fail when trying to restore York stone. If trying to clean the stone using a cold pressure washer alone the stone will not be restored as well as it can be. There will likely be stubborn ‘black spot’ which are areas of established lichens which grow into the stone and often will not be removed from just cold pressure washing.
Steam cleaning the stone using a hot pressure washer will give superior results as the heat helps to kill more of the organic growth removing more of the black and green organic stains and leaving the stone looking cleaner.
As well as cleaning with a hot pressure washer we also use a cleaning product which kills organic growths such as moss , lichen and fungi on contact. The solution consists of a surfactant that allows the solution to dwell on the surface of the stone and like water when it rains the solution starts to seep into the stone due to the porous nature and it is this cleaning solution that reacts and kills the organic growth in the stone.
This is a very important part of the restoration process as it is this step in the process that helps to kill black spot and other organic growth that may be below the surface of the stone and cannot be reached from pressure washing methods alone.
York Stone Sealing
Why would you want to seal York stone after cleaning?
As you can see in the picture above to the left, when left un protected York stone will become a habitat for organic growths that live in the stone and appear black, green or white, detracting from the natural beauty of the stone and hiding the vibrant colours. As briefly mentioned above this is because when un protected York stone gets wet it stays damp for quite some time (due to the porosity)
This dampness, combined with the natural minerals in the stone make ideal conditions for organic growth such as lichens to flourish. These inhabit the stone and continue to grow until the patio looks extremely ‘dirty’.
Sealing the stone with a natural stone sealer will allow the stone to breath and allow any trapped moisture to escape but it will put a protective waterproof layer on the surface of the stone which helps keep the stone cleaner for longer and makes it easier to maintain the stone into the future.
The main reason for this is because the sealer prevents the stone from getting soaked and remaining damp for long periods. By stopping this one key aspect required for organic growth to flourish is prevented.
If you need your York stone cleaning and sealing be sure to get in touch for a free quote.