This property in Epsom featured a small enclosed Terracotta Patio which the owner wanted deep cleaning in time for the summer. She had a huge shared garden and was hoping to host a family BBQ later in in the year, so wanted it to look good for the event. Given the situation with the COVID-19 epidemic I was happy for the opportunity to work outdoors and agreed a time to pop over and take a closer look.
I went over to survey the Terracotta tiling and except for a few stains I could see it was in good order, however the old sealer was wearing thin and it was due a good clean and re-seal. It was roughly 18m2 and I was confident weather permitting it could be done in one day. I worked out a price which was accepted, and we agreed a date for my return.
Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Patio Floor
Focusing on the grout first I sprayed on a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and then left it to soak in for ten minutes. The Pro-Clean was then scrubbed into the grout lines by hand using a stiff brush. This action cleaned up the grout and using minimal water the soil was rinsed off the tiles and extracted with a wet vacuum.
Having inspected the tiles on my initial visit I had decided the best course of action to remove the old sealer and clean them up would be to apply a coarse 200-grit diamond pad. This would deep clean the tiles, remove the old sealer, renovate the surface, and remove the stains. This can be a little messy but gives a great result. After the 200-grit pad I closed the pores in the tiles with a 400-grit and then 800-grit burnishing pad. Terracotta is very porous so by closing the pores it should ensure the sealer doesn’t rapidly soak into the Terracotta during sealing.
After the application of each pad the tiles were rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum. I used minimal water during the rinsing to improve my chances of them drying quickly so I could apply the sealer later that day.
On this occasion the tiles were in reasonable condition, however, that’s not always the case and for tougher patio cleaning work I would of used Tile Doctor Patio and Driveway cleaner which really cuts through dirt and can pretty much clean up any external patio regardless of condition.
Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Patio Floor
It was a warm June afternoon which greatly aided the drying; I know from experience that applying a sealer to a damp tile can result in an inconsistent finish so I used a damp meter to measure the moisture levels before proceeding.
My plan had worked, and the moisture reading soon reached an acceptable level allowing me to apply the sealer. The sealer I selected was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, this is a tough sealer that will provide plenty of protection for many years to come and its breathable so will cope with external environment. Seal and Go Extra also contains a colour enhancer which gave the natural red colour of the Terracotta tiles a real boost.
The patio looked great and my client was over the moon with the results. Hopefully, she won’t have to wait too long before she can have that barbeque with her family.