Patio cleaning in Fife, is something that Fife Window Cleaning Services carry out regularly during the spring and summer months. Usually, you may assume patio cleaning includes the use of a pressure washing machine to clean the paving surface, but this isn’t always enough to remove the hard stains that darken the natural colour of the stone.
When cleaning patios its often the case that lichen has ingrained itself on to the surface, see our other blog on that subject here. If this is the case then any honest operator will struggle to remove this with water alone, and to provide an example of this see the two associated pictures. One is after a very thorough clean on Indian sandstone using a 21 litre a minute pressure washing machine, (and to offer context to that; an outdoor tap will only offer around 12 litre a minute at full flow and that is not pressurised water like we use through the turbo nozzle of our washer). The second image is after we then used soft washing treatment, so how did we safely carry this out?
One of the main things we have to be mindful of when using chemicals in the surrounding environment, namely plantation and animals. Please do not be alarmed by this, its an honest and responsible piece of information we provide while striving to clean your patio thoroughly (not like pic 1!). Our operators use personal protective clothing when cleaning drives and patios, which includes rubber elbow length gloves, rubber waterproof boots and goggles.
The safety we take for the surrounding environment is like so, it’s important that all plantation is pre-wet before we start and is also rinsed down at the end. This stops them from being able to absorb any more fluids and thus we do not harm any flowers or such like in your garden. When dealing with pets we always advise you keep them indoors until we are finished the cleaning process, and at this point, the surroundings will be completely safe for them to return to. These chemicals are bought over the counter and are stored and used respectfully by us. How do we apply such chemicals?
When we apply chemicals we use a pump sprayer, this allows us to get great coverage on the surface and also to vary the density of the spray. We mix the chemicals with a surfacant, this acts as an agent that helps the liquid to stick to the surfaces rather than disappear into the joints of the paving. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is the active ingredient we require, and when this is laid onto the patio or driveway we leave it for a dwell period of at least 20 minutes before power washing.
We use a brush to then scrub in the chemical as best we can, and leave it to start attacking the lichen and stains on the paving surface.
The main chemical that we use to remove stubborn marks off patios and driveways is sodium hypochlorite, and in its liquid form, this is a bleaching agent. It is distinct from chlorine but can be turned into chlorine with the addition of acids. This chemical is great at treating the colonisation of lichen but has to be applied safely and correctly. We use sodium hypo as standard, and here are some of the things we take note of when using it
• Wet the surface prior to use
• Wet all plantation before and after use-they cannot then absorb any more liquids
• Apply this to the whole area so we have a uniform finish
• Dilute with water, starting at a more diluted state and building up if needed
• More than one treatment may be needed if the lichen is stubborn
See www.fifewindowcleaningservices.co.uk for a list of our services
Blog post written by Chris Fotheringham