Although it’s only very early autumn, the nights are drawing in and winter will approach in a flash! If you’ve been thinking about getting your garden winter-ready, now is a good time to get the most out of your patio tiles next spring and summer. By following these quick and easy steps, you’ll protect your paving from damage and make getting back out in the garden more pleasant next year. Read on for some advice to lessen the effects of rain, frost and ice – here are five tips for winter-proofing patio tiles.
1. Start by removing any algae and mould
If your garden’s quite sheltered and it’s been a wet summer, algae and mould may appear on your patios tiles. This is why it’s important to have a regular sweep to prevent this build-up from forming, but this is easier said than done when you’re busy with life. Our active mould remover, ALGACID, is effective on quarry and porcelain tiles, natural stone and concrete. Easy to use and effective in minutes, we’d highly recommend this product to keep your patio nice and algae-proof!
2. Perform winter maintenance with the best cleaner for your patio tiles
Now that your patio tiles are algae-free, it’s time to give them a clean to remove even the smallest pieces of debris. While you may be tempted to reach for the jet wash, a gentler approach is much better to avoid any unnecessary pitting to sensitive stones. Obviously, different surfaces require different products, so the one that you use will be tailored to the type of patio tiles you have. Here, we have gathered a few paving examples with the best cleaner to use to keep your outdoor space in great condition through winter.
Slate and other natural stone
If you have acid-sensitive stone such as limestone or slate, CLEANER PRO carefully cleans but won’t affect the delicate surface. For the ordinary maintenance of natural stone, dilute CLEANER PRO at 1:200 (25 ml in 5 litres of water) before re-sealing the surface ready for winter with our green protector, MP90 ECO XTREME.
Concrete and brick patio tiles
When it comes to cleaning concrete and brick patio tiles, PS87 PRO works well for stains that are a little tougher than usual. The best cleaner for greasy food marks from those summertime feasts, this patio cleaner is extremely easy to use!
Porcelain patio tiles
Exterior porcelain tiles are a durable choice and can stand up against virtually any weather condition. CLEANER PRO is great for the routine maintenance of this type of tiles, but for tougher stains, we’d suggest PS87 PRO. Additionally, FILA’s DETERDEK PRO can be used as a limescale detergent on porcelain tiles to remove salt deposits left behind by rain and snow.
3. Re-seal natural stone with a green protector
Once patio tiles are nice and clean, you should use a stone sealer on materials like sandstone or slate. This will penetrate the stone and prevent stains while protecting your patio from erosion by harsh weather. Our green protector MP90 ECO XTREME is a water-based product that provides amazing protection without affecting the stone surface. This overall process of cleaning and sealing will also help to remove a build-up of rain that can remain on patio tiles until it turns into ice.
4. And don’t forget to seal your driveway to prevent cracks from ice
Concrete has long been a top favourite when it comes to driveways, and it provides endless kerb appeal. The only downside with concrete, however, is that it can be porous, allowing water to seep in, freeze and cause cracks. To ensure a crack-free driveway over winter, we suggest the use of a sealer such as FILA’s CONCRETE SHIELD. This will make the surface weather-resistant and prevent stains; just remember to thoroughly clean any grease marks beforehand with a concrete cleaner like PS87 PRO.
5. Shovel carefully and avoid using rock salt on natural stone
After a heavy snowfall, you may need to shovel the excess from your patio tiles. If not carefully done, the shovel can damage natural stone, leading to all sorts of issues like cracks. A shovel with a plastic or silicone head will reduce this risk and still enable you to enjoy a safe surface. We’d also suggest avoiding using rock salt as once it mixes with water, the solution can seep into patio cracks and refreeze.
Wrap up warm with FILA’s winter-proofing products
We hope you’ve loved reading this guide and are now feeling prepared to get your garden ready for the cold spell! For any other questions relating to patio tiles and winter maintenance, please speak to our technical team for further assistance.