Tips to Get Your Outdoor Tile Ready for Summer
Homeowners in Chicago and the Chicagoland area spend long winters dreaming about summer barbecues. We can’t wait to use our patios and backyards as soon as spring (finally) breaks. Before you fire up the grill and invite your friends over, however, your outdoor tile probably needs a little TLC. These quick and simple tips will have your outdoor tile ready for summer in no time.
Cleaning Natural Stone Outdoors
Natural stone patios are a great option for harsh Midwestern winters. Because they’re not very porous at all, they’re less likely to get cracked or damaged during freeze-thaw cycles. But outdoor natural stone isn’t maintenance free. First and foremost, make sure your natural stone tile is property sealed — ideally, before winter begins. Then, follow these simple steps when spring (finally) rolls around:
- Sweep loose dirt, leaves and other loose debris from the surface. Brush horizontally and vertically to remove dirt particles from the joints.
- Spray the natural stone’s surface with a garden hose to remove the loose film.
- Scrub grease stains with a mild detergent like dish soap.
- Mix and half cup of bleach and a gallon of water to clean algae, leaf or other biological stains.
Keep an eye out for any cracked or uneven natural stone tiles in need restoration during spring cleaning. And keep in mind that regular polishing will be needed to help maintain natural stone’s original shine.
Cleaning Porcelain Outdoors
Porcelain holds up great outdoors in cold weather areas like Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. It’s durability and affordability make it one of the most popular outdoor options. Even better, glazed porcelain tiles generally don’t have to be sealed. But grout joints should be cleaned and sealed before winter. Then, when spring breaks, these simple steps will make your tile shine:
- Sweep loose debris from the surface with a broom.
- Allow a water-vinegar mixture and to saturate for a few minutes and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub; tackle one small section at a time and wipe dry before moving on.
- Use warm, soapy water to scrub any stubborn stains.
- Wipe surface clean using hot water.
Again, spring-cleaning is a great time to check for cracked or damaged porcelain tile. Call a tile contractor to make repairs before colder winter returns and small problems turn into bigger problems.
Cleaning Ceramic Tile Outdoors
Not only does ceramic tile took great, it’s durable and affordable. No wonder it’s one of the most popular options. When it comes to outdoor ceramic tile in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, however, proper maintenance and cleaning is critical. These simple steps will keep your ceramic tile in tip-top shape:
- Brush loose debris from the surface and look for any cracked or damaged tile or grout.
- Spray the surface with a garden hose.
- Dip a broom into a mixture of mild soap and water and use it to clean the tiles and grout joints, re-dipping it often.
- Rinse the tile off with a garden hose.
- After the tile dries, have a grout sealer applied.
Contact a tile contractor to repair any damaged tiles or grout joints that you notice in the spring. They’ll be able to save time and money by repairing only the damaged areas. This’ll ensure that your ceramic tile is ready for summer barbeques for many years to come.