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If you have outdoor stone floors circling your pool or outdoor fireplace, you’re likely your neighborhood’s rave. Outdoor stone floors are beautiful, functional, and long-lasting additions to any front or backyard.
But you may encounter some trouble as the months go on. Your floors’ once beautiful shine may begin to dull, and you may notice unsightly stains start to develop.
Luckily, maintaining your outdoor stone floors is pretty simple as long as you know what you’re doing. Below, you can explore six tips on how to take care of your outdoor stone floors.
1. Introduce Some Shade
Your outdoor stone floors can take a beating from the sun’s relentless rays. Direct sun exposure can cause your stones’ color and finish to wear down over time. But you can protect your investment by installing some shade.
Now, the shade you provide doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A simple umbrella or a makeshift cloth awning can do the trick. But if you want to go all out, consider getting a larger, more permanent structure like a pergola or gazebo. And you can take it a step further by installing pull-down shades to prevent the sun’s rays from entering at an angle.
You can also opt for the natural route and plant a few trees to create some shade outdoors. And listen to this — if you place the trees strategically around your home, you might be able to cut your indoor air conditioning needs significantly. It’s a win-win: lower energy bills and a blemish-free outdoor stone floor.
Whatever shade method you decide, you’ll notice long-term results in your floor’s appearance.
2. Prevent Stains
Many everyday objects can cause stains. It’s up to you to pick these objects up and prevent them from causing unsightly blemishes in the first place. For example, you should always pick up gardening tools, tools from your workbench, children’s toys, and bicycles. These objects have metal components that can rust and leave orangish-brown blotches on your beautiful floors.
Another piece of advice we can offer to prevent stains is to enclose your stone floor area with a fence. This way, you can prevent wild critters from wandering onto your floors and leaving muddy footprints and droppings behind.
3. Wash Your Floors Down at Least Once a Week
You don’t even need access to a pressure washer or another piece of equipment. Just take about ten minutes of your day to wash your floors down with a regular garden hose. We recommend investing in a nozzle if you don’t already have one so that you can apply more pressure with the “jet” or “shower” settings.
Adopting a routine cleaning schedule is essential to your outdoor stone floor’s upkeep. A quick rinse each week will wash away debris and dirt and keep your outdoor stone floors looking brand-new.
If you can, try washing your floors twice a week or whenever you’re outside watching your kids play. Once you get into the habit of performing this chore, it’ll become second nature.
4. Clean Up Spills & Debris Immediately
Routine cleaning is excellent, but you shouldn’t wait around for your weekly washing day if your floors require immediate cleaning.
Have you noticed that some wax from your outdoor candles has dripped onto the floor? Some hamburger grease made its way off the grill? Or your kids wheel their mud-caked scooters through the yard?
Give the floors a quick wash with your hose. Use a wet mop with water and a mild soap detergent if you have a particularly stubborn stain. Avoid using white vinegar, as it’s much too acidic and can ruin your floors’ shiny finish.
5. Understand Snow-Specific Guidelines
This next tip is for all our readers living in snowy climates. Has a big snowstorm hit your area recently? You may have a blanket of ice covering your outdoor stone floors, preventing you from using the area.
As tempting as it can be, we advise you not to pour ice melt (also called ice salt) onto the stone. Ice melt has very corrosive properties that can damage your precious outdoor flooring.
The salt, when mixed with water, can penetrate deep into your floor’s natural cracks and freeze again. The mixture will expand, resulting in excessive cracking and flaking.
Instead, try shoveling the snow with a plastic shovel or use a snowblower to get rid of the snow. You won’t risk scratching the stone with these methods.
If you have a serious ice problem that’s creating unsafe conditions around your home, try using a de-icing agent without salt. For example, kitty litter can add great traction to create a non-slip walking area.
6. Invest in Professional Floor Cleaners
As much as the previous five steps can help you maintain your outdoor stone floors, you might need some professional-grade help. You can try investing in an industry-grade floor cleaner or sealer to offer your floors enhanced protection.
For example, you can purchase the Neutral Seal from LayorCare. This product reduces calcium build-up and preserves your floors’ natural look. Plus, it doesn’t peel or cause yellowing, and it provides ample UV protection!