How often should I have my pavers cleaned and resealed?
If they are interior pavers, stone, or tile, every 3-5 years depending on traffic patterns or wear and tear for instance… if you’re a family of 2-4 this would be a common maintenance, a large family of 5 and above with pets the maintenance would be needed every 2-3 years. Now outside pavers, stone, or tile, should be done more frequently like every 2-3 years because of the ultra violet rays of the sun, water damage from sprinklers or rain.
I’m a little older in my years, and I am not as strong as I use to be, what does your company do about moving furniture and appliances?
We bring four wheel dollies and moving pads, which me and my crew are big guys, and will move all of the big furniture and appliances upon request. I ask ahead of time to have all the little stuff moved off of coffee tables out of hitches, basically any little things that the customer can handle. The Crew and I laugh sometimes because we feel like professional movers. There has been jobs where we rented the portable pods and loaded it with all of the customers furniture and appliances, because they had no garage space, deck, a yard, just no other place to put there items in, so the pod was our best option. Normally we find strategic places to stack furniture because some jobs we might be there for a week or two and the customer needs to be able to get around while were working.
How do you protect the walls, baseboards, and surrounding surfaces?
We tape all the baseboards with paper tape and blue painters tape. If we get to areas we feel like need protection, such as wood cabinets, paver stairs which are challenging enough to strip. What we do is run aluminum foil 2 feet high just in case some splashes up. I then tell the customer that we do everything in our power to keep baseboards perfect. We do jobs that we tape up really well and when the job is complete and we go to remove the tape it takes the old paint right off with it, newer paint jobs are usually fine. When we do our work we look at the tape, the way you would look at something you were coloring in a coloring book, by not going outside the lines.
Do the chemicals or materials you use have a strong odor or long lasting smells, like a lacquer does? I have pets, and also sensitive to certain smells.
Yes, some materials I use have odors. I find that each client is different, its strong to some, others don’t think its that bad, we ventilate really well by open doors and windows and strategically placing fans around the house. The client usually decides whether or not they can handle the smell or not. Once we are done using the products for that particular day the smell does fade away. The customer usually locks the cats and dogs out of the area worked on, which we have prearranged before we get there to the job.
How can you tell if my floor is sealed properly?
If water repels and the paver and grout don’t get dark. If water and oils should just sit on the surface. This true for penetrating sealers as well as acrylic water-based sealers.
What not to do to your Saltillo Tiles.
- Using a buffer is not even realistic for cleaning or stripping of pavers, for one… how do you get tight areas like closets, bathrooms, and small areas with cabinets and sinks and toilets etc.? How do you get corners along the baseboards, under cabinets? Using the machine just isn’t detailed enough for one and the quality work that I do, the stripper I use (secret sauce), you can’t use it with a machine, it would be a waste of product. If you were to get the stripper on the walls, cabinets, or doors it will melt the paint, the finish and stain off the cabinets, buffers over scrub in high areas on the pavers removing the finish first and start to sand off the surface, effecting the integrity of the paver. Secondly in my 23 years of experience, I can think of at least five instances where other companies personally contacted me to save the imperfection they caused on the specific job, because they got the floor half stripped and can’t get all the finish off and they try to re-seal it, which causes all sorts of challenges.
- Buffers are heavy and not really customer friendly, and I work for people all the time that have them in there cleaning closets with spider webs all over them.
- No Duct tape, no blue painters tape, no tape at all.
- The acid in tape becomes one with the sealers and polishes.
- No rubber slip mats under rugs and carpets; the acid in the rubber will adhere to the finish leaving the pattern of the rubber mat in the finish and in some cases stick completely and leave little chunks of matte in the floor.
- Last of all don’t ever clean your pavers with strong cleaners and abrasive scouring pads.
Acid is a purpose and works really well, to remove calcium and hard water off of pavers outside unless the pavers has a topical sealer on it and the acid won’t work because it’s only going to sit on top of the topical, not on the actual paver. If the pavers are natural the acid will clean them up really nice by removing algae, mold, hard water, calcium, and efflorescence. The challenge is once there clean and you go to seal the pavers, it will make the sealer indifferent, its real art to get the sealer on them, or at least the first couple of coats. The acid puts a microscopic etch or acid burn on the surface of the paver, which charges the integrity of the surface and it makes the sealer go in differently than it normally would. The reason for that is because the acid burns the paver unevenly. There are thirty two different acids and they all do something different, I don’t recommend acid washing for anyone. Have had years of trial and error under my belt. They let off acid clouds that can burn your eyes and skin as well.
The steam machines I have used, didn’t work at all on pavers, slates, and any other tile or stone that had a topical coating on it. The machine only cleans surface dirt, not dirt stuck in the topical finish, it did absolutely nothing. I tried it on unsealed floors and ceramic tiles, and it was real time consuming and didn’t achieve what I wanted it to do. It cleaned it unevenly and did not really touch the dirty areas of the paver or the grout. I see no purpose at at all for a steam machine for the Tile Cleaning Business.
In my 20 plus years, the one thing I see that still just blows my mind is when I see people try to sand paver tile floors. To me this is the worst possible thing you could do to a paver floor. It won’t even sand evenly because the pavers are all irregular and the sanding machines all a big flat surface that won’t contour to the tile sanding it unevenly having high and low areas. It also sands off the surface and exposes the soft clay inside and makes the floor all one color and it makes the floor flat and takes away the variety. When you sand off of the surface which gives it strength, and its color. A good analogy i give when describing this to a customer is the pavers are like French bread, hard on the surface and soft on the inside. When you break through the surface of the paver and its that soft clay on the inside, they will begin to just deteriorate rapidly and are almost impossible to seal and make shiny. In a nut shell, don’t sand your pavers or any other tile or stone, they will be ruined.
No High Pressure Washers
I have tried high pressure washers before in the early days of my tile refinishing career. Obviously, it can only be used outside because of all the water. There were a couple of challenges that kept coming up on jobs, such as the high pressure, even if I used the smallest machine it would still be too much, it would leave lines across pebbles aggregate pavers, flagstone, slate, and sandstone. While its wet it looks great, but when it dries out, you can see lines across the above mentioned tile and stone, where the machine dipped to close and the pressure took the surface, not completely, but microscopically, which pretty much ruins the paver or stone. Another thing I notice is when aggregate pebbles pavers, slate, flagstone, and sandstone, have a n acrylic water-based sealer or any other topical sealer on it. The pressure washer turns it white and does not get it clean, because all of the dirt is stuck in the finish not on the surface, and the pressure washer only cleans surface dirt, but it also finds weak areas in the sealer and begins to make it lift and break down, which over time it will peel and turn white, and it will leave lines in the sealer just like it will if there was no sealer.