Is your terrace made up of stone slabs or is it simply tiled? Are you wondering how to clean it and especially how to whiten it? It is true that it is a chore to clean your terrace. But after a wet winter or simply after a long period of rain, dirt including moss and other algae sometimes settles. For reasons of appearance, but also because these dirt makes your terrace slippery, it is better to remove them quickly enough. The fault is also atmospheric pollution, which quickly blackens slabs and joints. So what are the effective methods for cleaning a blackened terrace?
1 – Clean a blackened terrace with a brush
To clean and maintain a blackened terrace, it all depends on the type of coating. What material and what sealing of the surface? The degree of soiling of your terrace also depends on its location. And then stains are more visible on light, smooth and regular surfaces than on dark, colored or textured patio tiles. In addition, your terrace has no roof and is bordered by dense vegetation? In this case, it is normal for it to be particularly exposed to humidity and therefore to darkness. Lichens, that is to say associations of algae and certain fungi, can be very tenacious on terrace slabs. Hot water and a stiff bristle brush will do the trick. Remove coarse dirt from the gaskets with a special brush or a gasket scraper. Take into account the hardness of the bristles to avoid scratching the slabs of your terrace.
2 – Clean a blackened terrace with a Karcher
Using a pressure washer to clean the slabs of your terrace is absolutely tempting and very practical. Pressure washers are also great for patios with heavy-duty coatings if you know how to use them properly. High-pressure cleaners circulate the water from the external connection and release it onto the ground with a pressure of up to more than a hundred bars – too much for most terrace tiles, the surfaces of which can be roughened or even damaged by such power and get dirty even faster. Another problem: if the water enters the joints at high pressure, it splashes the contents of the joints and is sure to hit a window or land on the facade of the house. You can avoid this by working with your back to the house wall. Even sealed joints can be damaged with a pressure washer.
Therefore, you really need to use a Karcher with care. Put sufficient distance or simply reduce the water pressure. With a high-quality device, this is easily done: at the push of a button. For tropical hardwood decks, try equipping yourself with some attachments that spread the pressure over a larger area – usually two rotating spray heads. So your windows and facades are safe and stay dry and clean. If you connect this type of surface cleaner to adjustable pressure devices, you can even clean your “classic” wooden deck. In the case of high-quality models, you can even apply a cleaning product with the water spray by inserting the suction tube of the device into the cleaning product container.
3 – Clean a blackened terrace with black soap
Again, you can use a stiff bristle brush. Your tiles themselves can be cleaned with a scrub brush, water and mild or black soap. Water and neutral pH soap or black soaps are generally suitable for cleaning coatings or small stains. For hard natural stones such as granite, gneiss or basalt, choose to clean them carefully using a pressure washer and a brush, while soft natural stones such as marble, limestone or stoneware can only be cleaned at low pressure. Stubborn stains on terrace slabs made of soft natural stone should therefore be treated with special cleaners and rinsed off with plenty of water after their action.
4 – Clean a blackened terrace with sodium percarbonate
There are also various recipes for homemade cleaning products for patio tiles on the Internet, for example based on soda, cornstarch or other home remedies. Try for yourself the solution that suits you best. However, whatever your cleaning product, test it first somewhere in an inconspicuous place to make sure that your terrace does not react badly to the product by discoloring for example. There are special products for cleaning wooden, natural stone or concrete terrace slabs. These must in any case be biodegradable and environmentally friendly, as rainwater carries the residues into the soil of your garden.
5 – Clean a blackened terrace with sand
This method is particularly recommended if your terrace is made of concrete. Sand, soapy water and a broom will do wonders. Many stains can be removed in this way. This acts like sandpaper and removes the blackness from your floor.
6 – Clean a blackened terrace with bleach
This method can be considered, but really as a last resort. To avoid damage to patio tiles, you should match your cleaning products to the material of your patio and, if necessary, test them on an inconspicuous area first. Chemical cleaners should only be used outdoors if specifically approved for that purpose. Weedkillers and even seemingly harmless household products such as salt or vinegar should be avoided as they could enter groundwater directly.