The warmer, spring weather is gradually starting to take hold, and those areas hit hard with snow this winter are finally starting to see the last remnants of the white stuff melt away.
Time to break out the work gloves and garden tools to get the outdoor landscapes in tip-top shape. Here are some helpful resources on tackling the outdoor projects:
For stone patios and walkways, whether they’re made of limestone, travertine or slate, be sure to give them as much care as you do for your granite or other natural stone counters and floors. This time of year it’s best to start off by looking for and removing stains. Fortunately, most outdoor stains are organic caused by fallen leaves and other debris, and they’re relatively easy to remove. Here’s how: Mix baking soda and acetone to the consistency of pancake batter; apply the poultice directly over the stain; let it sit overnight, then lift it off the stain. You should notice an immediate improvement, and it may require a couple attempts. If the stain is too deep, you may need to call a restoration specialist. Following either scenario, you should immediately re-seal the stone.
Rust stains, however, pose a bit of a challenge. Most rust stains have to be removed by a professional. Pour or spray 3 percent or 4 percent hydrogen peroxide on the stained area and agitated with a safe-on-stone scrubbing pad or nylon brush (also safe on stone) and allow to sit for 24 hours, then rinse with water and immediately reseal the stone.
Here are five important tips on caring for outdoor stone:
- Frequently sealing your outdoor stone surfaces will provide maximum surface protection against spills, stains and etching
- When moving outdoor furniture, lift instead of sliding, which can scratch and damage stone
- Use a nylon brush when cleaning to agitate dirt and grime. Most other brushes are too abrasive on stone
- Immediately remove fallen debris such as leaves, flowers and other plants from stone surfaces. They’ll deteriorate and can stain the surfaces
- Use Granite Gold Outdoor Stone Cleaner®, which is a non-acidic formula developed to specifically clean outdoor natural-stone surfaces such as limestone, travertine and slate.
Lastly, many outdoor stone surfaces are made of concrete, a mandmade surface that typically needs an acid-based formulate for effective cleaning. You can find acidic-based cleaners and stain removers at most hardware stores, but be sure to keep them clear of any natural stone surface.
Get a head start on cleaning your outdoor stone. Enter the code “outdoor” (all lowercase) for 50% off Granite Gold Outdoor Stone Cleaner®. Limit six per customer; offer expires May 1, 2015. Contiguous U.S. only.