Flaking slate patio

by Mark
(Los Angeles,CA)

I have a client,with a 7 year old slate patio, that is flaking horribly. They said it was sealed after it was installed, but only then. I keep reading to clean the tile with a wire brush? If I were to clean these tiles with a wire brush, I'm not sure there would be any layers left. So my first question is how do I clean the surface properly before sealing the tiles?


This patio is at ground level, and borders with a yard, that has been graded to slope towards the patio. As well, no drainage in the patio and The patio is 1500sq/ft. There must be moisture under the concrete slab. My second question is what to seal the tile with?

I would love to be able to start over and install proper drainage and grade the yard properly, unfortunately these clients have been hit by the recession hard andvare trying to salvage all the renovation work they had done seven years ago during the huge Los Angeles housing boom.

Your advice is greatly appreciated

Sincerely,
Mark

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Spray or brush
by: Mark

I really appreciate the information. Would you recommend spraying the sealer on?

Slate
by: OK Rock Quarries

There are just a few reasons stone flakes. You have to look at the freeze thaw factors. If this is in LA then that is not the issue. Moisture saturation under installed stone is a real problem in general. Stone is very pourious and over time the moisture will effect the integrity of the install. From the information you provided and the location it would seem to be the stone itself. The quickest most cost effective method of repair would be use a leaf blower to remove the loose stone. Pour a gymnasium type outdoor sealer over the stone. It will glue the loose layers. The drainage problem needs to be addressed which should an easy fix. Good luck on your project.

tough
by: David

Dear Mark,

Usually stone will flake when it's around chemicals, like a pool, or it's just bad quality stone.

Sealing the stone will help but you'll have to scrape off the flakes and, like you said, it could scrape it totally away.

I know you don't want to replace the stone, but flaking usually warrants that. Maybe you can replace a few of the worst stones and leave the rest in tact. If that's the case, it's not too expensive to rent a diamond blade saw and cut out the joints and pop in new stone.

Check out these videos on these pages and that should give you an idea of the work that you'll have:

http://www.the-flagstone-experts.com/efflorescence.html

http://www.the-flagstone-experts.com/flagstone-driveway-video.html

As far as the sealer, contact Prosoco at 1-800-255-4255 and ask them about the best product for your situation.

I hope that helps.

Great luck!

David

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