Today many homes have a tile porch and when it comes to cleaning and maintaining it, some people might have concerns. There is really no reason for concerns as these outdoor tiles can be cleaned and maintained much the same way as interior tiles. As a rule, outdoor tiles are sealed, different from how indoor tiles are cared for, with a protective coating against the elements like sun, rain, and snow.
You Will Need:
- TSP (trisodium phosphate) or Spic and Span
- Garden Hose
- Scrub Brush with telescopic handle
Step 1. Preparing the Tile Porch
One of the most important things you need to do before cleaning your tile porch is to prepare it. This requires an intensive sweeping using a long handled, bristle-brushed broom using long sweeping motions. For vertical tiles, sweep in a downward motion and for horizontal tiles sweep in a cross motion. This will loosen all debris and ground dirt from the area you are planning to clean. Once you have swept the entire tile porch, you then need to use your garden hose to wash each of the tiles thoroughly using only clean and clear running water. Each area needs to be heavily soaked down, especially if the area was heavily soiled. This soaking action will help to loosening dirt that has become compacted over time.
Step 2. Cleaning the Tile Porch
Once you have rinsed all the debris and dirt from the affected tiles, it is time to take your bucket and add a tablespoon of TSP or Spic and Span. With the cleaner in the bucket, just take your garden hose and fill the bucket with water. Using your long handled scrubbing brush, dunk the brush into the cleaning solution and then proceed to start cleaning the tiles one area at a time. Usually, a three foot square is a good amount to clean each time between rinsing the dirt out of the brush and reloading it with cleaning water. While doing this, it is a good idea to make sure the floor stays wet. This can be accomplished by just letting the garden hose trickle over the area being cleaned. If you allow the tiles to dry, the cleaner you are using will leave a white residue on the tiles. Continue cleaning the three foot areas until the entire surface of the tile porch has been washed.
Step 3. Rinsing the Tile Porch
Once you have washed each tile, it is now time to rinse the cleaner from the tiles so that they are sparkling clean. First, rinse your long handled scrubbing brush out thoroughly with clean water, then using that same brush and your garden hose brush down all the affected tiles and push any cleaner off the tiles. Be sure to remove any water that puddles on the tiles as it could cause a cloudy film on dry tiles.
Step 4. Maintaining the Tile Porch
A properly cleaned tile porch will last the homeowner for years to come, but continual maintenance is also needed for tile porches. Once a year, after cleaning, the grout lines and the tiles themselves require a yearly sealing with a protective coating purchased at your home building center. The manufacturer’s directions should always be followed when applying their product.