A slate tile porch, even if it is durable, may crack or chip due to exposure to rain, snow and extreme heat, or when a heavy object drops on it. Grout around the tiles may chip, too. To prolong the life of a slate tile porch, follow the steps below on how to re-grout and repair small cracks and chips on the tiles.
Tools and Materials
- Mild Detergent or Dishwashing Soap
- Acetone Stripper
- Scouring Pad
- Natural Stone Cleanser
- Distilled Water
- Wooden Nail File
- Epoxy Glue (or crack filling adhesive)
- Toothpick or Small Spatula
- Hair Dryer
- Rubber Spatula
Step 1 – Prepare the Surface
Create a cleaning solution using dishwashing soap or mild detergent. Wash only the areas that need repairing. Use a scouring pad to remove dirt and grime. Allow the surface to dry, and then apply acetone stripper on the surface using a paintbrush. Brush with a scouring pad to remove old sealer on the surface of the stone. Next, wash the surface with natural stone cleanser, to neutralize the stone's pH level. Rinse with distilled water. Allow to dry. You may use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process
Get the sandpaper, and sand the surface of cracks. For larger cracks, try to access and sand it with a wooden nail file. Brush off powdery residue with a dry paintbrush.
Step 2 – Fill Cracks
Get the epoxy glue or stone filling adhesive and follow manufacturer's instruction on how to mix the compound and apply it. Know the curing time, too. With a toothpick or small spatula, fill the small cracks with epoxy, constantly pushing the compound downwards, until the epoxy fills the entire crack. Allow to overflow, to ensure that the void areas on the crack are filled. Wipe the excess epoxy with cloth. Allow to cure.
Step 3 – Repair Grout
Chipped tiles and cracking grout can be repaired by re-grouting. To re-grout, you have to chisel away the existing grout around the damaged area. Don't simply apply new grout on top of the old grout, because the new grout will not adhere on the old grout firmly. Vacuum the chipped grout, and brush off debris with a dry paintbrush.
Next, prepare the grouting mix, using the instructions on the packaging. With a rubber spatula, apply the grout around the tiles in a 45-degree angle. You may also use a grout float when applying grout. Wipe excess film with a wet sponge or cloth. Do not allow excess grout to harden, as it is difficult to remove hardened grout on the surface.
Step 4 – Apply Sealer
Apply sealer on the repaired area, to prolong the life of the slate tiles. Apply 2 to 3 coats of sealer, for extra protection. Start with a thin coat first, gradually increasing the thickness of the coat with the succeeding coats. Allow to dry for 2 to 4 hours in-between coats.