Stone, brick, concrete and ceramic patio tiles sometimes have a common problem during the hot humid months of summer: They sweat. The condition may occur because of the tiles' porous structure; when tiles are not installed properly, increased water levels from summer rains can seep upward to the tiles' surface. Another reason for the sweating is the tiles' position on cool ground; when the cool patio surface meets warm, humid air, condensation develops on the tiles. A few options can correct the causes of tiles sweating.
Things You'll Need
- Pruning shears
- Stone, brick, masonry or ceramic tile cleaner
- Long-handled bristle brush or broom
- Water hose
- Stone, brick, masonry or ceramic tile sealant
- Paint tray
- Roller applicator
Cut back landscaping plants around the patio area. Doing so opens the area, allowing air to flow more freely than it could previously. Trim back branches with pruning sheers and a hand-saw, making each cut at a 45-degree angle just in front of a leaf. Do not cut back more than one-third of a branch.
Remove some of the shrubs or other plants surrounding the patio if the area is too crowded and blocks sunlight and/or air flow. Allowing a breeze to move over the patio surface helps dry the tiles' sweat more quickly, and opening the area allows more sunlight, which helps warm the tile surface and prevents some, if not all, condensation.
Remove all objects, such as furniture, from the patio. Pour a stone, brick, masonry or ceramic tile cleaner on the tiles, using only the cleaner for your kind of tiles and following the cleaner container's directions for application. Use a long-handled bristle brush or broom to remove dirt buildup and other grime from the tiles. Rinse off the tiles with water.
Pour a stone, brick, masonry or ceramic tile sealant in a paint tray, using only the sealant meant for your type of tiles. Dip a roller applicator in the sealant, and use the roller to apply the sealant to the tiles, covering the tiles evenly with the sealant. Run the roller over the tile surface in even strokes to cover the tiles. Allow the sealer to dry for one full day before placing furniture back on the patio. Sealant prevents water from seeping through the ground and reaching the tile surface.
Tips & Warnings
- If the tiles have a glaze finish, then a sealant isn't necessary for the actual tiles. Instead, concentrate on sealing only the grout between the tiles by using grout sealer. Brush grout sealer over the grout lines, and let it dry overnight.
- If the patio is used quite a bit, consider purchasing a low heater for the area. Its radiant heat will warm the tile surface above the temperature of the surrounding air, preventing condensation, or sweat, from settling on the patio tiles. Use the heater to warm the tiles before you use the area for entertaining, and turn off the heater during the event to prevent your guests from becoming too hot.
- When installing a patio, apply a polyurethane sheet to the subsurface area to help prevent water from seeping upward to the tiles' surface.
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