Lisa Breakspear talks about surface care

“Over the years, more and more of us have forsaken our front gardens, in favour of more parking.  The practical advantages are obvious but vast areas of ill-kempt concrete, tarmac or block paving do little for a property’s curb appeal. Also, unlike grass, hard surfaces don’t readily soak up the rain, so they have a tendency to become damp and sometimes dangerously slippery, very quickly.

This all seems quite gloomy but there’s also a silver lining!  A neglected driveway that needs renovating is a ‘deep clean’ opportunity and there are some fabulous products out there that can transform external surfaces.

At this point, many people reach for the pressure washer – but, whilst this method will get rid of surface dirt, it won’t deep clean, into the porosity.  To achieve this, proper cleaning solutions are needed.

Depending on the substrate and specific stain removal needs, results can be achieved with acid and alkaline preparations. Certain products are also more suitable for specific problems. For example, tyre marks and organic dirt are best treated with alkaline preparations.  Cementitious soiling can be treated with either an acid or a mild alkaline, depending on the substrate.

Oil marks, which are really common (and a big eyesore) can be removed using a poultice product, like Fila NoSpot.  Even surfaces that have deteriorated, as a result of freeze/thaw cycles and flooding, can be treated using consolidating products.  These will form a bond within the substrate, to prevent it from crumbling and to prevent water seepage.

Once the surface has been thoroughly cleaned – and repaired, if necessary – it should be treated with an impregnator or topical sealer to make maintenance easier going forwards. In the past, treatment – especially during the wetter months – has been difficult, as solvent-based products can’t be applied in damp conditions.  Now, there are high performance sealers, like Fila MP90 Eco-Plus, that are water-based, so they can be applied with residual moisture, and which do not alter the appearance of the substrate – or water-based Fila PT10, which offers an enhanced look.

As a result, renovations don’t need to be so weather-dependent and driveway maintenance becomes a viable business opportunity, all year round.  Not to mention patios, pathways and all of those other hard areas at the back of the house!”

Lisa Breakspear is Sales & Technical Director of Fila UK.  For more information on Fila’s range of surface care products, please contact Fila UK on 01584 877286 or visit www.filachim.com.