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

Fila surface care system specified at iconic Library

Fila Surface Care

A Fila surface care regime has been specified for the new, award-winning Library of Birmingham and adjoining Repertory Theatre.  The £189m library , which has a BREEAM-excellent rating, is the largest public building of its kind in Europe.

Fila Cleaner and LEED-compliant Fila W68 were specified for the initial wash, sealing and maintenance of over 1,800sq. metres of Brazilian slate, installed throughout the ground floor circulation areas by W B Simpson & Sons (Midlands) Ltd for main contractor, Carillion.

Designed by Delft-based architects, Mecanoo, The Library of Birmingham is a high-tech architectural structure spread over ten levels and situated in Centenary Square, on the west side of the City. It houses a collection of one million books – including Shakespeare’s First Folio – and since, opening on 3 September 2013, has already welcomed over 1.5 million visitors.  Externally, the library comprises a series of glazed box shaped structures clad in a delicate metal filigree, arranged over a glazed ground floor and topped by a rotunda housing the historic Shakespeare Memorial Room.  Internally, circular voids lined with books provide a sight line to the very top of the building and, on the ground floor, the Library and Repertory Theatre adjoin.

Four Brazilian Slate tile formats were specified and fixed, by W B Simpson & Sons (Midland) Ltd, in a traditional Romaans Verband pattern.  After installation, FILA Cleaner was used to carry out an initial wash.  The surface was then treated with Fila W68; a water-based stain-proofing protector, which is designed for internal and exterior porous surfaces.  The non film-forming treatment seals and protects without altering appearance – and both products are offered as part of Fila’s Green Line.  Fila Cleaner was recommended for ongoing maintenance; the highly concentrated, pH-neutral solution leaves no residue and requires no rinsing at the maintenance dilution.

Fila UK  T: 01584 877286  W:

W B Simpson & Sons T: 02476 700310  E: