09-03-2011 01:52 PM
We got our flagstone patio repaired a few weeks ago but they left some mortar on the stones. How do I go about removing it? Also, what is the story on sealing it? I heard from a friend that I should look into it.
09-03-2011 02:43 PM
Welcome to the community!
Let's get that mortar off your flagstone once and for all.
Depending on how much is on there, I usually start getting the excessive mortar off with a good pair of chemical resistant gloves and a stiff wire brush.
Use the brush or both above in the areas where excessive amounts of mortar is already dried. This should take off almost all, if not all of the mortar.
If the mortar is in a larger area and has smearing marks or large and excessive amounts of mortar, I would suggest to use muratic acid on the patio. However, only do this if the mortar is too much and in a large area to clean. The good thing abou muratic acid is that when properly mixed with water and wearing the right equipment, you can have a nice looking patio again that is ready to be sealed.
Good point in talking to your friend about sealing your flagstone and mortar. Sealing them both is as just an important step as any in the installation and repair process.
In our paint department, we sell 2 types of sealer for your flagstone patio. One is in a wet-look and one is a low lustre-like finish, both by Behr paints.
Only use the wet-look if the patio won't get rained on, or have high traffic, as the slippage is increased by using a glossy surface. You can overcome this by placing an outdoor carpet, runner, or mat to be safe. But to allow the flagstone to look as natural as when you got it, you can use a low-lustre-look sealer down, it's your call.
I have a link for Behr's sealers for more information, and the one for the low-lustre look can be found here
Treat the sealer like a painting job, mask off areas that aren't going to be covered and roll or even spray on the finish. The first coat covers about as much as a gallon of paint, around 200-450 square feet per gallon.
Basically, clean up the excessive mortar with a little elbow grease first early in the day. If there isn't a lot, clean up the area and get it free of debris and dust, then you can coat your whole patio with the sealer and be done by dinner time.
Finally, to keep your patio looking great and lessen the chances of getting more repairs done to it, be sure to check your patio every year by doing the water drop test to it. In a year after you sealed it, drop a few sprinkles of water on the patio. If they soak in right away, it's time to reseal, if they just stay there and pool up, no worries!
Hope this helps you out,
I am a 12 year Home Depot Store Associate, trained and authorized to help people on the Internet.