Flagstone scrubbing (third time lucky)

After 6 months we are finally able to remove the Ram Board that has been protecting the flagstone floor in the sitting room. I cannot recommend Ram Board enough, it is REALLY good stuff, all our floors are as they were when they got covered and, unlike plastic coverings, the floors don’t go mouldy underneath as they can breath through the cardboard. Worth. Every. Penny.

Cat is by now very well practised in the art of cleaning this flagstone floor, she has done it twice already (as well as spent a cold few weeks one winter with no running water chipping off the thick concrete by hand), but hopefully this is the last time.

In the Autumn Tom pointed the floor with lime mortar and in the process the stones got covered in lime and it got into all the crevices of the stone, dried and wouldn’t wash off. We didn’t have the time to clean it back then so covered it over to deal with later…

That day is here and Cat is not looking forward to it at all. Tools are the usual: wire brushes, floor cleaning acid, water to clean off the acid, rubber gloves, a soft pink floor kneeler and lots and lots of elbow grease.

Even from here Cat looks tired…

You can see the stones look pale, this is a layer of white lime that needs removing, but we also have white salts that are coming up through the floor and through the stone walls (especially within the inglenook fireplace) and forming on the surface of the stone. This washes off quite easily, the lime doesn’t.

Cat also has to do each stone separately without getting any of the acid on the lime mortar pointing around the stones. The lime will dissolve the pointing and we will be back to square one again!

Thankfully they are coming up quite well, it’s not all coming off but it is certainly far better.

Our two favourite flagstones in the middle of the floor with lots of orange and blue stone within them. You can see the white lime stuck into all the crevices in the stones on the right of the photo.

Quite literally cleaning the floor with a toothbrush.

Salts coming through the walls and floor of the inglenook fireplace.

The last bit nearly complete. This has taken the whole day!

The finished floor. This is the first time we have seen it against the green/blue walls and it looks absolutely fabulous!

The cast iron radiators and copper and brass details match beautifully.

Well done Cat! There were some tears along the way, tears of exhaustion and pain, so this had better be the last time…

Cat took Jasper out for a much needed walk and I cleaned up and hoovered the dining room which had become like a building site and general dumping ground again.

I filled up a bin bag of rubbish and a whole wheelie bin of cardboard, which promptly fell on me causing me to curse loudly and leave it prostate in the garden, entertaining a cyclist who went past just at the right moment.

We were both a bit stressed out this weekend, the next blog post will tell you why…

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