What is dot and dab staining on your patio slabs?

patio cleaning Cambridge

Hey everyone, welcome to our ‘What is a dot and dab staining on your patio slabs, and why it happens.

Patios allow us to enjoy the outdoors at home much more. There is nothing better than spending a Saturday afternoon on the patio with friends and family around having a barbeque.

When you first have your patio installed, they are lovely, and we can enjoy them.

The only problem is over time; dirt builds up on the surface.

In many cases, dirt can hide what is happening under, inside and on top of the slabs.

The first section is for you if you are looking for what dot and dab are staining on your patio.

What we found with a recent job with dot and dab staining on a patio:

Our office team had a call to clean a client’s driveway and patio. It was covered with soil build-up from several years of exposure to the elements, though it was still in very good order and the patio and driveway just needed a good clean.

After the tech team completed the work, we received a call, and our client asked about markings on the patio slabs that she did not see before and wanted to understand why they were there. Our initial thoughts were that the sealer might have caused it though this was very unusual.

We proceeded to remove the sealer, but the marks did not go. Upon closer inspection and further research, it emerged that the staining is called “Dot and Dab Staining” or “Reflective Staining.”

When laid incorrectly, a dot and dab stain will generally happen when the slabs as they have laid the slabs on one big dot of mortar.

It takes time for the marks to appear on the slabs. Over time, the slabs get covered with dirt, which is not apparent in some cases until after the patio has been cleaned and dried out.

  • Can Dot and dab staining or Reflective staining be repaired or fixed?

Sadly, improving this isn’t as easy as you think. The structure of the slabs has now changed, and the staining is permanent.

  • What if I lift the slabs and re-lay them on a full-mortar bed?

Our research indicates that this will not work, and the staining will not go away. After reading many articles on this problem of dot and dab staining or Reflective staining on patios, I found in some rare cases; the staining may blend in with time. 

Here are the photos of the patio we cleaned:

Notice the staining is in a central spot in the middle of the slab, showing the slab is on a central lump of mortar rather than 4 or 5 dots like they should be.

Here are some more photos of what dot and dab staining can look like from another company:

Photos from MileStone see their article here.  

The image below is from the company Paving Expert:

Here is another good article about Reflective staining from Paving Expert: 

If you would like to know why you should clean your patio and driveway, check out this blog:

Why do you need to clean your driveway?

To find a patio and driveway cleaning company:

Patio and Driveway Cleaning Services in Cambridgeshire?

To see how much it will cost to have your patio and driveway cleaned:

How much does it cost to clean your driveway?

If you would like to know why we claim to be the best, or maybe you want to compare us to others, then you will be happy with this:

Reviews about patio and driveway cleaning.

Before I finish with a scary picture of myself, thank you! Thank you for reading, and thank you for your ongoing support… you really are appreciated.

Edited by Tracey Gilbey, Marketing and Admin Coordinator at Art of Clean.

For further advice or information on our Carpet and Soft Furnishing care, please do not hesitate to contact the Art of Clean team on 01223 901551 in Cambridge. Our services include Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, oriental and area Rug Cleaning, Curtain Cleaning, Patio, and Driveway Pressure washing, Leather Cleaning, Stone and Tile Floor Cleaning, and Wood Floor Sanding and Restoration. We also supply new flooring and carpets through our sister company Art of Flooring. Our Dry-Cleaning service is provided by Farthings Cambridge