Is your natural stone looking dull and dirty? Wondering where the shine and luster went? Worried that there is no hope for your natural floors?
Nothing puts a finishing touch on a house like a beautiful natural stone floor. The brilliance of the stone seems to bring the rest of the house to life. Like everything else in a home though, natural stone floors need maintenance. Although not all stone is created equal, they all need to be professionally cleaned and maintained.
Many factors attribute to a dull and dirty stone floor. The most common seen are stated in the following paragraphs. The first of these is dirt and debris. When dirt is left to sit on top of your floor, it essentially becomes sand paper grinding away at the stone. This is especially true in Travertine which is a softer stone. One big misconception is that mopping completely cleans the floor. In fact many times mopping leaves the floor dirtier than before. Although not seen by the naked eye, mopping pushes dirt down farther into the grooves and pits of the floor. If not professionally cleaned often, this dirt can be very hard to remove. This is especially true if it has been more than 5 years since a cleaning.
The second factor is etching. This is caused by acids etching the surface of the stone. Orange juice, wine and soda all have acidic properties that can and normally will etch the floor. These accidental stains will not go away no matter how well you feel you have cleaned them. The only way to remove this is to use diamonds and a floor machine to grind the stain away. Although this method sounds a little intense, a professional natural stone technician can make this etch look as if it never occurred.
The third factor is hard water stains. These white calcium deposits are usually found on countertops next to faucets but can also be on the floors as well. Hard water stains can be especially unsightly leaving a very dull appearance to the stone. This usually occurs by a hard water table and water seeping up through the stone resulting in rings of white on your floor. Also known as efflorescence, this condition is almost impossible to get rid of using household products. Like the etching stated earlier, a professional stone technician with the proper tools and products can completely rid the floor of this problem.