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Marble & Travertine Restoration

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When comparing marble and travertine restoration services they can be overwhelming and quite deceiving. A portion of people are motivated by price when selecting a company. This by itself may very well lead to a disastrous result. A maintenance or janitorial company will not have the proper tools or experience to restore natural stone. This is not said to be critical to these types of companies. The investment of knowledge, equipment and experience needed to understand and work with stone properly is greater than what your average janitorial company can afford to pay for qualified technicians to stay with the company.

The article mentioned below appears to offer some misleading information on marble and travertine restoration. Initially we would point out that the article mentions “spray buffing” as a means to clean your marble and travertine floors. In addition they refer to a polish as an effective sealant that keeps the porous marble from absorbing liquid spills and stains. Rarely on a polished marble or travertine floor do you see stains. The process they article cites of sealing appears to be a form of “crystallization” which you want to avoid at all costs.

To read the entire article click here:

Dr. Frederick M. Hueston PhD authored an informative article on the dangers of crystallization and the ensuing damage if performed in restoration of travertine and marble floors. Dr. Hueston states in part the following:

“I obtained Material Safety Data Sheets (required by OSHA for all chemical products from a good sample of  “re-crystallization” product distributors. From them, I learned that all the re-crystallization products contained a fluorosilicate compound. All contained an acid of one type or another and almost all contained varying percentages of waxes and acrylics.
To understand how these ingredients react with marble, one needs to understand the makeup (natural composition) of marble, itself. The main constituent of marble is a compound called Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). Calcium Carbonate, along with other minerals, make up what we know as marble.

When an acid is dropped on marble it will burn and etch the surface leaving a pitted, dull spot. The reaction (Formula 1) illustrates what happens when an acid and marble come in contact with one another. The bond between the calcium and the carbonate is broken, producing water and carbon dioxide gas and the calcium carbonate is destroyed. In other words, acid destroys marble. All re-crystallization fluid contains acid. If you have any doubts, place a drop of re-crystallization fluid on a piece of marble, wait just 30 seconds and wipe it off. You will find that it has etched.”

He continues by stating:

“Marble and Stone FACT: Marble and stone must breathe (transpire). If the pores are blocked, moisture from the slab (condensation, etc.) will be trapped and the stone will begin to break down.

Re-crystallization FACT: The re-crystallization process places an impermeable coating of fluorosilicates on the stone, completely blocking its pores.

Marble and Stone FACT: Acid will destroy marble and stone.

Re-crystallization FACT: All crystallization fluid contains acid.”

The above facts are clear and incontrovertible. Do not let any company perform marble and travertine restoration services with the crystallization process.