Assessing your stone tiles
The best way to avoid big problems with your natural stone tiles is to nip them in the bud when they’re little problems.
While that may sound easier said than done, if you want to prevent future headaches, you should routinely assess your stone tiles and take preventative measures.
Getting to know your stone
Assessing your stone tiles is all about taking the time to analyze them to get a better idea of their current condition.
For instance, are all the tiles flat and even or are there signs of lippage? Can you see any cracks or structural damage? Are the tiles stained in any way, or showing tell-tale signs of issues like efflorescence?
Answering these questions will give you a good idea of the state of your stone, as well as let you know what steps to take.
Dealing with lippage
Uneven tiles can not only ruin the aesthetics of your home and business, they can also present a safety hazard. If you do find that tiles are suffering from lippage, you may need to ground the floor flat, then hone and polish your tiles.
However, keep in mind that it may be best to utilize the services of a stone maintenance professional in order to avoid causing further damage. Stone tiles are an investment, and you want to do everything you can to preserve their value.
Fixing structural damage
The same goes for structural damage. Sometimes, if a stone tile is cracked or spalling to an advanced degree, it may need to be handled by a professional or simply replaced.
However, there are some structural damages that you may be able to remedy yourself.
For instance, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) states that slight surface scratches can be buffed out with dry steel wool. Similarly, minor etch marks can be fixed with polishing powder and buffing, although deeper etching may require a stone restorer.
In order to know how to remove stains, you first need to identify what caused them.
“Stains can be oil-based, organic, metallic, biological, ink-based, paint-based, acid-based. If you don’t know what caused the stain, consider likely staining agents that may have been present,” the MIA states on its official website.
The organization recommends asking yourself some questions to discover the likely cause of the stain, including where the stain is located, what sort of staining agents are commonly found in the area and what color, shape and pattern the stain is.
Different stains call for different removal techniques. However, it’s also important to remember that the type of stone you’re dealing with should also play a role in how you approach the stain.
For instance, marble and limestone are both calcareous stones, meaning they’re vulnerable to etching from acidic materials.
Additionally, when selecting cleaning products for your natural stone, it’s important to invest in cleaning agents you can trust, such as Dry-Treat’s Oxy-Klenza™.
This oxygen-based, chlorine-free cleanser can be used to break down organic stains and soiling, making it perfect for use outdoors.
Meanwhile, Rejuvenata ACTIVE™ is ideal for inside use. This active enzyme cleaner can do wonders for materials like polished marble, grout and other hard surfaces.
Taking preventative measures
Instead of worrying about repairs and surface cleaning, you should be focused on preventing structural damage and staining in the first place.
Fortunately, by using a premium-quality impregnating sealer like STAIN-PROOF Original™, you can reduce the chances of damage and stains by creating a barrier that is engineered to repel liquids.
This barrier not only provides stain protection, it can also protect against issues like efflorescence, freeze-thaw damage, spalling and picture framing, as well as inhibit the growth of mosses and molds.
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