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Maintenance or Restoration?

The purpose of maintenance is to maintain a current surface appearance of a stone, while restoration is to improve the stone surface to a better condition. In other words, maintenance is to keep the present condition, and restoration is to bring back the surface appearance to a former or factory-like condition. For example: If a highly polished soft marble floor is installed in a department store, the maintenance will be nearly impossible. Due to the amount of traffic which the floor receives, the desired highly polished finish is very difficult to maintain with only regular maintenance procedures. In this case, it may be time to consider performing restoration.

Efflorescence is often mistaken as dirt on the surface of stones. From timeto-time a homeowner makes every effort to clean their floor, only to find the task impossible. This is due to the white residue, which constantly deposits on the surface of the stone and seems to last forever. This white powdery substance is known as efflorescence.

CRYSTALLIZATION is one of many ways to maintain a marble floor. This procedure consists of spraying a small amount of fluid onto a marble floor, and buffing it in with a polishing machine with a 3M white/or red polishing pad, or with a steel wool pad instead. The fluid contains a fluro-silicate compound, which will react with the calcium carbonate to form a new compound (calcium fluro-silicate) on the marble surface. Some people say that the new compound adds shine to a marble floor and increases its wear. Meanwhile, others believe this procedure blocks the stone's ability to “breathe.” Therefore, the moisture underneath the stones cannot normally evaporate, which in turn causes the stones to rot.

Impregnator/Penetrating Sealer is either solvent based or water based and commonly contains silicone, flour-silicate or other silicon derivatives. It is designed to penetrate below the surface of the stone in order to occupy its pores and prevent water, dirt, and other material from entering the stone. Meanwhile, still allowing the moisture underneath of the stone to evaporate through the stone.