What is the one phrase that I hear most from homeowners in the stone restoration business?
“…But I thought my stone was sealed?”
It pains me to tell you, but no penetrating sealer, no matter how many applications of that sealer, will stop the AAA’s: acid, ammonia, and alcohol. Many stones such as marble, travertine, terrazzo, limestone and even some “granites” will react (etch) when they come into contact with the Triple A’s.
How do they react, you ask?
A lot of people call “etch marks,” “water marks.” These marks are in fact chemical burns when one of the three A’s comes into contact with the calcium carbonate element that exists in these stones. (Sorry, I got a little technical there.) These marks look like the finish or the shine has been removed from the surface of the stone.
Next question: How can I fix these etch marks?
Unfortunately, simple cleaning won’t remove etch marks. Etch marks need to be re-polished if you have a polished stone surface or re-honed if you have a flat/honed finish on your stone. For a small ring mark or a couple of spots, you can re-polish your stone by yourself using our Etch Removing Kit.
For large areas or floors, you will need professional stone restoration services, so give us a call: 713-956-8291 or e-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
One last question remains: How can I prevent these etch marks?
As we discussed, sealers won’t stop acid, ammonia, or alcohol (but please do seal your stone with a penetrating sealer at least once a year because sealers are great against oil, grease, coffee, tea…)
You also want to avoid epoxy or polyurethane coatings because even though they will stop the AAA, they will change the appearance of the natural stone, will yellow in time and will scratch/peel off.
Try using cutting boards in the kitchen. Replace as many acid-based products as you can (try Non-Acid Bowl Cleaner instead of the typical bowl cleaner); and most importantly, use the right stone cleaners. For the regular cleaning of your stone, avoid acids like vinegar. Use neutral cleaners such as our Lavenet or Akemi Crystal Clean.
Using neutral cleaners on or around your stone is a simple way for you to take care of your stone without putting your stone in harms way – the Triple A’s.