With the recent May floods and now Tropical Storm Bill in Houston, I wanted to write a special blog post on how to try to prevent water damage to natural stone surfaces and what we can do if we have water damage.


Most natural stones are porous. Heavy rain and wind can cause water and moisture to penetrate the stone from not only the surface, but also from the sides (through the grout) and from the substrate (below the stone).


How you can protect your stone ahead of time:

In order to protect the stone from the surface, International Stoneworks always recommends that the surface of the stone and grout be properly sealed with a water repellent penetrating sealer such as Seal & Go ® S or Seal & Go® W. Some sealers last longer than others, but a light sealing every year is recommended.

Sealed Carrara Marble


How to protect your stone in the event of a storm or hurricane:

To protect the stone surface and grout, lay two layers of contractor’s paper or felt paper. Plastic is not recommended because it inhibits the moisture evaporation. When using tape to hold the paper onto the stone, first use Blue® painter’s tape then waterproof that tape by covering it with a layer of Duct tape. The Blue® tape will not leave a sticky residue on the stone.

Hurrican prepare

Protecting the substrate is more difficult and may not totally prevent moisture from migrating inside and penetrating the stone. However, a little prevention may prove very useful: make sure that windows, doors, etc. around the stone (inside and outside) are properly caulked.


As soon as possible following the storm, remove the paper, damp mop the floor with a neutral cleaner such as Lavenet or Lavenet Green and let the surface dry. Use fans and dehumidifiers if necessary. Surface moisture sometimes evaporates in time and the stone may not need restoration or replacement. If there is some discoloration and it does not disappear, an on-site evaluation by International Stoneworks may be needed.


What can you do you if you have water damage?

The removal of shine and/or the discoloration of stone may indicate water damage. It is possible that the discoloration and lack of shine is from debris from the water.


I would recommend damp mopping the floor with neutral cleaners such as Lavenet or Lavenet Green and then dry as best as you can with floor fans and dehumidifiers.


International Stoneworks can professionally clean, resurface, and bring back the natural shine with our no-wax honing and polishing system. We can also attempt to remove discolorations and stains with the poultice method; however, in certain cases, some stains may be too deep to remove.

Water Damage Crema
Water Damage to Natural Stone


International Stoneworks’ products, tape and paper products can be found at local hardware stores:

Bering’s Hardware at 6102 Westheimer Houston, TX 77057

Bering’s Hardware at 3900 Bissonet Houston, TX 77005

Southland Hardware at 1822 Westheimer Houston, TX 77098

Ace Hardware at 14455 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77079