Limestone Cleaning & Polishing
Limestone is much like travertine in that it is a soft stone easily scratched and etched. Limestone closely resembles travertine but is much more porous. For that reason, we recommend limestone always be sealed with penetrating solvent based sealer to protect it from staining. Limestone cleaning and sealing should be done every 3-5 years for maximum protection of the stone. Limestone cleaning is done using an alkaline or PH neutral cleaner, acid cleaners will ruin this calcium based stone. Some homeowners and even some contractors have resorted to putting down a topical coating to achieve a shine and "seal" their limestone flooring. This leads to huge problems down the line. Not only does it attract dirt and trap it on the surface of the tile but it is very costly to remove.
An initial assessment will be made to determine the current condition of the floor. What is the shine level? Does the floor appear to have a coating? Are there scratches, etch marks, cracks, or holes? While we make every effort possible to determine whether or not a floor has a topical coating, we cannot guarantee that one does not exist. Frequently the cause of waxy buildup on natural stone floors can be traced to the use of commercially sold "clean & shine" products containing wax as well as improper use and overuse of sealer. Overtime waxy build-up from these fake "shine in a bottle" cleaning products begin to dull the floor giving it a grayish appearance.
SO, YOUR FLOOR HAS A TOPICAL COATING:
If it has a coating, how thick is the coating? How long ago was it applied? What type of coating was it? How many times has the coating been re-applied? These are just some of the questions we will ask. Most of the time, after we remove the topical coating the floor is found to be exceptionally dull hiding scratches and etch marks. If you are wanting a highly polished floor it is going to take quite a few steps to get it there. This is a slow process and thus can be costly especially if the surface has been neglected. When comparing estimates from different stone cleaning professionals, it is important to compare the actual processes and not just dollar amounts. Do your research. It is important to note that if there are scratches, white marks, dull spots or general uneveness of the floor, a honing step will likely be necessary to remove them before the polishing can begin. If these irregularities are not removed prior to polishing, they will be magnified by the travertine polishing process. See our You Tube Videos to get an idea of our process.