What is Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock which is formed at the bottom of the ocean. It consists wholly or mainly of calcium carbonate. In its pure state it is white but it may be colored by other materials. This calcite is sourced primarily from the shells and bones of marine organisms. The sediment that builds up preserves these organisms into fossils. Over millions of years heat and pressure cause a chemical reaction which turns this sediment into limestone.
Cleaning Limestone Floors
Limestone flooring is quite porous and prone to scratching, staining and fracturing, also needing to be allowed to breath instead of being covered by synthetic sealers or urethane. Floor Doctors offer the right solution to protect your limestone by using highly penetrating impregnating sealers, creating a barrier that provides protection against chemical attack, deterioration and contamination. The primary cause for polished stone floors becoming dull is foot traffic, prolonged use grinds and packs in dust, sand and grit. Although the scratching that occurs is very fine, it eventually covers the majority of the surface and over time dulls the finish to the point where it loses its reflective properties. To make your stone surfaces smooth and reflective, we employ the use of high speed polishers.
Many older buildings have durable limestone flooring, the chalky porous type with a smooth granular surface typical of most French and Spanish limestone. This variety does stain easier than marble, varies in hardness and does become etched by acids including soft drink, as well as absorbs oils and other liquids. Common colors are black, grey, white, yellow and brown. Limestone should be sealed with a penetrating sealer to prevent staining and reduce soiling and should only be cleaned with neutral pH detergents. Because it is soft, limestone should never be cleaned at pressures above 800 PSI and then only if the grout is in good condition.
Professional regular maintenance will be required to maintain the honed or polished appearance of limestone. Limestone looks best with a honed or low/medium sheen appearance however some people insist on a high shine finish. Some low calcite limestone can be extremely difficult to polish and therefore vitrification would be required, vitrification however can give the stone an unnatural plastic appearance if repeated too often.
• Easy to clean
• It is less expensive than marble and granite
• It is moisture-resistant
• It feels cold and hard under-foot
• It requires sealing
• t reacts to acid
Sealing Limestone Tiles
Two main sealing options exist for limestone tiles
• Deep Penetrating Impregnating Sealer
(Transparent Finish/Color Enhancing Finish)
• Topical Sealer
A deep penetrating impregnating sealer protects limestone and grout from water and oil based stains by chemically reacting with the surface pores using nano-technology, creating a breathable protective barrier. An impregnating sealer protects the limestone surface and grout from absorbing stains while also resulting in cleaning and maintenance becoming much easier. A penetrating impregnating transparent sealer enters the pores of your limestone and, once cured will not change the look of the tile or stone. A penetrating color enhancing sealer is designed to enhance and enrich the natural look of stone surfaces.
Experts Floor Cares technicians are the experts at applying all types of sealer and will ensure your limestone looks its absolute best. Experts Floor Cares experienced technicians can apply a topical sealer when especially required to create a high gloss, satin sheen or matte finish to your surfaces. Topical sealer is also helpful in situations where the old solvent based sealer can not be completely removed or when required to hide certain types of damage. Topical sealer’s have a life expectancy of around 3 years.
1. Any surface to be sealed should be clean and looking just as you want it before it is sealed – it may be impossible to remove stains after sealing without once again having to strip the sealer. Acidic cleaners should not be used on limestone as they will cause damage.
2. Limestone must have no other coating such as wax or a topical sealer before it’s sealed, so any such coating must be removed before sealing.
3. Floor must be thoroughly dry before applying any sealer.
Protection from Acid Etching
It is very difficult to seal limestone against acid attack. Limestone and other calcite based stone such as marble and travertine are prone to acid etching. Limestone is immediately ‘etched’ (eaten/corroded) by any acidic material on contact – including lemon juice, cola, wine and champagne. For this reason the honed(matte) look is popular, as it doesn’t show etch marks as much as polished limestone. In any case, acidic substances should be cleaned as soon as possible.
Limestone Floor Care & Maintenance
Limestone can be difficult to maintain if a proper maintenance cycle is not put in place from the point of installation. As it is usually not polished, the problem of scratching is not as big an issue as it is with marble, however if proper barrier matting is not introduced even a honed surface will lose its attractiveness. The most important factor to consider with the maintenance of limestone is the possibility of staining.
• Clean spills right away
• Seal limestone floors since it’s natural stone
• Place a mat at each doorway
• Use a Microfiber mop to clean floors
• Clean floors regularly
• Never use bleach, ammonia or vinegar to clean Limestone floors
• Don’t use cleaners that are acidic
• Never use an abrasive cleaner or scouring pad.
Our Commercial Limestone Cleaning Services Cover
• Building Cleaning
• After Building, Renovation Clean
• Insurance Companies
• Side Walks
• Store Fronts
• Power Wash Awnings and Signs
• Gum and Tough Stain Removal
• Strip Malls
• Town Homes
Floor Doctors Limestone Services
If you have limestone surfaces that have become dull and not showing their true color, or perhaps you have recently installed your limestone or your previous sealer is wearing off, Floor Doctors is your best choice to clean your tiles effectively and efficiently and protect them against future staining and deterioration.
Polishing is achieved by using very fine grade abrasive diamond discs until a reflective finish is achieved. These final grades reduce scratches which are not even visible to the human eye allowing the natural crystals on the surface to reflect light more effectively. Highly polished floors have much smaller pores to collect soil, dirt and grime, ensuring maintenance is made a lot easier.
Minor Tile Repair
Do you have cracked tiles, chipped tiles, loose tiles or discoloured tiles in your walls, floors, stairs or around the swimming pool. Do you have spare tiles left over from installation? Experts Floor Cares have professional & experienced tilers in our team that can assist you with repairing your indoor & outdoor tiles and replacing the broken/damaged tiles.