Natural Stone Restoration – All You Need to Know
- July 10, 2019
The properties of natural stones are highly attractive and tempt anyone to install it in exterior and interior spaces. The natural beauty of the stones is inspiring and cool. However, the glamor of rock cannot last long as the wear & tear process fad it. When we see a big crack in the kitchen countertop, our heart also breaks. When some spills spoil the patio paving appearance permanently, it also spoils our mood during the party.
Types of Damages Occur to Your Stone Surfaces
I have observed at least seven types of damage occur to the stone surfaces or natural stone pavers.
Oil, fruit juices, wine, and even clogged water can cause staining. Staining damage to the texture and color of the stone temporary to permanent.
Heavy objects when fall and hit the stone surfaces beyond the threshold, it can break or crack the stone mass.
Extreme Heat or Cold Damage
When you place a hot utensil or spill of very hot water occurs, it can cause thermal soak and cracks the stones. Similarly, frost or snowfall in winter can damage stone surfaces permanently.
Dull surfaces due to acidic solutions like lime juice, vinegar, ammonia, and strong detergents can cause permanent damage in the form of different patches.
When objects with material harder than the stone rubbed with surfaces, they leave the scratched surface and spoils the natural appearance of stones.
Hazy or cloudy appearance occur to the stone surfaces due to soap foams in wet areas, and lichen or fungus in outdoor applications damage the stones.
Due to improper installation, heavy loads, fabrication, or miss handling cracks or fractures occur. Sometimes, natural fissures open up due to heavy stress on the stone mass in the long duration.
Of course, I have illustrated only the most common occurrences here, but a variety of damages takes place, particularly in outdoor stone applications where chances are high due to open spaces & types of usages. For instance, the opening of seams and chips due to wear & tear as well as the use of low-quality material to fill the cracks in the stones. The same goes true for grouts, particularly in baths, sinks, and other wet areas of interiors and exteriors.
Where Damages Can Take Place in Exterior Spaces
Do you know where damages can take place in your exteriors? It might be on your stone pavers, wall cladding, countertops, steps, pillars, planters, sills, headers, roofs, terraces, swimming pool decks, stone patio components, walking paths, driveways, retaining stone walls, sliding walls, foundation walls, boundary walls, gates, stone porches, stone pergolas, stone benches, stone chairs, and even garden stepping stones.
So, what will you do once you notice serious damage to your outdoor spaces? Naturally, you have to look for dependable stone maintenance and restoration services. Of course, some home remedies and stone cleaning tricks can work on miscellaneous staining like damages, but most of heavy damages either demand stone replacement or restoration process.
What is Stone Restoration?
Yes, you have to bear one thing clear in mind that replacement means changing the entire stone piece or damaged pieces in a space. Whereas, the restoration process saves you from the replacements/changes, and bring the natural beauty of stone surfaces back with restoration treatments.
What is Stone Restoration Process?
The stone restoration process involves several steps to accomplish the job. The steps and process varies and depends on the damages, stone types, and spaces where stones have installed. However, I have listed the most expected or common steps involved in an ideal stone restoration process here.
Identification of Damages before Natural Stone Restoration
Yes, it demands a perfect diagnosis. Otherwise, you can be a victim of wrong treatments & subsequent hefty bills.
Preparation for Natural Stone Restoration
Grinding, chemical spray, and other treatments demand the removal of furniture, objects, and tapes on delicate elements like window or door glasses nearby treatment areas. Stop the use of treated surfaces while processing and afterward based on expert recommendations.
Natural Stone Grinding in Restoration Process
Mostly diamond fitted machine grinders of different sizes are applying for the grinding process. It also terms as Lippage (Uneven Tile Edges) Removal process where all kinds of uneven surfaces get flattening.
Grinding can remove all kinds of ledges, roughness, scratches, and deep staining from the surfaces. The hand grinders are applying for vertical surfaces like walls and places countertops like places where the placement of heavy floor grinder is not possible.
Natural Stone Honing Restoration Process
It is a less aggressive step than grinding. So, it smoothens the surfaces further. It is an optional step and may be eliminated in some cases when desired results achieved during the grinding process itself. It brings some shines to stone surfaces and remove the remaining stains, scratches, and damages completely if left during the grinding phase.
Natural Stone Polishing Restoration Process
The process uses smaller grade industrial diamonds than honing. Polishing makes stone glossy or shiny and brings its glory back. Here, you have scope to apply various stone finishes to make stones skid-free, glossy, or rustic with a classic look. There are different tools to bring matching finishes with adjacent stone pieces.
Natural Stone Grout filling in Restoration Process
However, before starting applying sealant solutions, removal and replacement of grouts is an essential step. Grout fillers are paste or mortar-like granules to fill the gaps between edges of stones and give a seamless appearance, as well as smooth surfaces matching the level of stones on both sides.Grout fillers come in different colors and hues as well as capable of giving desired textures in case of high-quality products.
Natural Stone Sealing or Coating in Restoration Process
Here sealing means not covered with wax or epoxy like chemical layers, rather it is impregnated with a type of sealer. Do you know almost all kinds of stones have natural pores or holes that allow stones to breathe? Mass of a stone passes water vapors and air to prevent an excess of dampness and cold-heat like extremity from top to beneath surfaces.Now, if you coat or cover the stone surfaces and stop pore from functioning, the stone will miss its critical properties and gradually diminishing. Therefore, topical sealants are not advisable for stone coating, and only impregnated chemicals are fine to give resistance against oil and water-based stains.
Here, keep in mind that siliceous stones have less number of pores than calcareous stones. Therefore, types of sealants differ for both or dose or treatment changes depending on the types of stones.
Sealant technically preserves color and shining of the stone surfaces are augment it further to last long
Care after Stone Restoration
Typically, once the restoration process accomplished, the stones seal and let sealer to cure for certain hours ranging from 12 to 24 or more hours. So, you cannot use that area. Moreover, you should take care of animals, birds, and outsiders for accidental intrusions and damages during this period, particularly for outdoor applications.
Now, you have to follow dos and don’ts provided by your contractor or engineer for cleaning the restored area. Acidic and harsh nature of chemicals can damage the restored stones again, so don’t use it and ask your contractor or stone supplier for the right recommendations in your locality.
Who Can Do Stone Restoration?
We have seen that the restoration process demands the grinding, honing, and polishing like complex treatments. It requires enough skills, experiences, and innate capabilities to attend righteously. Moreover, equipment, tools, and chemicals or other resources are a big investment in modern days. Therefore, you need an established and reputed service provider/contractor or a company to accomplish your job.
To make the right selection, you have to pass through a curated process.
- Study the availability of stone restoration services in your area.
- Check their ratings and reviews online or ask your social media or reliable inmates if some of those have used those services previously.
- If the company has a website, your job becomes easy and fast to check its appropriateness for your work.
- Ask for the quotes to more than one contractor and compare those with valid reasoning behind those charges.
- Remember the right restoration professional will take care of your assets in the premise from potential damage like wood and carpet in nearby areas by water or mixture of grinding wastes with water. Splashes of such solutions can damage wall cladding while grinding the floor, so it needs immediate washing or cleaning.
- The professional also judiciously use your resources like water and electricity during the entire process.
- Your professional should educate you regarding the damage and process right from the beginning. You must have correct instructions to follow after the process for regular cleaning and maintenance.
Who Can Guide You Righteously?
World of Stones USA is a renowned supplier of various stones chiefly used for outdoor applications. You can get free consulting services to get advice regarding your stone restoration needs and matching stones whenever replacements are needed. You have enough options to select the stones for various needs, including restoration and maintenance processes.