How to clean natural stone?

Are you one of those people who are keen on nature? Do you prefer natural beauty to artificial perfection? Stone was there at the beginning of human civilization and, despite progress, it is still irreplaceable even today. It has always been of great importance to mankind. It served as a weapon and also as a building material for magnificent buildings. It is shaped by complex processes and its beauty has won the respect and admiration of most of us.

In modern building architecture, stone is getting back to the places it deserves. For its long-lasting durability, formability, inflexibility and aesthetic uniqueness it is the ideal building material. Every piece is an original with a unique shape, texture and colour. It is a suitable complement of a residential garden and can also be used in interiors. Stone tiles and pavings are highly effective and aesthetically interesting. However, time leaves visible marks on stone and it is necessary to clean it in order to revive it. What does stone cleaning and renovation involve?

It can be renovated mechanically, chemically or by a combination of both methods. The choice of a proper renovation method depends on a number of factors. The decisive factor is whether it is renovated in the interior or exterior, it is also crucial to consider which stone it is and whether it has ever been renovated or cleaned before.

Use of dry and wet ways

The dry way is a method of mechanical cleansing, in which the stone surface is roughened and cleaned at the same time, with the loss of a stone layer of at least one millimetre. It is crucial to assess the extent to which the area is weathered (the more weathered, the greater the loss of the stone layer). Cleaning is performed with a pneumatic gun without using abrasives and chemicals. The dry way is suitable for interiors, especially because it does not pollute the surroundings as much as wet cleaning.

The wet way means sanding the surface with a high-pressure machine using abrasive silica sand. This method is suitable for all cleaned exterior surfaces. It is not used in the interior, as it causes the masonry to soak up contaminated water and accumulate used abrasives.

Chemical cleansing

This method can be used only for undamaged surfaces whose upper layer is just dirty. The cleansing process has two phases. In the first phase, the surface impurities are removed, in the second phase it is necessary to neutralize the remnants of the cleaning agent. It has to be removed to prevent later destruction of the surface. Once it has got dry, a final treatment, hydrophobization, follows, which reduces the absorbency of the surface.

Even broken corners or holes can be repaired

In case of stone renovation, hollows, cracks or broken edges are repaired with a special sealant made in the colour of the stone. A stainless steel reinforcement is inserted into the damaged part to prevent re-damage, and then everything is jointed. Modern chemistry offers such possibilities that no one can detect a damage repaired with the naked eye.

Surface treatment

The current market offers several types of impregnation. Why use impregnation? Chemicals protect the surface from heterogeneous substances, prevent the stone from getting dirty, and also reduce the effect of water.

Would you like anti-slip tapes or grooves?

You might have found out that you wanted to have anti-slip protection when using the stone surface. No problem. In these cases, it is possible to stick anti-slip tapes that are easy to clean. Another variant is to blast grooves into the stone, which disrupts the top smooth layer. The last method used is to apply the resin with calibrated sand to places with a risk of slipping. These techniques are most widely used in corridors, bathrooms, toilets, showers, around swimming pools, saunas or on staircases and ramps.