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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove acidic (etch) marks from my limestone tiles?

To remove etch marks, buffing using a series of sanding pads will be necessary. Once you have removed the stains, seal your limestone with an impregnating sealer.
Can I use any cleaning solution on limestone?

No, you should definitely not use any cleaning solution for limestone. Limestone is an acid sensitive stone that requires specific pH neutral limestone cleaning solutions. Always test cleaning products on a small inconspicuous area first.
Are fumes from sealers dangerous to inhale during application?

It is always safer to use water-based products, particularly when working indoors and when an area can't be well ventilated. Solvent-based sealers are extremely flammable and the fumes can be extremely dangerous to health and property.
How long will a limestone sealer last?

The life expectancy of a sealer depends, in part on exposure conditions and how well the limestone surface is maintained. In general, you tend to get what you pay for with sealers. Penetrating sealers deliver the best long-term performance and can last for up to 15 years before the need for reapplication. Most topical sealers will need to be stripped and resealed far more regularly.
What is a sealer?

A sealer is a coating applied to limestone and other materials that prevents contaminants sinking in as well as deterioration. Unsealed limestone can be instantly stained and permanently damaged. There are 2 types of limestone sealer, penetrating and topical.
How do impregnators work?

Impregnators (penetrating sealers) penetrate below the surface of limestone and protects from within. There is no visible coating or film formed on the surface. Impregnators work by reducing the pore size of the stone by filling these pores with a resin. The resins are small enough not to block the pores, so the stone will still allow vapour to pass through.
Why is breathability necessary?

All stone must be allowed to release vapour. In other words, must breathe. If the pores of limestone are totally blocked, vapour will condense within the stone, and the stone will become saturated with moisture. Excess moisture can lead to numerous problems . The moisture can also carry soluble salts which are often deposited on the surface of the stone (efflorescence). If the salts are not allowed to escape to the surface, they will be deposited in the pores of the stone and cause deterioration.
Are sealers safe for food handling areas?

This depend on the type of sealer. Generally, once an impregnator has dried and cured, it should be safe for most food handling situations. All sealers are non-toxic and 100% safe for food handling areas.
Do impregnators sometimes have problems?

Any issues with impregnators are typically caused by misapplication. If the impregnator is left on the surface of the stone and the excess is not removed, it can cause the stone to become sticky and require removal. Solvent-based impregnators can also react with certain materials, causing cloudiness or discolouration. If the stone is wet, many impregnators will not penetrate and therefore not perform as expected.
How often should an impregnator be applied?

This depends on the type and use of the stone. Many lower quality sealers will need to be reapplied every few years. Transparent Penetrating sealer has a life expectancy of up to 10 years while GOLD will last for up to 15 years.
Are sealers UV resistant?

This will depend on the type. When sealing outdoor areas always use a UV resistant sealer that does not affect the slip resistance or limestone. penetrating sealers are both UV resistant and do not alter slip resistance.
I have had a natural stone floor installed in my house, how do I look after it?

Almost all natural stone floors will show some surface wear over time. A quality limestone floor sealer will dramatically help protect the surface from spillages and staining. An annual floor maintenance schedule should be set with a professional natural stone floor cleaning company.
Can I apply a sealer to my limestone floor myself?

It is possible to apply a sealer or an impregnator to your limestone, however it is highly recommended to organise a professional stone floor sealing company who have the necessary equipment and expertise to do the work for you. An incorrectly sealed surface can seriously affect the look of your limestone, and making sure the floor is totally clean and free of residue and dust before sealing is extremely important.
What shall I do with stains and spillages?

Blot spills immediately to avoid any permanent damage. Use a damp cloth to wipe away spills from water based substances such as tea or coffee, and try blotting the spillage instead of rubbing. For stains use a poultice to draw out the stain, this process can be very time consuming and is best left to the experts to do for you.
How can I tell whether the stone has a stain or an etch mark?

A spot which appears dark and shaded is more than likely a stain whereas an etch mark will appear to be dull with a rich haze to it.
I've had a limestone floor installed and now there are dull spots over it. What is causing this and how can I get rid of them?

This is commonly referred to as etching. Etching eats away at limestone and produces those rough dull marks that you can see on your limestone. Mild etching feels smooth and can be removed with a polishing powder, however If the etching is any more serious, you will need to contact a natural stone restoration professional like StoneMaster.
I have removed a carpet to discover a natural stone floor, can it be refurbished?

Yes. You will need the services of a natural stone restoration professional to restore the floor to its former beauty.
What is acid etching and how can I protect my limestone against it?

Any acidic substance is harmful for your limestone tiles, they can be etched (eaten/corroded) easily and sealing against acid attack is very difficult. The best way to protect your limestone tiles from acid attack is to seal and clean spills immediately. The high porosity of limestone makes sealing a must in order to provide protection against future acid attack and liquid spillage.

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