April 21, 2022When your natural stone has lost its luster or has become damaged in some other way, or needs to be protected, who do you look to? Do you look to your cleaning or janitorial company? Or should you be looking elsewhere?
Specialized KnowledgeThe properties of natural stone vary from one stone to the next. Contractors need to have a solid understanding of the properties unique to each type of stone. For example, let's have a look at granite. It is much harder than marble. When it becomes dull or scratched and needs to be refinished, there is a greater level of difficulty and special equipment necessary to get the job done right compared to marble refinishing. In fact, some stone restoration contractors who restore marble all day long, every day refuse to work with granite, because they know they would be getting in over their heads.
Specialized TrainingJust as contractors need to have a solid understanding of the properties unique to each type of stone, they also need to have the skills necessary to work with each stone type. For example, consider travertine. It has naturally occurring holes. These holes are often filled and finished for a uniform appearance when the travertine is installed. With traffic and use, the fillers eventually loosen or fall out. To resolve the problem, stone restoration contractors mix tints with fillers that blend with the appearance of the surrounding stone and use a process called "floating" to evenly apply the filling material. This process is then followed by honing and polishing with diamond-impregnated pads in a series of progressively finer grits to achieve the desired travertine finish, which may be anything from a soft matte to a high gloss finish or something in between. A great deal of training and practice are necessary to perfect accurate diagnosis of stone problems and to implement the proper repair and restoration procedures.
Specialized EquipmentWhat might you find in the back of a stone restoration contractor's work van? You might find cupwheels and diamond-impregnated pads to mount on hand tools and floor machines for grinding, honing, and polishing, steel wool and hogs hair polishing pads, gloss meters, moisture detectors, polishing compounds, poulticing materials, sealers, grout color sealers, color enhancing sealers, and other items that would leave most janitors and cleaning companies scratching their heads.