Do's And Don'ts Of Marble Care

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Why do restoration professionals get so many calls regarding spills of the wrong product or scratches inadvertently caused by some other repair or attempted repair? It happens all of the time. Really, all they can do is to say thank you because you are providing them with the business.

How many maids or homeowners have been using vinegar to remove minerals from their black marble shower, only to have the polish dulled because of repeated exposure to mild etching over a period of time? I have seen this very issue so many times, over a 30 year time span, I can’t count them.

For this article I will cover one such case. A cleaning company came in to an upscale home with the task of cleaning the marble and porcelain shower stall. The specific objective was to remove mildew from the grout lines on the stall’s vertical surfaces.

Now because this particular cleaning company really had no clue as to how to properly complete this task or what appropriate products to use, the following disaster ensued. It all started when they used a lime-away acid product, to remove the mold from the grout lines on the shower stall walls. They actually should’ve used a chlorinated type product designed specifically for mold stain removal from natural stone.

Luckily, I can say that the majority of the field surface in the shower was a polished porcelain tile which was basically impervious to the acid. The tumbled marble basket weave, which was used as a horizontal accent tile, did not however, fair so well. As you can imagine, this fairly strong acid deeply etched these marble pieces.

So how much did this snafu cost to remedy? Try about $1500 to refinish the marble and clean the grout correctly. The grout on the shower walls was cleaned first using the appropriate Majestic Mildew Stain Remover and a gentle nylon scrub brush. Because the ceiling was 12’, a step ladder and a brush on a telescoping handle were used to assist the technician with reaching all the way to the top. This particular shower has a glass door so tight that if the exhaust fan was not always used, the humidity would have no place to escape, and this contributed to the excessive mold growth, in the first place. Always try to squeegee the shower stall down after use and ensure the exhaust fan is running.

Just remember Benjamin Franklin’s saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

At Stonecare Central, we have everything you need for your natural stone, ceramic tile, terrazzo, or decorative concrete maintenance needs. Please don’t try to use off the shelf products that are not specifically designed for these surfaces as you will inevitably have avoidable mistakes that will need expensive repair.


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