Cleaning & Sealing Limestone Floors:
Last week I recieved a call from woman who recently purchased a new condominium which had 750 square feet of limestone flooring. Limestone, which is cousin to travertine and marble, often has a very unique pattern to it whith shells embedded into the stone. It is a cousin to travertine and marble because all three have calcium in the stone and are easily etched with acidic products like vinegar, coffee, pickle juice, pet urine, etc. The reason I recieved the call was because she was looking for a specialist who could solve her problem. She had hired a tile cleaner, using a Groupon, and the floor now looked horrible.
The Groupon cleaner had used the wrong type of cleaning machine and the wrong type of cleaning chemicals on the limestone floor. Instead of the floor having a shining 'wet look' appearance, which is what she wanted, the floor was dulled and not totally clean. When she saw the results of the floor she immediately called her Groupon tile cleaner he said all she needed to do was to seal the floor and it would have the 'wet look' she desired. Do you think he should have explained this to her before he accepted the job? Why didn't he offer to seal it? Probably because he is a carpet cleaner who occasionally cleans tile and almost never works with limestone tile floors.
The client took the advice of the Groupon tile cleaner and went to Lowe's and purchased some sealer. She explained to the salesman what she wanted to accomplish and he provided her with all the tools. After applying the sealer the floor still looked dull and now was sticky even though it was dry. She went back to Lowe's got advice from another 'expert' and purchased a different type of sealer and the floor looked worse than before. Fortunately she stopped after only sealing about 40 square feet.
I spent one hour inspecting and testing this limestone floor to better understand how and what could be done to restore the floor back to its original beauty and lustre. This was originally a model home so it was 'dolled up' rather nicely. After about an hour I was able to show her how to successfully remove the sealer and prepare it to be re-cleaned and re-sealed the proper way. I had to show her how to do it because at this point she could not afford the extra money to hire me. Hopefully she will follow the plan and I will be able to go back in about 60 days to finish the project.
On this website I have issued multiple warnings about hiring a Groupon cleaning service and this is a perfect example of what I warn people about. I will repeat myslef by saying that I believe there is a place in the market for Groupon, Living Social, and the like, just not in the service industry. Cheap things aren't good and good things aren't cheap.
If you have a limestone floor and you have questions please give me a call at (916) 525-2456.