Travertine is a type of limestone that is mainly formed in freshwater aquatic environments. They include the calcareous tufas, calc-sinters from cold stream, and carbonates that are deposited from lacustrine environments or hot water such as springs. Travertines are very often creamy and beige in colour and have large to small but oriented pore systems. In recent years, more travertines with various colours have been found on the market, such as pink to dark brown varieties.
Besides travertines importance as a raw material for industrial processes, their use in architecture as decorative stones, façades, cladding, and flooring is very common and it is one of the most frequently used stones in modern architecture. The excellent properties of travertine were even recognised by the Romans, who used it to build representatives structures such as the Coliseum in Rome.
- It is natural Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) and will yield lime when heated.
- Varies in hardness.
- Etched by acids.
- Porous with many visible holes, often filled with epoxy.
- Polishing powders tend to accumulate in the holes and can make clean-up difficult.
- Should never be cleaned at pressures above 800 PSI and then only if the grout and the epoxy filling are in good condition.
- Should be sealed with a penetrating sealer to prevent staining and reduce soiling.
THE DO’S AND DONT’S OF CLEANING TRAVERTINE
- Do clean up spills immediately to minimize damage to your stone
- Always rinse your floors well to prevent a build-up of cleaner residue that could become slippery.
- Dust mop the floor daily to only pick up the dust, but also the grit tracked into the building. The grit acts as an abrasive on a hard surface floor.
- Allow your neutral cleaner, once applied to the travertine surface, time to react as designed to loosen foreign matter. Several minutes should be adequate, but DO NOT allow the solution to dry on surface.
- Do use maintenance products designed for travertine.
- Use door mats inside and out along with runners and area rugs on travertine floors.
- Do use trivets or mats under hot dishes and cookware.
- Do use a tray for toiletry products in the bathroom to protect the surface from the damaging chemicals contained in many toiletry products.
- Do use place mats under china, ceramics, silver and other objects that can scratch the stone’s surface.
- Do use coasters under glasses, especially if they contain alcohol or citrus juices.
- Don’t wait to clean up spills on stone.
- Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub cleaners.
- Don’t use vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general-purpose cleaners.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
- Don’t use alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for stone.
- Don’t use scouring powders and abrasives because they will scratch the surface.
- Don’t use cheap cleaners or sealers since the majority of maintenance costs is labour.
- Don’t place toiletry products directly on the counter top surface.
- Don’t clean at pressures above 800 PSI and then only if the grout and the epoxy filling are in good condition.
CARE & MAINTENANCE
The beauty of natural stone is that no two pieces are the same. Each piece has its own natural characteristics such as colour, veining and markings, as well as hardness and porosity.
For travertine, the level of porosity can reach 50%, but in most cases its ratio ranges between 10% -30%. Because of this, the capacity to absorb liquid is significantly higher if the surface is not sealed correctly. Even clear liquids such as water to liquids with colour, such as orange juice can all discolour travertine surfaces.
In order to mitigate the possibility of staining occurring, it is recommended to seal travertine. A sealant acts to help the stone resist dirt and spills which can cause etching and staining. When applied, it will block liquids from seeping into the granite and a properly sealed counter top will cause liquids to bead on the surface.
It is important to use a high quality, invisible impregnating sealer. Stone Seal are experts at choosing the right sealant for the job – the one that will protect your investment for years to come. Our number one priority is to give you a surface you can use and enjoy for longer. Once the stone is sealed, clean-up is usually easy. We recommend that you use a gentle, pH-neutral formula that removes soils while reinforcing the original protective seal to help prevent future staining.
Stone Seal advised that most high traffic areas or areas such as the kitchen or bathrooms are sealed on an annual basis. The key to keeping travertine looking new is the proper cleaning, polishing and sealing of the stone. We make it a point to educate our customers on proper stone care.
Stone Seal are based in Dublin and complete restoration work throughout Ireland. If you have a query or would like more information on our travertine restoration service, call us on 01 8770436 or fill out the ‘request an estimate’ form on this page.
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