Limestone Restoration, Care, Maintenance & Sealing
Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed from calcareous remains of plants and animals or precipitated from solution. Often contains remains and fossils of sea creatures. It is natural Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) and will yield lime when heated. Does not show much gaining or crystalline sructure. It has a smooth granular surface. Varies in hardness. Some dense limestones can be polished - will never be as shiny as marble or granite! Color tones are typically neutral.
Many older buildings have durable limestone flooring. This is the chalky porous type typical of most French and Spanish limestone. Etched by acids, including soft drinks. Absorbs oils and other liquids and is more easily stained than marble. Composed of Calcite and some Magnesium. Color tones are typically neutral. Limestone is becoming more popular than marble and is usually honed (not shiny). Has a smooth granular surface. Varies in hardness.
Limestone and marble are very reactive to acid solutions, making acid rain a significant problem. Many limestone statues and building surfaces have suffered severe damage due to acid rain. Acid-based cleaning chemicals can also etch limestone, which should only be cleaned with a neutral or mild alkaline-based cleaner.
Limestone is more porous, softer, and chemically sensitive than marble or granite. Etched by acids, including soft drinks and juice. Absorbs oils and other liquids and is easily stained. So putting limestone in a kitchen or heavily used bathroom is not a good idea.
Should be sealed with a penetrating sealer to prevent staining and reduce soiling. Should only be cleaned with neutral pH detergents. Because it is soft, it should never be cleaned at pressures above 800 PSI and then only if the grout is in good condition.
What are the DO's and DON'Ts of Limestone Maintenance?
Care, Cleaning, Maintenance & Protection of Limestone:
Limestone countertops look great in the store or online but they are not a good option! Limestone is a natural stone and will vary in density. Limestone is one of the most porous stones available. This is not good for countertops! These countertops stain quite easily and then you are stuck with it. Limestone is very predisposed to acid. Acid will etch the surface and stain it. Lemon juice will even mar the surface of the counter. You are not to leave any liquid standing on the countertops, even water, for a short period of time because it could sink in and stain.Limestone countertops require a lot of regular sealing applications to keep them from staining. Limestone is a bad choice for countertops. Even putting limestone in a bathroom is a bad idea because many soaps/skin creams are going to stain/etch it
Limestone is porous, and easily stained and is etched by acids. Avoid setting beverage glasses directly on limestone as they leave rings. Fruit juice, carbonated beverages or other acids will etch (remove shiny surface) if allowed to remain on marble. Wipe up acid spill immediately, and wipe surface with wet cloth. If surfaced is etched, polishing may be required.
A limestone counter top is velvety smooth like soapstone and shares a color palette similar to travertine only with less pattern variation. A unique characteristic of this natural stone is the fossils and seashells often found embedded in the surface adding an organic element to the countertop.
Natural stone is very porous. The best way to prevent stains is to treat the surface with a protective sealer. The sealer fills in the pores and repels spills on the surface, allowing you time to completely wipe it away.
Dust mop interior limestone floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and grit that will scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a non-slip surface. Normally, it will take a person about eight steps on a floor surface to remove sand or dirt from the bottom of their shoes. Do not use vacuum cleaners that are worn. The metal or plastic attachments or the wheels may scratch the surface.
We recommend that you use care and maintenance products from StoneTech™ Professional, a DuPont company, that are specially formulated to protect and enhance the beauty of your granite. Once the stone is sealed, clean up is usually easy. We recommend that you use StoneTech™ Professional Revitalizer™ Cleaner & Protector. Revitalizer™ cleans with a gentle, pH-neutral formula that removes soils while reinforcing the original protective seal to help prevent future staining.
Although we usually think of stone as "hard," it is a porous material. Natural stone has varying degrees of porosity depending on the type of stone. If left unsealed, spills and everyday messes can easily penetrate the surface. The liquid eventually evaporates but the stain is left behind.
Removal of oily stains is easily accomplished with StoneTech™ Professional Oil and Stain Remover.
Fluorochemical technology, incorporated into StoneTech™ Professional BulletProof™ and StoneTech™ Professional Impregnator Pro, is the most advanced technology available, providing the ultimate shield against both water and oil-base stains. The micro-molecular formula actually bonds with the stone surface to deliver unsurpassed wear resistance and durability. And because the sealer reacts with the stone, you no longer have to worry about its porosity. It works on all types of stone, from ultra-porous Juparana Columbo to super-dense Absolute Black.
High Gloss Stone Sealer can also be used where a glossy finish is desired (interior only).
Products for Cleaning, Polishing and Protecting Limestone:
Related Stone Information: