Living in SW Florida, we’ve seen our fair share of hurricanes and the damage they can do to clients’ homes. Recently, due to Hurricane Ian, many of our client’s Sanibel and Captiva Islands homes suffered near or total loss of their most cherished slice of paradise. Water and mud-logged Oriental carpets, travertine, granite, and marble natural stone floors and counters, carpeting, and upholstery textiles weren’t spared as rising flood serge entered their homes.
As a natural stone restoration company, Tru-Clean Surface Care is proud of our results when cleaning, polishing, and sealing natural stones such as travertine, limestone, granite, and marble countertops and flooring. From working in homes that suffered damage from previous hurricanes and flooding events to the current catastrophe many of us are dealing with.
Natural stone is resilient and, in most cases, can be restored after a flooding event with professional intervention. Lately, we’ve seen beautiful travertine and marble stone floors that have suffered not only the unfortunate results of Hurricane Ian but also deep scratches because restoration companies used metal shovels to clean out the mud from clients’ homes. These scratches will require honing to remove them, and we have the expertise to make your natural stone surfaces look phenomenal again.
Signs of Damaged Natural Stone Due to Flooding
Should you restore or replace your flooded travertine or marble floor in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian?
It depends. If the stone tiles have held fast to the floor and have not come loose, there is a good chance your natural stone floor can be professionally restored. In many cases, travertine, even after being submerged under water for days, is resilient enough to be restored to a new condition by a stone restoration professional. Of course, you need to consider the floor’s state prior to the flooding. How dirty was it? Did your travertine tile have preexisting holes, cracks, and scratches? This holds true for other natural stone floors as well marble, limestone, terrazzo, and slate, as well as ceramic and porcelain tile.
Should I Let A Tile Cleaning Company Clean My Natural Stone Surfaces?
A word of caution when seeking a professional to address problems with your natural stone floor, whether it needs restoration due to flooding or wear and tear due to time. Do not hire a tile cleaning company. Hire an experienced and trustworthy stone restoration company.
The difference is that most tile cleaning companies also specialize in carpet and furniture cleaning by using a pressurized washing system. The pressure in these machines can reach upwards of 1,000 psi. This type of service is marketed as “deep cleaning.” However, when you consider that travertine, marble, and limestone are calcium base bonded stones, subjecting your floors to pressurized treatment after a flood may do more harm than good.
Tru-Clean Surface Care’s stone technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), are surpHaces Certified Pros, and are Stone PRO experts. Our cleaning and polishing processes are safe for natural stone surfaces. We use specialized diamond pads and powders to restore the beauty of natural stone and then follow up with a penetrating sealer designed to protect the stone’s surface for years.
Natural stones such as travertine, marble, granite, and limestone contain calcium, and this calcium bond can be compromised due to extended water intrusion. Due to their porosity, waterlogged stones can absorb contaminated water, and the stone’s calcium will start to erode. This process doesn’t happen immediately and can take weeks or months for the calcium bond to fail. Tile and grout cleaning companies that do not specialize in natural stone surfaces and have no certifications in natural stone restoration may use pressurized machines to break down the stone’s calcium bond further. While the floor may “look clean” after a pressurized cleaning, cracks can start to form months later, along with holes and loose floor tiles. Basically, these companies are damaging your floors and charging you for it!
Water Restoration Companies and Natural Stone Surfaces
Most water and mold restoration companies are experts in remediation for flood and mold damage. They’re certified in these fields, and most know their stuff. What they are NOT are stone restoration companies!
Working with stone takes experience, knowledge, certification, and the right equipment, which over 99% of them do not have. The restoration company often tells the insurance company that the natural stone needs to be replaced and moves on to the next job. Insurance companies know, in the hands of a competent stone restoration company, that there is an excellent likelihood of restoration, which will save the homeowner frustration and the insurance company thousands of dollars.
What To Do If Your Natural Stone Surfaces Are Damaged During A Flooding Event
The first thing to do if your home is involved in a flooding event, if it is safe, is to try to remove as much water and debris as possible. If shoveling, use a plastic shovel or rubberized squeegee. Contact your insurance company right away for guidance. Remember, in the State of Florida, you have the right to choose your contractor, and you do not have to default to the recommendation of your insurance carrier.
How We Restore Flood-Damaged Natural Stone Surfaces
The stone division at Tru-Clean Surface Care specializes in cleaning, polishing, restoring, and protecting all natural stone surfaces. With each project, the following steps are performed:
- The surface is remediated to remove any remaining water, mud, and other debris so that a proper inspection can be performed.
- We evaluate the stone’s integrity and surface to develop a plan to restore the stone.
- We clean the stone’s surface using a neutral cleaning agent, agitation, and suction.
- If the surface requires honing (removing a minute amount of the stone surface to remove deep scratches), we hone the stone surfaces to repair any damage.
- The stone’s surfaces are then polished with a diamond pad and powder.
- A high-speed buffer is then run over the stone’s surfaces to help enhance the polish.
- The stone is sealed with a quality commercial-grade sealer to protect its natural beauty for years to come.
If Tru-Clean Surface Care ever be of service to our friends on Sanibel or Captiva Island to help restore the beauty of your natural stone surfaces; please call us anytime. We are A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau, an eight-year-in-a-row-winner of the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, and maintain national certifications with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the international Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI), Stone PRO, surpHaces Certified Pro’s, and the Wool Safe Institute.
For more information about Tru-Clean Surface Care and the services we offer, please visit us online at www.TruCleanSurfaceCare.com or call us any time at 239-541-4888 – Sanibel, Captiva, and Lee County, 239-206-1935 – Bonita Springs, Naples, and Marco Island, or 941-621-2198 – Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, Florida.
You can also visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TruCleanSurfaceCareFL/