Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Geologists use the term “marble” to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however, stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone. Marble is commonly used for sculpture and as a building material.
Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most commonly limestone or dolomite rock. Metamorphism causes variable recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains. The resulting marble rock is typically composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals. Primary sedimentary textures and structures of the original carbonate rock (protolith) have typically been modified or destroyed.
Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of a very pure (silicate-poor) limestone or dolomite protolith. The characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are usually due to various mineral impurities such as clay, silt, sand, iron oxides, or chert which were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone. Green coloration is often due to serpentine resulting from originally high magnesium limestone or dolostone with silica impurities. These various impurities have been mobilized and recrystallized by the intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism.
Marble block and slab has been used for centuries , use in building ,construction,and a firm favourite with architects and designers who love the aesthetics and appeal both internally and externally.
This beautiful, natural product, in all of it’s vibrant colours, densities, matrix and veining, adds style and beauty in all forms to floors, walls, staircases, vanity units, kitchen tops, statues, , to name but a few.
Once manufactured to the high surface finish, marble becomes a centrepiece of buildings of all modes from commercial premises, hotels, palaces and homes.
Being a natural product, it is important that the surfaces are maintained in good condition to prevent wear down, staining and damage and maintaining the natural beauty.
Cleaning should be carried out by using, in the first instance, neutral cleaning products diluted, to supplier manufacturer ratios to prevent affecting the surfaces.
Removal of moisture is also a key factor especially in areas where high water lime content exists as natural drying out will leave deposits of lime on surfaces which can react with the natural calcium in the marble which in turn, erodes not only the surface but may cause damage to the underlying material.
To floor areas, a process of regular top up polishing, using special products also needs to be employed to ensure that the marble surfaces retain, not only their high finishes but also to provide a high degree of protection and to enhance the anti slip potential to the surfaces.
Another factor is wear, to floors & staircases in particular.
High foot traffic patterns will wear down the original finishes very rapidly as will contamination, salt deposits brought into premises under foot in wet or winter conditions etc.
It is therefore, in these areas that a strict regime of cleaning, using the correct products to remove the damaging matter, on a regular basis, coupled with stringent monitoring of floor areas be carried out to report any signs of wear occurring and remedial actions taken to prevent the problem from becoming serious.
In the event that wear is left to further degrade the marble,limestone or any other natural or man made stone, only specialist restoration can be used to restore the material to original finishes.
Staircases are another area where wear problems to step treads in particular can occur.
Again, stringent cleaning and monitoring is essential and also, bearing in mind that step treads should not be polished, the low honed finishes will require sealing with marble sealing products to maintain the honed finishes.
All marble products are subject to staining through spillages, deposits of tar, oil and also the menace of chewing gum can penetrate marble surfaces, causing unsightly stains.
In such cases, it is important that only recommended stain removal techniques and methods are employed as incorrect actions can not only cause further damage but also “lock in “ staining making the problem a possible permanent mark on the surfaces.
It is recommended that stains should be immediately cleaned with a neutral detergent in warm water, dried off immediately followed by treatments by specialist processes as soon as possible.
To sum up, marble products need to be treated with a high degree of care and attention to retain the natural beauty of the material.
Simple maintenance, using the correct products and methods will keep the marble in good condition in most cases and with specialist maintenance top up or sealing processes, this will reduce the need for restoration to be carried out.
In the event of surfaces becoming worn or stained, only specialist processes can be employed to restore marble to as close as possible to original condition.
Stonetech UK Limited has been cleaning, maintaining and restoring marble with historical documented back up in the form of order, and references for over 25 years and we can provide specialist services and advice, but also, in house training for cleaning operatives, production of daily routines for maintenance on a site specific basis and also a wide range of specialist products to help keeping these beautiful, natural products in peak condition.
Contact Stonetech UK Limited on 0207 623 9898 for a fast response or contact us today.