Commercial Buildings’ Stone Restoration and the Environment

One of biggest goals at Sungloss Marble Restoration Company (besides providing excellent stone cleaning and restoration) is to assist large and small commercial buildings to reduce their impact on the environment. We encounter opportunities to show our value to commercial buildings, developers, designers, banks, and construction companies in many ways. We observed one such opportunity in a small condominium lobby.

A condo board contacted Sungloss to help with their terrazzo lobby, with repairs and surface restoration. John Leonard, a member of our Estimating team, noticed this 40-year-old lobby needed help in a few different areas, including filling holes in the floor, and wet grinding to refresh and polish the surface. However, neither of those services was ready to go because of the wax buildup on the floor. We frequently see floors of different stone (marble, limestone, slate, granite, and terrazzo) in large and small commercial spaces that share this common issue.

The appeal of using wax on natural stone probably stems from its’ availability at cheap prices, coupled with ignorance of janitorial staff about wax’s long term consequences. You slap some wax down and bam—your floor is polished, sealed and good to go, right? But in the meantime, the mops that were used to apply the wax had to be rinsed off or disposed of. Where does that wax material end up? In our rivers, lakes, and water tables. Not to mention, over years of waxing, the natural tendency is for the old wax to get pushed to the edges, and build up in thickness until it wreaks havoc on the stone underneath. We have seen crumbling of terrazzo and bleaching of black marble, directly caused by wax buildup—and those problems cost the owners of the commercial building a lot to fix.

So when it comes to small and large commercial lobbies, it pays to think about the overall impact a maintenance plan can have. If it only involves the bare minimum in materials and upkeep, it may hurt down the road when floors covered with years of wax start to need costly restoration. The alternative is a natural polish that is maintained by a natural, neutral stone cleaner, with periodic touch-ups to the polished surface. There is no need for wax…in fact almost no need for any chemical except a natural mild soap.

On a related note—more detail to come in coming weeks, but Sungloss President Mike Pavilon and Vice President Lisa Park just wrapped an interview for an article with Green Building and Design Magazine. When the article comes out we’ll be sure to post a little piece about it.