Moisture: The Potential Plague

The use of natural stone for building and decorating has been used since ancient times.   Its strength and durability make natural stone a versatile building product, thus increasing in popularity.  Although quarried from the earth, not all stone is created equal.  The biggest difference lies in the porosity, density and durability of the stone.  Calcite based stones such as Marble, Limestone, Onyx and Travertine are more porous than the denser, igneous Granite.  Because of their high porosity rate, they are more susceptible to damage, acting like a sponge and sucking in liquids, salts and minerals.

Water plays a dominant role in the deterioration process of most stone surfaces.  In fact, most problems in any structure begin with water.  Efflorescence, corrosion, and calcium buildup are all examples of how water destroys or damages the stone.  The only way to fully restore and preserve the area is to prevent further water intrusion by waterproofing: creating barriers, drainage and diversion.  Sealers, although widely used and the most important waterproofing materials, will not prevent future moisture damage if the source of the moisture is not identified and repaired.

Look for signs of moisture such as mold, efflorescence, and spalling.  Identify the source, and waterproof.  Sealing, airflow, ventilation, proper drainage and professionally directed maintenance and care all help in preventing, or at least limiting, moisture damage to Marble, Limestone, Travertine and other calcite based stone surfaces.  This is the only sure way to prevent further water damage and preserve the beauty of the earth in your home.