Wax Buildup Damage On Natural Stone Flooring

Terrazzo damage caused by old wax around the edge

At Sungloss Marble Restoration Company our position is a natural stone floor such as marble, limestone, terrazzo, travertine, granite, or slate, should be maintained as ‘naturally’ as possible. We strongly recommend against using wax as a sealer or polish enhancer. Instead, the natural beauty of a stone surface can shine through simply through natural polishing means—employing wet grinding, burnishing, and using water-based sealers. Customer education including properly cleaning the surface will go a long way in keeping the surface clean and the luster unblemished.

This week we came across a terrazzo floor in a distinguished condominium building with classic wax damage (photos of which are posted below). Pervious posts in this blog have touched on how wax pushes out towards the perimeters of floors when re-applied over many years. Ultimately the edges of a floor are stained, etched, and sometimes even physically deteriorated due to the wax damage. We thought these pictures show the problem pretty well.

The practice of waxing stone floors is slowly shifting towards natural no-wax maintenance. However, we continue to see this type of damage in older commercial spaces like banks, government buildings, corporate clients, or condos. It is usually repairable using a variety of methods, from simply stripping the wax, to full-bore wet grinding (by machine or more importantly, by hand). Choosing sealers that may have a color-enhancing effect can help. In the worst cases for terrazzo, it is sometimes possible to have new terrazzo mixed and poured on-site into the cut-out section.

Another thing about wax that we have talked about before, is the fact that once it is removed from the maintenance cycle of a building, the waste output of the building is reduced, for the betterment of the local waterways. When wax is cycled (stripped and re-applied) the mop bucket residue has to end up somewhere, and it is our goal to reduce that waste as much as we can through our philosophy, and educating our customers.

Wax buildup damage in terrazzo around perimeter

Discoloration from wax around edges