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Treatment of fungi and bacteria by moisture in marble and natural stone

Sep , 24
Treatment of fungi and bacteria by moisture in marble and natural stone

Today we will talk about the treatment of fungi and bacteria by moisture in marble and natural stone using a real case.

How do bacteria and fungi appear in the stone?

Moisture originated by water leaks or inundations can favor the appearance of colonies of fungi and bacteria capable of altering the natural stone.

Microorganismos encontrados durante la restauración de El Patio de los Leones - Microorganisms found during El Patio de los Leones restoration.
Microorganismos encontrados durante la restauración de El Patio de los Leones - Microorganisms found during El Patio de los Leones restoration. Fuente / Source: Waste.Ideal.es

If we observe a natural stone with moisture problems with a microscope, we will discover a micro-universe of living beings that have created their habitat there. These microorganisms tend to prefer rocks rich in calcite, such as marble or limestone, which are widely used in interior design as well as exteriors.

In environments with stagnant water, bacteria, microalgae, and other organisms can physically damage the stone. These agents act as a unifying element of nuclei of crystallization of dissolved salts that vary their Ph due to their photosynthetic metabolism. As a consequence there is an increase in the concentration of C02 in the water and a more significant adhesion of deposits and mineral concretions which alter the original rock.

Marble oxidation and loss of stone matter

Hongos y bacterias por humedad en el mármol y la piedra natural - fungi and bacteria by moisture in marble and natural stone

These organisms are grouped into dense gelatinous masses and filaments with sheaths. Their goal is to create calcareous roofs that allow them to survive desiccation, water force, excessive sunshine, extreme temperatures, and even algaecide treatments.

At the same time, they excrete gelatinous pods that produce dissolution and deterioring of metals. As they spread through the pores of the marble, rust stains appear, or even worse as it is irreversible damage: the loss of original stone matter.

Fungi and bacteria by moisture in marble and natural stone attack the stone in two ways :

+ Chemically, where organic acids penetrate the surface.

+ Mechanically , where the pods exert a wedge effect by dilation when wet.

Treatment of fungi and bacteria by moisture in marble and natural stone

Hongos y bacterias por humedad en el mármol y la piedra natural - fungi and bacteria by moisture in marble and natural stone

Above, we can see the surface of a terrace that has suffered an inundation caused by spills of a drain. In addition, the TINO Stone Care team observes that this surface is  getting wet daily as a result of external watering.

To eliminate the moisture damages we proposed:

1. Correct the influence of continuous irrigation on the natural stone and thus avoid the constant proliferation of oxidation.

2. Apply peroxide poultices of different graduations, starting with a soft one of 120 volumes up to a maximum of 220.

3. Once the oxidation processes and their origin are interrupted, decontaminate and cleanse the entire treated area with a TINO descaling cleaner. We use brushes of different granulometry to minimize, as much as possible, the external porosity.

4. After the mechanical intervention, we apply a oleo-water-repellent TINO treatment for the future preservation of the pavements.

Tratamiento hongos y bacterias por humedad en el mármol y la piedra natural - Fungi and bacteria by moisture in marble and natural stone treatment

This treatment was aimed to eliminate fungi and bacteria in marble and natural stone and to recover the original properties and appearance of the stone. After the intervention, the stone is decontaminated and recovers its beauty. However, in some severe cases with loss of stone matter, the surface is not always 100% recoverable. In cases where such recovery is impossible we can apply an in situ renovation of the texture and the finishes . s .

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