The importance of degree of absorption
In many cases the detergents are responsible for the loss of shine and some deterioration in the surface of the stones. This is the result of formation of salts inside the small pores which are in the stones.
The abundance of chemical compounds which permit that every detergent cleans more or cleans better, is responsible for dirtying from inside the pores of the stones with salts that when dissolved in water, enter easily but remain there when the water evaporates, because the salts do not evaporate.
Water the great solvent that is, carries not only detergents but also dirt, acids, grease, derivatives of oil and what we produce in solid trash. The gas and smoke we produce escape in the air, but are brought down by the rain that wash our beautiful buildings of granite and marble.
We now do not have those rains of yesterday that were almost distilled water. The rains of today dirty us with our ecological sins.
But, what to do? Is it possible to avoid that our marble and granites become dirty and deteriorate?
The FIRST and the most logical would be to NOT CONTAMINATE.
The SECOND would be to choose our finishes of granite and marble as a function of LESS COEFFICIENT OF ABSORPTION, making use that way of a solution that nature offers us to counterattack or control these problems.
The THIRD is to utilise the HYDRO-REPELLENTS that sciences has discovered.
Upto now, we only appreciated the higher or lower coefficient of absorption by the time taken to disappear by the wet spots that appeared on the exterior walls as a result of bad installation. But since on drying no spots were left and since the water that can down used to be basically clean, without the contamination of today, littler or no importance was given to this absorption and one only would comment sadly on the poor aesthetic aspect that the building walls would have for a few days.
However, after all that we have done to our environment, it is now necessary to take into account that the finish we choose has a lower coefficient of absorption so as not to remain unarmed and unprepared in the face of deterioration, because not only we compromise with the beauty we wanted to achieve but also transmit an effect of ageing and abandonment that is hard to remove.
How much does it absorb? Is this material of lower coefficient of absorption? These are going to be the fundamental questions when choosing a material and the sales arguments in the future, and as we will not be able to clean the cities of contaminants, we have no other choice but to use materials that do not get contaminated. Science has also provided solutions offering products that collaborate with nature in reducing the capacity of absorption. This technical help is called HYDRO-REPELLENTS or liquids that repel water and its accompanying solutions. The hydro-repellents avoid the destructive effects that we have been referring to.
As professionals in the stone sector, the businessmen, technicians and installers, we should advise the professionals in the field of architecture, decoration and our client, that in taking account the future dirtiness and deterioration, when choosing the finish they should consider the following:
1) Look for materials with an appropriate coefficient of absorption for each use and for each application.
2) There is a type of hydro-repellent for each material and for each finish that provides protection and highlights the beauty of each stone.
That way we will be utilizing intelligently what nature has given us and what science has provided us with and be bringing prestige to our profession giving technical advice.