A pet accident on a stone floor can leave behind damage, even if you clean it up quickly. Sometimes, the damage doesn't show up for days or even weeks. Fortunately, the damage can often be reversed if you recognize it and repair it quickly.
Stone Urine Damage Signs and Symptoms
Pet urine causes two types of damage to stone – acidic etching and visible staining. If you clean up the urine within a few minutes of it occurring, you may avoid all or most damage. Simply wipe up the accident with a damp cloth, and then mop the area with a stone cleaner.
Urine that sits on the floor for even a short period may cause acid damage or stains. The acids in the urine eat into the stone and cause etching. You may not be able to see the etching when it first occurs, but eventually the damaged area may discolor, become rough, or become more absorbent and show stains from tracked in dirt. Odors may also remain on the floor, depending on how long the urine sat in place.
Begin by soaking up the urine as soon as you notice it. Use a large towel to absorb the urine, but avoid wiping the floor and spreading the urine over a larger area. Mix a mild soap with hot water, and then mop the floor thoroughly. Alternatively, use a stone cleaner instead of soap. Follow with a clear water rinse and dry the floor.
Monitor the area for several weeks to make sure no further damage appears. If you notice odor, etching, or stains, it's time for a professional repair.
A stone resurfacing technician like Marble Tec Systems can bring the floors back to the same quality they were at before the pet accident. They will grind down the surface of the stone to remove any etching, stains, and odor. This is followed by honing and polishing, which is similar to sanding the stone so it's once again smooth. The polishing phase will bring back the stone's natural luster. Finally, the technician seals the floor, which protects it against damage.
Natural stone floors are porous, so stains and damage can happen again in the future. Consider having the floor sealed with an impregnator seal if you have pets, which soaks into the porous stone and better protects it. Proper sealing is key to preventing damage if your pet has another accident.