Case Study #1

Restoration of Tennessee Marble ​

 Problem:  Bank Lobby floor with Tennessee marble scratched and in need of restoration

Investigation:  Marble floor tile was inspected to determine the best restoration method for returning the stone to its original like new condition.

Conclusions: The stone has a heavy coating of floor finish that will need to be removed. Several cracked tiles will need to be repaired and the floor refinished and polished.
​ 
Summary and Solution:  Stone Forensics recommended a repair and restoration procedure

Case Study #2

Discoloration (Rust) Granite and Marble Flooring High Rise Condo

 Problem: Hurricane damage. High rise condo on the beach got flooded when hurricane broke windows.
​ Three months after damage was cleaned up, dark, rust colored spots started appearing on the granite and marble floor.

Investigation: A visual inspection confirmed that the stone was showing iron oxidation (rusting). This is a common problem with certain stone types that are exposed to large quanites of water over a prolonged time period. Since these stones contain iron it only takes moisture for oxidization to start. For further information on rusting found in stone see the following article http://stoneandtilepros.com/kb/article/why-white-marble-turns-yellow-causes-and-cures-200.html. The article talks about white marble, but the same condition occurs in all stone.

​Conclusions: In some less severe cases there are some stain removal procedures that can be used but in this case the oxidation was so severe that total replacement was recommended.

Summary and Solution: In addition to a recommendation of replacement, since this condo is located in an area where another hurricane could cause damage again it was suggested that an expoxy setting mortar be used for the new stone, which would help eliminate any moisture that would sit in the stone.

Case Study #3

Church marble baptismal repair

 Problem: 100 year old marble baptismal in church is chipped and needs repair.

Investigation: A survey of the entire marble baptismal was made defining the chip sizes in order to recommend a repair


Conclusions: There where numerous chips along the baptismal bowl as well as the base. Some of these chips where shallow and would need a special repair resin in order to fill them.


Summary and Solution: Stone Forensics recommended a repair procedure including the type of repair resins necessary. The baptismal was successfully repaired.


Case Study #4

Owners Representation

 Problem:   Owner of hotel resort is concerned that stone and tile installation will not be done correctly due to problems they had with  past projects.They would like to hire the Stone Forensics team to oversee installation. 
Investigation: Stone Forensics conducted several meetings with design team to look at what was required to install stone material. A schedule was set up to conduct periodic visits to the site to inspect work in progress and to do quality checks.  
Conclusions:  Stone Forensics oversaw this project for one year as it was being constructed. Potential stone installation failures were avoided and the installation went in smoothly. 
Summary and Solution:   Stone Forensics offers owners representations services to assure that the installation was installed properly and within industry specifications. These service will reduce the event of future failures.

Case Study #5

Slip Fall Accidents and Prevention

 Problem: Major Hotel chain had a large problem with guests slipping and falling on marble lobby floors
Investigation: Stone Forensics conducted a complete safety audit which included taken numerous slip fall readings.
Conclusions: Stone Forensics was able to determine that the maintenance program that was being used was contributing to the slip resistance of the marble
Summary and Solution: Stone Forensics provided a maintenance program as well as a saftey manual and program.

Case Study #6

Mystery Blue-Green Stain on granite counter top

 Problem: Stone Fabricator just installed a gold color granite countertop and within a week the countertop developed a several blue green stains.
Investigation: Stone Forensics has encountered this problem several times and has developed a detailed step by step stain removal process
Conclusions: Stone Forensics instructed the client on how to remove this difficult stain
Summary and Solution: Stone Forensics offers stain removal analysis for all types of stain problems on stone, terrazzo and masonry surfaces

Case Study #7

Overseeing Large Installations

 Problem: Owner of hotel resort is concerned that stone and tile installation will not be done correctly due to problems they had with past projects. They would like to hire the Stone Forensics team to oversee installation.
Investigation: Stone Forensics conducted several meetings with design team to look at what was required to install stone material. A schedule was set up to conduct periodic visits to the site to inspect work in progress and to do quality checks.
Conclusions: Stone Forensics oversaw this project for one year as it was being constructed. Potential stone installation failures were avoided and the installation went in smoothly.
Summary and Solution: Stone Forensics offers owners representations services to assure that the installation was installed properly and within industry specifications. These service will reduce the event of future failures.


Case Study #8

Stain on concrete floor

 Problem: Stone Fabricator was installing a granite countertop when he spilled Ager (a color enhancing sealer) on a concrete floor.
Investigation: Ager and other color enhacers are designed to darken stone and concrete. They can be difficult to impossible to remove. In this case we applied several test poultices to determine removability.
Conclusion: It was determined that the ager could be removed with several applications of a poultice with Sodium Hydroxide.
Summary and Solutions: This stain was successfully removed from the concrete floor to the delight of the fabricator, saving him from having toeplace the floor. Stone Forensics faces difficult stain problems frequently. While most are virtually routine to us now, sometimes, as in this case, we had to try a variety of methods before we achieved success

Case Study #9

Terrazzo Expansion Joint Failure

 Problem: Terrazzo expansion joint in airport is chipping and coming out in pieces.

Investigation:  This expansion joint bridges two sections of the building. The terrazzo on one side appears higher than the other. A sounding test showed that the terrazzo has delaminted in several places

Conclusions: it was determined that the expanion joint was not installed properly and was not leveled. Baggage and foot traffic hits the high side causing it to chip 

​Summary and Solution:  Stone Forensics recommend that the expansion joint be replaced and prepared a detailed specification for replacementTerrazzo, expansion joint, control joint

Case Study #10

Marble Water Fountain Deterioration

 Problem: Marble water fountain in hotel lobby showing deterioration, spalling and pieces falling off. Green stains and crust build up also present.

Investigation: The fountain is constructed of an Egyptian limestone.The stone is spalling and chipping. A sounding test was performed to determine if there was any voids or delamination. In addition to the chipping the stone also exhibited a green discoloration from the copper piping lining the perimeter of the pool. Water samples were taken to provide to check the water chemistry.

Conclusions:. It was determined through interviews and investigation that the stone was deteriorating due to the use of an acidic cleaner that was used monthly. In addition the water chemistry was below normal levels. The copper piping is also oxidizing which is causing the green discoloration

Summary and Solution: — It was recommended that the stone be repaired by filling all voids with epoxy by a qualified stone restoration contractor. The copper piping needs to be replaced with PVC. All the stone needs to be sealed and the proper maintenance program needs to be implemented. The water chemistry will also have to be adjusted and monitored.

Case Study #11

White Marks on White Marble Floor

 Problem: White Carrara marble has little white dots all over it. The dots are heavy in high traffic areas.

Investigation: Visual inspection showed what are called Stun Marks or Crystal Fractures. (See image)

Conclusions Stun marks are caused by impact from woman’s high heels or a sharp or heavy object being dropped. The pressure placed from a high heel causes the stones crystals to crush and explode which results in a small white mark that cannot be felt. Certain marble types such as White Carrarras are prone to this type of damage.

Summary and Solution: In some cases the white marks can be removed by a stone expert resurfacing the floor. This must be done by a professional stone restoration contractor. Stone Forensics provided the specifications for this work as well as over-saw the process.

Case Study #12

Going Green Sustainability

 Problem: International airport looking to eliminate coating and traditional waxes and find a technique that is Green and Sustainable..

Investigation:  A detailed inspection of current maintenance practices were studied as well as an investigation of the chemicals used.

Conclusions: It was discovered that the cleaners, waxes and floor strippers being used are hazardous to workers and occupants. VOC’s carcinogens, as well as oxidizers and other harmful chemicals where discovered. 

Summary and Solution:  Stone Forensics designed and recommend a Chemical Free Maintenance System. Stone Forensics provided the specifications for this work as well as over-saw the process. Many airports, elementary and high schools as well as colleges and universities are looking at implementing sustainable maintenance practices. Stone Forensics system is completley sustainable.  

Case Study #13

Tenting tiles

 Problem: Tiles are tenting up in the middle of the floor. Many are becoming loose
Investigation:   through investigation was performed including a sounding test and  locating expansion joints
Conclusions: No expansion joints were noted.  
Summary and Solution:  Since there is no room for the installation to expand complete removal and replacement was recommended.

Case Study # 14

Shower and Tub Failure

 Problem: Tub surround is showing a dark discoloration where the tub meets the wall

 Investigation:  A close examination of the tub and wall interfaced was examined.

Conclusions:  Investigation showed that the improper caulk was used, causing water to penetrate into the stone and wick.

 Summary and Solution:   It was recommended that the caulk be removed and replaced with the proper caulk.

Lack of expansion Joints

Here is what can happen with no expansion joints