Apr 5, 2013

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Tips for outdoor marble

For centuries, people have used marble to decorate the outside of their homes and gardens. The ancient Greeks and Romans created beautiful statues, and used marble for pillars, balustrades, and even steps. However, marble is a fragile material and it can get damaged. Look at pictures of statues in Athens or Rome, and you’ll soon see how badly they can get eroded and covered in dirt.

What should you watch out for?

* Weather is the main cause of damage. Even though it’s stone, marble is vulnerable to water and can quickly get stained. Obviously there’s nothing you can do about rain, especially in Kensington and Chelsea, so you need to ensure you have a proper maintenance plan to prevent long-term damage.

* Bird droppings are usually acidic, and these eat away at the structure of the marble. This can result in details of statues, for example, gradually being lost. Birds love to perch on statues, so it’s inevitable that they will leave unwanted droppings behind.

* Urine from animals is another source of acid. Household dogs are usually not the main culprit. It’s more common to find that the urine comes from cats, rodents, or even urban foxes. Check around the base of statues, or in the corners of steps where animals like to relieve themselves. And don’t forget small children sometimes get caught short in the garden too!

* Moss, algae, mildew and lichens love to make their homes on marble. They can be a real irritant, as they like to work their way into inconvenient places.

* Smoke & pollution is not only dirty, but it’s corrosive. Even in somewhere as beautiful as Kensington and Chelsea, exhaust fumes from cars and lorries, and smoke from factories or barbeques can build up on the surface of your marble, and gradually eat away at it.

What to do

Clean your outdoor marble regularly with a soft cloth and a diluted cleaning solution (no more than Ā½ cup of ammonia, bleach or hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water) to remove bird droppings, moss, and surface dirt. Use a soft toothbrush to work into cracks and crevices.

When you’ve finished, use a polishing cloth and ensure the marble is dry. You should also ensure your marble is properly sealed to prevent future damage.

Too much to handle?

There are local services for marble polishing in Kensington and Chelsea who can get your marble statues or garden items looking as fresh and bright as new.

If your exterior marble doesn’t respond to your well-meaning TLC, then don’t despair. You may need to call in a professional marble polishing company to deal with the accumulated ravages of weather and animals.

 

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