Some surface types are entirely "soft" and need to be strengthened. For example: Mexican Tile, Terracotta Tile, some Sandstones, some slates, some brick, etc.
Other surfacing may be dense and hard overall, but have veins or spots of softer materials. One of these is pictured below and used for this discussion.
The softer areas are always more absorbent, so in addition to powdering out from foot traffic, they can also have a condition called spalling. Spalling is when water (mop water, rain water, sprinkler water) is absorbed into that soft area. Subsequent freezing will create expanding ice that pops up these sections. This can happen even without freezing as water and traffic work together to loosen particles.
Here is an example of a marble with red veins of softer material. This discussion also applies to any other surface type with this problem.
This appears to be mineral veining (perhaps iron oxide) within the marble that is causing the problem. This same veining is also part of its beauty.
When you see some areas that are less shiny than others after applying a non-Aldon floor polish it is an indication that those areas are more absorbent and softer. The more absorbent areas are those that contribute to the detachment due to water intrusion and softness.
As is always the case, you need to do a little experimenting on a small area to see if what is being suggested here will work. Logically, it should solve the problem. Test as follows:
- Select a small test area that is out of the way of normal usage, but displays the problem.
- Remove all waxes, polishes, sealers with our "Premium Stripper". Don't trust a stripper less strong than this as there can be unknown sealers used and they must be removed.
- Test with one or more of the Aldon sealers with the "Den" designation in the Surface Type section.
- Pour on the sealer in a puddle and let it spread by itself. Do not touch it with any tools as it will self level. For this test, you are only concerned about solving the problem and not with the appearance.
- Finished Appearance: Note that on the full floor application on marble or other very low absorption surfacing, you might want to spray the sealer as that results in a smoother finish. If spraying, just remember that you want it heavier where you want maximum liquid penetration in the soft areas.
What you are hoping to see is the sealer soak into both the more absorbent areas and the normal areas as much as each will take. The result will be to strengthen the weak areas, bond them to the strong areas, and result in an smooth finish. Also, water will no longer be able to absorb into the stone. That would stop the problem and from then on you are maintaining the sealer and not the stone. A coating of "Lifeguard" over the sealer will protect from traffic wear, therefore the sealer would not need to be redone in the future - only the "Lifeguard".