Dog Urine - Dog Vomit & Travertine:
We have received an unusual amount of calls and visitors to our website lately asking for help because of pets and travertine stone. Namely dog urine, dog vomit, and cat urine. Because travertine is a calcium carbonate stone and the stone is porous dog urine, vomit, and cat urine can etch and/or stain travertine stone. By etching we mean to burn the stone. This burning can be moderate to severe depending on the quality of your travertine, the porosity of the stone and was a quality sealer applied to floor when it was installed. As a side note most floors are NOT sealed when they are installed by the contractor.
Both dog urine and cat urine are highly acidic liquids comprising of water, lipids (oils), protein, & uriac acid. Dog & cat urine are acidic when it leaves the body and becomes alkaline when it dries. The uriac acid literally burns leaving a mark or scar on the stone. Because dog vomit is also acidic it can do as much damage as the urine. Dogs can generally eat bones and digest them because their stomach acid is 100 times more acidic than a humans. Because dog vomit can come in a variety of colors those colors can be deposited into the stone leaving a colored mark, a stain. If your travertine has been properly sealed and the sealer is still in tack when the accident happens the sealer will give you time to clean up the mess before it can reach the stone and damage your travertine. Sealers are typically made of polymers (plastic) and this is what is the barrier between the stone and the mess. Sealers will break down over time especially when they are coming into contact with something as strong as dog urine and cat urine.
If you see your dog or cat urinate/vomit on your natural stone floor you need to immediately BLOT up the liquid with a white terry cloth towel, and then follow up with dish soap to neutralize the acid and finally rinse thoroughly with clean water and clean towels. It is a good idea to have "bar towels" handy and a spray bottle filled with dish soap or a pH neutral cleaner just in case. Both urine and vomit will eventually eat through even the best sealers and etch your stone. If your stone has been discolored or has been etched then you will want to hire a professional cleaner who is an expert in restoring travertine stone. Restoring travertine back to its natural lustre is not a job for amateurs.
I hope this has been helpful to you. If you have questions about your travertine floors please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.