Black Limestone Paving from India is a really popular natural stone product in the UK and across Europe. Its popular because people are often looking for contemporary gardens and the consistent colour of black limestone really suit this style. Also, even though black limestone has a naturally riven surface the material splits very evenly which results in a flat surface.
One thing that most people are not aware of though is that black limestone is extremely sensitive to any kind of chemicals. One of the biggest problems we see is that when people try and use acid based cleaners to remove cement stains from limestone. Acid based cleaners and black limestone do not get on. I have seen numerous limestone patios ruined by attempts to clean them using acid based cleaning products. The acid reacts with the stone causing the paving to turn to a milky white colour. It is very risky to use acid based products on any kind of natural stone but some stones such as Sandstone Paving are a little less sensitive (still always take advice before using acid based products on sandstone or any kind of natural stone).
It is also worth considering that black limestone will fade over time anyway to a milky white colour. One way to counteract this is to seal the stone with an impregnating natural stone sealant. Sounds straightforward? It is as long as you take the correct advice prior to carrying out the sealing. Sealing if done incorrectly can also cause damage not only to black limestone but to all types of natural stone paving.
To add a further twist the explosion in popularity of the sweep in mortars products also adds another opportunity for black limestone and chemicals to cross each others paths.
The point of the blog is not to scare people away from using black limestone, on the contrary, if used correctly with the right advice it is a durable, low maintenance stone which looks extremely effective in the right setting. The point of the blog is to make people aware that when using this stone that it is absolutely imperative that they take professional advice from there supplier before embarking on the project, especially if the need arises to use any chemicals on the stone.