The answer is yes, travertine can be cleaned after a flood. Kind of.  The real question is “after you clean it, will it stay clean?”.

Unlike tile, travertine (although beautiful) is a terrible flooring due to it’s porous and delicate nature.  Its porous nature causes trouble in a flood because the travertine soaks up and traps filthy water and debris; its delicate nature causes grief when we bring in the heavy sprayers to clean it after a flood.

You will be much happier if you decided to have it grouted before the flood hit. You know, one of those things you and your husband fought about “No honey, we won’t need that. We live in Arizona now. It’ll NEVER flood like it did in FLORIDA”. We’ll see who owes who a back-rub after this little faux pas. You will need a professional to clean it first with Oxalic Acid through a process of flushing and wet vacuuming.  This will help with the mineral staining from debris or any earth sediment.  Remaining surface stains can then be removed with poultice.

Now we wait.

The condition of the floor beneath the travertine will make a huge difference on whether or not it stays clean.  If there is too much debris beneath the travertine you will see it rise to the surface over the next few weeks.   Or, you can go pick out new flooring and guarantee the flood is gone by tearing up your once beautiful travertine and replacing it with newer tiles. Makes me cry just thinking about it. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still travertine my entire house because I’m vain like that.