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Easy Care for Your Natural Stone

May 24, 2013

Caring for your stone countertopsStone countertops and floors, such as granite, marble and other natural stone, have long been loved for the sophisticated and luxurious appearance they add to kitchens and bathrooms. A natural product made by the Earth, natural stone counters and floors come in an endless range of colors accented with unique veins, swirls and crystals.

The advantages of stone go beyond just its beautiful appearance and the investment in improving a home’s value. Natural stone is resistant to scratching, more sanitary than other surfaces, durable and easy to maintain. But, easy does not mean maintenance-free. There are steps homeowners need to take in order to protect their investment.

“Preserving the beauty of natural stone requires proper care and attention,” said Lenny Sciarrino, a third-generation stone-care expert and co-founder of Granite Gold brand stone-care products. “In fact, many ordinary cleaners are harsh and abrasive, which will have damaging effects on natural stone surfaces.”

Cleaning, sealing and polishing are the three essential steps required to keep natural stone looking as beautiful as the day it was installed.

Clean often. Even if your surface appears clean, it should be cleaned daily and after every meal preparation. Avoid common cleaners and abrasives, which can break down the protective seal. The result could be costly repairs or even replacement. It’s also important to use a cleaner, such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner, that is pH balanced, non-toxic, biodegradable and safe for use on all food-preparation surfaces.

Check the integrity of the seal. There is a common misperception that natural stone surfaces can be damaged by too much sealing. However, frequent sealing maintains maximum surface protection, which provides superior, long-lasting resistance to staining, etching and soil build-up. Check the integrity of the seal of your granite with an at-home water test. Pour enough water on your stone to create a circle 3 inches in diameter then repeat in several different locations. Let the water sit for 30 minutes before wiping it away and checking for any dark marks or rings. These indicate the water is penetrating the stone and it’s time to reseal.

Polish regularly. Polishing your stone after cleaning brings out its natural beauty and reinforces the protective seal, which provides ongoing protection against water spots and fingerprints. Polishing is particularly important on stone shower walls and tub surrounds to help prevent soap scum build-up. Polishing stone floors is not recommended as it will make the walking surface slick and dangerous.

If you have questions about granite cleaning or the care and maintenance of any other natural stone counters, floors and other surfaces, ask the experts at Granite Gold.

For more Chicago home maintenance tips, click here.

 

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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