CARE & MAINTENANCE
Like anything in life, natural stone requires proper care and maintenance in order to preserve its condition. As part of our process, we provide each customer with a pamphlet following installation that details the steps recommended to ensure your piece maintains its beauty throughout its lifetime. Should you misplace that pamphlet, contact us and we can provide you with a replacement.
Using standards from the Natural Stone Institute, an organization that provides technical and training resources, professional development, and advocacy for those in our industry, we provide here some helpful tips that can serve as a reference point for your care and maintenance needs.
One question we are repeatedly asked by customers is whether you should seal your stone. Our answer? It depends. Not every stone requires sealing, while some applications may benefit from sealing. One word of caution: Sealing does not make a stone stainproof. Rather, it makes your stone more resistant to stains.
While there are certain benefits to sealing, the Natural Stone Institute warns that some sealants have caused reactions with the components found within the stone and/or some chemicals used for cleaning and maintenance.
These tips are just a few ways to easily protect the investment you have made in the purchase of your natural stone:
◆ Coasters – Always use coasters under your glasses, especially when drinking juices or alcohol. This is a simple step to preserve the look of your natural stone countertops, tables, and/or bar area.
◆ Mats/Rugs – What coasters are to countertops, mats and rugs are to floors. Placing them in entry areas is recommended as a way to reduce the amount of dirt, sand, and mud that gets into your home and onto your floor. Even the smallest piece of dirt or sand can cause abrasions to your floor.
◆ Vacuum Cleaners – While vacuum cleaners are an easy and effective way to remove dirt, they can scratch the surface of some stones. To protect against this type of damage, check that the metal or plastic attachments on the wheels are not worn.
◆ Dust Mopping – Global Marble & Granite recommends regular dust mopping of your interior floors as a way to minimize the impact that dirt, sand, mud and grit can have on your floors. Always make sure to use a clean, untreated mop.
◆ Spills – Whenever you have a spill, take a paper towel and blot the area immediately. Don’t wipe or rub it: Those actions will cause the spill to spread. Use water and a mild soap to flush the area several times. Dry the area with a soft cloth.
The care and maintenance of your stone is often determined by its purpose. Caring for a countertop will differ from caring for a bathroom/ shower. And the care of a bathroom will differ from the care of an interior floor. The following are recommendations, adapted slightly from the Natural Stone Institute's, for specific areas of your home:
If you have a stone surface, use a neutral cleaner, stone soap (found in your local hardware store), which is designed specifically for these applications. You can also use a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Do not use anything that contains lemon, vinegar, or other acids on marble or limestone. Also avoid using scouring powders or creams as they may scratch your surface.
After washing the surface, make sure to rinse it thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.
It’s important to note that you should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for any cleaning products used. And you should always be aware that some soaps/cleaners may leave a film and cause streaks on your stone.
You can minimize the impact of sand, dirt, and grit—as noted above, all of them can scratch your stone floor—by placing area rugs and mats on your stone floor. You should frequently dry-mop your floor to ensure it remains free of potentially harmful debris.
In addition to dry mopping, you should wash your floor regularly. Clean water and neutral (pH 7) cleaners are recommended. The Natural Stone Institute suggests soapless cleaners to reduce streaks and film on your floor. When ready, wet your floor with clean water. Next, use the cleaning solution, following the instructions provided by the manufacturer, and wash the floor in small, overlapping sweeps. Rinse the floor with clean water to ensure the removal of the soap or cleaning solution. While cleaning, make sure to frequently change the water. Allow the floor to thoroughly air dry. You can expedite the drying process by using a soft cloth.
To minimize soap scum in your bathroom or shower, use a squeegee after each use. If you find that soap scum has built up in your bathroom, use a nonacidic soap scum remover. An alternative to a soap scum remover is a solution of water and ammonia (1 gallon of water for every ½ cup of ammonia). It should be noted that continuous use of the ammonia solution could potentially dull the surface of your stone.
PATIOS, OUTDOOR POOL AREAS AND EXTERIOR STONES
Moss and algae are the most common issues homeowners have with patios and outdoor pool areas. You can minimize their impact with a mild bleach solution. Additional treatment to patio and pool areas includes flushing them with clear water.
Because they are exposed to the elements, outdoor stone areas can be difficult to maintain. It is recommended that homeowners clean these stone areas on a regular basis to remove any pollutants that have accumulated over time. Sweeping and periodic washing with water are also helpful in removing debris from these areas. For homeowners in the areas we service (Cape Cod and the Islands and parts of Southeastern Massachusetts), we suggest checking your outdoor stones at least twice a year (once in the spring and once in the fall) to ensure there has been no movement, deterioration, or staining.