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 have some helpful tips on our website 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 stain proof. 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:
The care and maintenance of your stone is often determined by the purpose of your stone. How you care for a countertop will differ from how you care for a bathroom/ shower. And how you care for a bathroom will differ from how you care for your interior floor. The following are recommendations, adapted slightly from the Natural Stone Institute 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 the following products: anything that contains lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone; you should also not use 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 on a regular basis. 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 soap or the 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 non-acidic 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.
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. Periodic washing with water and sweeping is 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.