Natural stone floors and counter tops continue to get more and more popular each year and it’s no wonder why. Not only does natural stone give your home a timeless classic look, but natural stone is durable and adds value to your home. However, if you do not know how to properly care for your natural stone, you can end up spending more time and money being frustrated with stains and repairs instead of enjoying the beautiful addition to your home.
Sealing your natural stone or ceramic tile surfaces is crucial in preserving it’s appearance and protecting it from everyday stains that can occur. Sealer is necessary for protection because natural stone surfaces are porous and absorb spills and oily soils. Once the soils have penetrated your natural stone and been absorbed, it can become extremely difficult to clean and remove. As we all know, accidents do happen which is where sealer comes in to save the day.
Sealer fills the pores with a clear impregnating sealer that will not change the appearance of the surface, but will allow you to quickly clean up the surface and prevent it from becoming permanently stained, etched, and damaged. Most sealers will last a few years if properly maintained, but will eventually break down and should be reapplied periodically.
As important as sealing your natural stone surfaces is, it is equally as important to use the proper cleaning products. Many common cleaning products that contain ammonia, bleach, or acidic ingredients will prematurely degrade your sealer and damage your surfaces. A common misconception about cleaning stone is that “natural cleaners” can be better for your natural stone. This could not be further from the truth. Natural cleaners often contain ingredients like lemon juice and vinegar which are acidic ingredients that will also prematurely degrade and damage your surfaces.
The key to finding acceptable cleaning products for your surfaces is to look at the ingredients and read the label entirely. A “neutral PH” tile or stone cleaning product is always acceptable and best to use. The PH scale runs from 1 to 14. The lower numbers on the PH scale indicate highly acidic compounds. The higher numbers on the PH scale indicate highly alkaline compounds such as bleach. A “neutral cleaner” will mean its a “7” on the PH scale. Most specialty cleaners will have the PH noted on the label and can be found at most home centers or can be purchased online.
Whether you need your recently installed natural stone surfaces sealed for the first time, or you need your existing surfaces cleaned and re-sealed, we are here for you. Call Fuller Stone Care at 310-944-9099 today to get all your questions answered and set up a free estimate.