Natural stone has had time to become strong and with the help of man has been made beautiful. These qualities allow you to use granite, marble, limestone and other natural stones on floors and countertops. Many homeowners make the mistake in thinking that natural stone is “stain proof” but any natural stone is porous to some extent. Many common foods and drinks can stain natural stone as they contain acid. Spills need to be cleaned up right away to avoid any damage. Use coasters for drinks, padding for heated dishes and placemats under china and silverware to prevent damage. Natural stone at entryways should be protected with mats to capture dirt and debris that foot traffic will bring onto the floors. Dirt and debris can be abrasive to stone surfaces. Taking these steps will save your surfaces damage that could have been avoided and normal wear and tear will be minimal.
Natural Stone Sealer to Resist Stains
Sealers are very helpful in protecting natural stone, but they aren’t going to be infallible. Sealers work to prevent staining agents from seeping into your stone. If it does seep into the surface layer, it will be much easier to remove. Sealers will also need to be reapplied at some point and some will need to be stripped and reapplied more often than others. Sealers need to be pH balanced or neutral. The sealer you use can be tricky as some can damage the surface if they are too acidic. If a sealer is too acidic it can break down the mineral calcium carbonate that is a building block of marble. Sealers will either be water-based, or solvent based. Water-based sealers are usually easier to use than solvent-based. Solvent-based sealers usually last longer than water-based but need to be applied by a professional.
Regular Cleaning of Natural Stone
Keeping natural stone looking great happens through regular cleaning. Natural stone will maintain its beauty and durability with proper care. Normal dust can settle on stone surfaces and can then become abrasive with foot traffic. Use a dust mop and wash it regularly with warm water and a soft cloth. You can use a pH balanced cleaner to help remove dirt and grime but avoid detergents that can be acidic. Some cleaners can also alter the appearance of your stone if they contain petroleum. They can also buildup and be difficult to remove.
Natural Stone Stain Removal
New natural stone sealers have made it possible to minimize staining. You must remember that natural stone can become stained given a strong enough staining agent and enough time. The rate of how a particular stone will absorb a stain will vary. Some stones are more porous and will stain more easily than others. For example, marble is less stain resistant to staining than granite.