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Friday, May 27 2011

Granite Kitchen Countertops:

Lately we have been getting alot of requests to clean and restore granite kitchen countertops. People who purchased these beautiful additions are discovering that their once polished masterpieces have become dull, stained, and they have lost their luster.

Granite is a very dense and heavy stone that is extremely durable and has been used for centuries in buildings, public work projects, works of art, and of course homes. But, like any other asset in your home granite countertops must be regularly maintained or they can become permanetly damaged.

According to the research that we have personally conducted, including the contractors that we have spoken with, granite countertops should be professionally cleaned and re-sealed every two years. Every two years you need to remove a microscopic layer of the granite for the purpose of removing stains and hard water deposits. A deeper more concentrated polishing effort may be required if the stone has been etched. The stone needs to be re-conditioned and re-sealed using a special sealer that is made for granite countertops. Because granite is extremely dense most of your sealers will not penetrate below the surface and a sticky residue will remain. A protective top coating along with some polishing and buffing can bring that soft shiney look back to your countertops.

Here are some helpful hints for your granite countertops:

1). Never apply anything acidic onto a granite countertop. This would include bleach, white distilled vinegar, Clorox Wipes, Pine Sol, and hydrogen peroxide. Acid will eventually eat through your sealer and your protective coatings and finally eat the granite. You should only us a pH nuetral cleaning product.

2). Never use any product with grit like Comet. Once again this type of cleaning agent will break down your sealers and eventually scratch the stone.

3). Never allow water to stand on your stone. Water is a solvent if you don't believe me than go look at the Titanic. Water with enough time can break down anything.

4). Use a cutting board. Do not cut your fruits and vegetables directly onto the stone. Once again the blade of the knife can and will eventually scratch the stone.

5). Make sure to use pot holders and towels when setting hot items or liquids onto the countertop. Extreme heat can and will break down the sealer and damage your stone. If you should spill something onto the stone and you know that it is acidic, like wine or orange juice, then immediately clean with water and a pH nuetral cleaner.

I hope you have found this information helpful. Contact me if you still have questions.

Michael Hull

 

 

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 01:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 12 2011

Removing Stains From Travertine Floors:

Travertine is a beautiful natural stone material from the limestone family. It is made of soft calcium carbonate and is usually found in the form of deposits near bubbling warm or hot springs. Since Travertine is made of soft calcium carbonate it is therefore highly reactive to acids found in juices, fruits, wines, coffees, and other beverages. Acid spills will etch the surface of the stone, leaving ring marks, stain patterns, and will dull the appearance of the stone.

In order to protect your Travertine it should be sealed immediately upon installation. It is critically important to select the correct sealer for maximum protection. Because of Travertine's diversity the porosity of your stone will vary from house to house. Sealer is an acrylic polymer, sticky plastic, that creates an invisible shield (barrier) between the stone and the spill. When you spill coffee, for example, the sealer will give you time to pick up the acidic coffee before it can penetrate and etch the stone. Sealer, unfortunately, does not last forever and should be inspected and tested by a skilled service company every two years.  Your stone will also be worn by the grinding of dust and dirt across its surface such as you would find on the bottom of a shoe or slipper. You will need to regularly clean your Travertine with a pH neutral cleaner and dry mop the stone on a frequent basis. NEVER USE VINEGAR, BLEACH, PINE SOL OR ANY CLEANERS THAT ARE ACIDIC OR THAT ARE GRITTY LIKE COMET. THESE PRODUCTS CAN PERMANETLY DAMAGE OR RUIN YOUR TRAVERTINE FLOORS.

What do you do if you have spots or etches? If you currently have a stain, spot, or etch on your Travertine it is imperative that you neutralize the effected area with pH neutral cleaner. This will eliminate the acids ability to further etch or stain your stone. To remove these etch marks you will need the assistance of a skilled craftsman. To remove etch marks, stains, or spots requires special training, tools, and chemicals. This is definitely not for amateurs. Make sure that the person you are hiring has good references, the proper insurance, and is experienced.

If you have questions about this article please contact me at paddle@frontiernet.net

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 03:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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We provide professional tile, grout, carpet cleaning services for home and businesses in the following California cities: Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove, Wilton, Galt, Lodi, Stockton, Laguna West, Rancho Murieta, Mather, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Rescue, Cool, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Antelope, Roseville, Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin, Natomas, Citrus Heights, and Slough House. We will travel to other areas.

 

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Providing tile, grout, travertine, carpet cleaning professional services to Sacramento and Elk Grove California : carpet cleaning - grout tile cleaning - travertine tile cleaning - carpet steam cleaning services