Natural stone gives your home, office, or commercial flooring an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Not only does it look beautiful, but it’s also an investment that can last a lifetime. Natural stone cleaning Sydney care and maintenance can preserve your stone flooring. With proper care, it can look as inspiring as the first day you got it, for generations to come!
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about natural stone cleaning in this ultimate guide.
Different types of stones
Stones fit one of two different categories based on their composition. They can be either calcareous stone or siliceous stone. Before you choose a cleaning product, it’s critical to know the difference between the two.
Calcareous stone consists mostly of calcium carbonate. It is very sensitive to acidic cleaning products, as they may cause damage to the finish. It needs to be cleaned frequently with different products to siliceous stone.
Types of calcareous stone include marble, limestone, travertine, onyx.
Siliceous stone consists mostly of silica or particles which are quartz-like. It’s a highly durable surface and is easy to clean. Mild acidic cleaning solutions can be used.
Types of siliceous stone include granite, sandstone, slate, brownstone, quartzite, bluestone.
How To Know What Type Of Stone Flooring You Have?
Before you begin with a cleaning and maintenance program for your stone, you need to identify what type of stone flooring you have. This is a very important step, as using the wrong cleaning products for the stone can cause damage.
It’s recommended for a professional natural stone cleaning company to identify which type of stone flooring you have. Otherwise, you can inspect your stone visually on your own. To do so, you should look for the following traits:
– Limestone is very popular as a building stone. The colour is usually tan, grey, or buff. In limestone, you can often see either fossil or shell impressions.
– Marble usually is a fine-textured and veined material, in an endless amount of colour choices.
– Granite has almost no veining, and small flecks or a distinguishable crystal pattern.
– Slate is either black, dark red, grey, dark green, or multi-coloured. Slate is often used for flooring, as well as roof tiles. You can identify it by a cleft texture. Slate is also sometimes used in cladding too.
– Sandstone are available in a large range of colours. This is because of different clays and materials which are within the stone. The colours range from red to yellow to light grey.
The above characteristics are true for most stone finishes. But, there are sometimes exceptions, which may result in an incorrect identification. Because of this, it’s advisable to use a professional stone cleaner.
How To Determine The Current Condition Of The Stone
The next important step is to determine the condition of the stone. To find out, you need to ask the following questions when conducting a visual inspection:
Are the tiles even and flat?
Are any tiles cracked?
Is the stone coated with any acrylics, enhancers, or waxes? If so, what type is it and who is the manufacturer?
Can you see any staining? If so, what type of staining?
Has the stone been sealed using a topical sealer? If so, can you notice any signs that it has worn off the stone?
Have you noticed any of these? Without proper cleaning and maintenance, it can lead to damage to the natural stone. If damage occurs, it will cost extra later to repair, or may permanently damage the stone’s finish.
For uneven tiles You may need to have the floor ground flat, honed, and polished.
Cracked tiles This will lead to dirt and other debris building up in the cracks. This will lead to the tiles needing to be filled, and may potentially need them to be replaced.
Tips On Caring For Natural Stone
For your natural stones to keep their beautiful finish, there are some important things to know. With ongoing maintenance and care, you can prevent the most common and expensive problems from occurring.
Here are tips on caring for your natural stone from professional stone cleaning experts.
Proper Care For Your Stone Flooring
Stone is one of the most durable finishes, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t show signs of wear and tear over time. It’s still possible for it to be damaged or stained. The most common way this happens is when homeowners use the wrong cleaning products and equipment.
A homemade cleaning solution can end up causing as much damage as the wrong professional store-bought solution. This is because natural stone is vulnerable to acids and high acidic solutions. Using an acidic cleaning product can lead to serious etching and discolouration problems. If this happens, then it’s most likely you will need to replace the affected tiles.
Besides discolouration, scratching can also occur with stone. When you remove dust, dirt, and any other debris, it’s important to be extra careful. If you use a regular broom, there is a risk of dragging abrasive materials across the surface. Doing so will lead to deep scratches and gouges in the flooring surface.
For stone floors, it’s highly advisable to use a vacuum instead of a broom. A vacuum quickly sucks up any abrasive materials. It also keeps your gorgeous floor aesthetics unharmed. Another tip to prevent scratches is to place rugs in high traffic areas.
Stone Counters With Acidic Foods
When you have stone counters, keeping acidic food products and solutions away is essential. You can do this by always using a cutting board. If the stone counter is exposed to citrus juice, citrus fruit or the wrong type of cleaning agents, etching may occur. In this situation, it may not be possible to repair the counter.
Most likely, the only option is to remove the affected tiles, and then replace them with new ones. If the tile pattern or colour is now discontinued, it can lead to many problems and may ruin the aesthetic.
How To Select The Right Cleaning Agents
Where is the best place for natural stone cleaning Sydney tile cleaners exactly? It’s direct from the company who installed your floors or counters. Or from a natural stone cleaning company.
They have access to industry-leading stone cleaning products and suppliers. They can also give you the best advice for which solutions to use based on the type of tiles that are in your building.
We’ve now identified the type of stones, and how to care for them. Let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of cleaning used by professional natural stone cleaning Sydney companies.
Natural Stone Cleaning Dos and Don’ts
DO frequently dust mop floors.
DO use stone soap or mild detergent to clean surfaces.
DO rinse and dry the surface thoroughly using clear, clean water after you have washed it.
DO blot up any spills as soon as they happen.
DO use area rugs or non-slip mats to protect floor surfaces.
DO use placemats or coasters to protect countertop surfaces.
DON’T use lemon juice or vinegar on certain surfaces. These include limestone, marble, onyx, or travertine.
DON’T use any cleaners which contain acid. These may include tub and tile cleaners, bathroom cleaners, and grout cleaners.
DON’T use abrasive cleaners like soft cleansers or dry cleansers.
DON’T mix ammonia and bleach. Mixing these can create a lethal and toxic gas.
DON’T mix any chemicals ever unless following specific instructions and directions.
DON’T use worn vacuum cleaners. The wheels, plastic, or metal attachments may scratch the surface of the stone.
Importance of Sealing Natural Stone
Natural stone is porous, which means that it acts much like a hard sponge. Over time, it can suck in liquids. As well as dissolved salts and any other contaminants or minerals. This can lead to stains happening.
The more porous the stone is, like sandstone, the more quickly it will absorb liquids. The denser volcanic stones are, like basalt, the longer they take to absorb any liquids and oils. This is due to being less porous.
It’s suggested to protect the natural stone from sub-surface staining, as well as spills and dirt which occur from day to day use. There are two ways to seal stone, either with a topical or penetrating sealer. Let’s take a look at the difference between them
Topical sealers can alter the surface finish and texture. They can also build up on the surface, and create an extra layer. While it’s less durable than stone, it provides extra protection.
Penetrating sealers are also known as impregnating sealers. They ‘penetrate’ the stone by either water or solvent, by breaking up the sealer resins with the stone. Using penetrating sealers won’t change the natural aesthetic appearance of the stone, or change its slip resistance.
The resins will then create a water-repelling and oil-repelling barrier. This prevents staining of the subsurface.
What to consider when sealing natural stone
There are several things which you need to consider before deciding whether to seal your natural stone. They include:
What are the durability, hardness, and density of the stone?
How porous is the stone? How fast will it absorb liquid?
Will the stone be in constant contact with staining agents?
What finish is applied to the surface? (Eg/ a honed surface is more likely to stain than a polished surface).
Will the sealant affect the aesthetics of the stone such as the colour?
Was a resin applied to the stone? If so, how will it react with the resin?
What is the location of the stone? (Eg floor, countertop, bathroom, foyer), and is it residential or commercial?
What type of maintenance has been done on the stone in the past?
To find the best way to protect the stone, many things must be considered. These include the location of the stone, it’s finish, the type of stone, and how it’s been maintained.
In certain situations, it may be better to seal the stone. After the stone has been sealed, it then has protection against everyday spills and dirt.
In other cases, leaving the stone untreated may be the better option. Using topical sealers may alter the finish and the surface texture. It can also lead to a build-up on the surface, which creates a layer not as durable than the stone.
In general, it’s not recommended to use topical sealers for exterior applications. Doing so can trap moisture in the top layer of the stone. This can lead to surface deterioration over time.
Tips for sealing natural stone
Before deciding to seal stone, there are a few things to look out for.
– Take into consideration the life span of each application. Is it a 1-year, 5-years etc?) – make a note of when each application is applied.
– Don’t change between one product to another without doing research first. Doing so could cause issues as not all products are alike or compatible.
– Consult with a professional natural stone cleaning Sydney company
DIY vs. Professional Natural Stone Cleaning Sydney
It may seem like a good idea for DIY natural stone cleaning. After all, it’s cheaper than hiring professionals. But there are a lot of things that can go wrong.
If you use the wrong cleaning supplies or methods it can lead to many problems. You can risk causing serious damage to your natural stone floors or countertops. It may even lead to irreversible damage. If this happens, the stone will need to be removed and replaced. This could end up putting a serious dent in your budget.
Hiring a professional natural stone cleaning service ensures your stone retains its beautiful finish. As well as being the centrepiece of any property for generations to come.
Professional cleaners have undergone extensive training to carefully identify the differences in stones. They also know exactly what cleaning supplies are best for each type of stone. As well as whether there are any problems which need repairing. To protect your stone in future, it may be advisable for it to be sealed. This will help protect it from liquids, dirt, and grime.
A professional natural stone cleaning service can also provide you with expert advice. They can show you the correct cleaning and maintenance requirements for your specific natural stone.
For all your natural stone cleaning Sydney needs, call Enviro Clean and Capture today on 1400 415 213 orcontact us online. Our friendly team is standing by to help you with any questions.