A considerable investment is made in natural stone in commercial properties. Unfortunately, these surfaces are often neglected or maintained by inexperienced staff and cleaning companies.
A comprehensive maintenance program will protect this valuable investment. This should include dust mopping frequently to remove sand, dirt, and grit. It should also have an impregnator that penetrates the stone and grout lines, if present, to repel unwanted stains.
Stone surfaces are a significant investment for any commercial building. Regular care, cleaning, and maintenance are critical for maintaining the high value of these surfaces.
A vital aspect of a stone care program is frequent dust mopping using a clean, untreated dust mop. This eliminates loose sand, dirt, and miscellaneous grit primarily destructive to stone. Removing these substances reduces the cleaning required for stone, keeps it looking new, and extends the time between restorations.
Many stone products benefit from an “impregnating” stone sealer. These products are designed to penetrate and “seal” the natural pores of stone without creating a surface coating. This protects the stone from staining water damage and helps with the harsh northern freeze-thaw cycle.
Stains on stone surfaces can be oil-based, organic, metallic, ink-based, biological, or paint-based. Identifying the type of stain is critical for proper removal. Oil-based stains can be chemically dissolved with household cleaners, mineral spirits, or acetone. Latex or acrylic paints may need to be stripped with a commercial “heavy liquid” paint stripper, available at hardware and paint centers, which usually contain caustic soda or lye.
The proper cleaning process is critical to the life of any stone surface. A commercial stone care Manhattan NY program includes regularly cleaning natural and engineered stone floors with specific solutions developed for the type of stones in your facility. Using out-of-the-box or generic cleansers can damage the surface and cause streaking of some stones.
Always wipe up food and liquid spills promptly to prevent smearing stains. Leaving residues behind can promote microbial growth, dull the appearance, and increase wear. Avoid using harsh abrasives and cleaners that contain acids such as bleach, vinegar, lemon, and scouring powders.
Having your stone surfaces properly sealed can significantly decrease the need for future restorations. Protecting the stone with a topical sealer helps to repel water and oil substances, preventing stains from forming on the stone’s surface.
Nothing says elegance and prestige like impeccably maintained natural stone surfaces in an office building, hotel, or restaurant. These natural stones create a beautiful backdrop to your business and are a focal point for customers and clients.
It is essential to mop all interior floor surfaces regularly using a clean, non-treated dry mop or neutral cleaner. Fine sand, soil, and grit do the most damage to natural stone floors because of their abrasiveness. It is also recommended that mats or rugs be used inside and outside of entryways to help minimize the sand, dirt, and grit that can scratch a stone surface.
Sealing is a common practice for many stone types as it helps to make the stone more stain-resistant. However, it is essential to understand that sealing does not make the stone stain-proof, and it only prolongs the life of a stone surface. If the stone already shows signs of wear, it must be refinished and resealed.
Despite the best efforts to prevent damage to natural stone surfaces, repairs may be necessary. Typically, these repair services are delegated to in-house staff or general janitorial services instead of a specialized stone care company. This often results in a substandard job that leaves the surfaces damaged and vulnerable to future problems.
Most natural stone is porous and, therefore, not stain-proof, especially when not sealed. Sealing helps to minimize the amount of water and other liquids that penetrate the stone, which in turn reduces stains and prolongs the time needed between restorative cleaning services.
Cleaning soap film and hard mineral deposits is critical to keeping natural stone looking its best. Always use a cleaning solution safe for natural stone and change rinse water regularly. Avoid acid-based cleaners such as vinegar or lemon; these materials can etch most natural stone surfaces and cause permanent damage.