Article by Leroy Campbell, Genesis Renovation Services
Granite is such a hard and tough stone and for this reason it has gained widespread use as a construction material. Granite is composed primarily of quartz, mica and formed from volcanic magma. Granite is now the leading choice for home décor. Countertops made of granite have become increasingly popular because of their ability to withstand extreme temperatures, and their resistance to surface scratches. Granite is available in so many beautiful colors and its natural beauty cannot be duplicated, every slab of granite is like a unique work of art. As you look at granite you will be amazed at its depth and ability to look three dimensional. It truly is captivating.
How careful do I have to be with granite?
Granite is scratch resistant and heat resistant; pots can be taken right off the stove or out of the oven and placed on granite countertops. However, homeowners who have invested thousands in this amazing creation of nature may not be aware that granite can chip and stain if it is not cared for properly. Granite, marble, and all natural stones are porous by nature and this is why granite countertop stains so easily, unless they are properly sealed. Stains in granite occur when the sealer that was applied by the manufacturer has worn away, but don’t panic, you can achieve the same result by reapplying the sealer yourself.
How often does my granite counter top need to be sealed?
A good sealant can last for up to five years or so. You will know when it is time to reseal your countertops when water splashed on the surface no longer beads up. To be safe, I recommend that you re-seal after the first year, and then every three years after that. The job of the sealant is to go into all the little pores in the granite and solidify inside of them, creating an impenetrable surface.
How do I maintain my granite?
To keep granite countertops clean, use a microfiber cloth to dust off the surfaces. Wipe down granite countertops daily and as needed, using only water. Once a week wipe down with a damp cloth, and a stone cleaner formulated with a neutral pH. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your natural stone, they can scratch, pit, and etch the surface of the stone. To protect your investment use the right products!
Spills can be very different in nature from one another; many of them will turn out to be detrimental to stone, if unattended. Orange juice, lemonade, fruit juices wine, coffee, vinegar, sodas, tomato sauce, yogurt, salad dressing, perfume, after shave, wrong cleaning products and so on, will not etch granite like they do marble, (at least in the short run) but they could potentially stain the surface. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so deal with spills as quickly as possible. DON’T rub the spill, only blot it. Oil spills can be very problematic, so, if you spill oil on your counters clean it up immediately, do not allow it to sit on the stone for any length of time.
Granite is a beautiful investment in your home or office and with a little bit of care it will last for decades.