Wednesday, November 14, 2018
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Cleaning Your Home’s Natural Stone

Keeping your marble kitchen countertops clean is easy work for the general day to day stuff, but when you need intense cleaning, hiring a professional is always the way to go. Over time the dirt you can see and the grime below the surface will build upon your stonework. Without periodic deep cleaning, germs and bacteria will creep into your home even if you are the cleanest house in town.

Having a deeply cleaned marble floor looks so amazing that you may want to do the work yourself, but this is one time you don’t want to tackle a household chore on your own. Chances are you do not own the proper tools or have the experience deep cleaning requires to get the job done right for your type of stone work. If you do have the tools it can be easy to damage marble and stone floors even if you are careful.

Stone surfaces in your home should be deep cleaned every three years as a rule. If you have an excessive amount of dirt coming into your home or have just completed a major renovation project you will need to have more frequent cleanings. Going too long without a deep cleaning just makes the job harder, so don’t wait too long.

Ask anyone who has tried to tackle the job on their own thinking that they would get all the grime up with toothpaste to save a dollar what they think about hiring a professional. They will tell you that all they got from their hard work was a sore back and dirty toothbrush and the blasted bacteria was still lurking, ready to get their family sick. In the end, they paid someone else to do it.

Your home’s stonework requires the experience of someone who knows which treatment options are best for the condition of your stone surfaces. Professional cleaners know the difference between the different stones like granite, marble, limestone, travertine that are in your house and the proper way to clean each one. Their livelihood depends on having the right chemicals, tools, and materials to get the job done. Just like your plumber, you should always have a good cleaner in your phone book.

Exterior black stone floor cleaning with polishing machine and chemical

Getting stonework clean is more than a quick scrub and it takes several steps from start to finish. Basic mopping just doesn’t cut it. Stone floors, for example, require a machine that does deep scrubbing, stripping, and then polishing for a basic deep cleaning. You also need to have an eager to get the corners properly resurfaced and get the extra grime that builds up in the nooks and crevices. There will be excessive water needed to complete the tasks that must be properly removed as well. Professional stone cleaners and restorers carry the proper tools with them so that they are ready to go. More importantly, they have the skill to do the job correctly without damaging your stone.

If you still think that spending money on a professional cleaning service is too high a cost, look at your stone’s warranty. The fine print most likely state that mishandling is not covered. Think doing your own deep cleaning is still safe?

Mishandling includes using the wrong cleaning products, something that a professional would never do, but you might. If you drag one of those cleaners from the local grocery store the wrong way across the floor and put a big scratch across the surface, you will be paying a lot more than just a basic deep cleaning job. Resurfacing isn’t cheap. Still, think saving an extra dollar is in your best interest? Overall, you are saving money and time by going to the pros. Think about it as a home investment if you must, or a day off from cleaning.

Has the shine completely gone out of your marble countertops and floors? It’s not your fault and doesn’t mean that you’re not cleaning properly. Marble goes dull over time naturally and requires polishing. Marble polishing isn’t like waxing your car. There is no magic chemical that will bring back the shine. The process is like re-sanding a wood floor and takes special tools to get the gloss back. The only way to restore your counter and floors is by having a restoration professional take over.

If you want to change your stone color to match a new decorating style, you will also need to go to a professional restorer who can tell you if your goal is something that can be done. Just because bricks can be painted and stained doesn’t mean your granite will follow suit. Stone is not wood after all.

Finding the right quality cleaners for your home can take some time. The best cleaners get their work from referrals and advertise by word of mouth. The company who sold your stonework or a general contractor you trust are both excellent sources for finding a reliable cleaner. They generally have heard who is the best in the business from their builders and customers. They also know who pays their bills on time, something that indicates that they are getting repeat customers. A pool cleaner is generally someone who doesn’t do a great job.

Once you settle on a cleaner, check out their profile on your local BBB (Better Business Bureau) or other area reporting agency. If a cleaner has had disputes in the past they will know. The final step in securing a reliable cleaner is making sure that they are bonded and carry their own insurance. If they damage your home you want to be sure that they will fix their mistake in a timely manner, so always have a contract drawn up to protect yourself if a problem arises.

The best cleaners are always busy, so don’t wait until the day of your big party to call and expect them to hop on over to your home. They may require that you move all the furniture out of the rooms that they will be working in, or they will charge a fee if they are doing it. Be sure to know beforehand what they require from you and how long the job will take. Fees will vary depending on the type of job you are asking for and the size of flooring or counter space that needs to be cleaned/restored.