Did You Know? Stone Floor Cleaning Tips
Cleaning stone floors may seem like a straightforward task (what’s more time-tested than a stone floor?), but there's more to it than one might expect. For cleaning professionals, understanding the nuances of different types of stone floor maintenance can make a noticeable difference in the results achieved. Here are some fascinating tidbits about cleaning stone floors that can help increase knowledge and expertise:
Stones Have Unique Porosity Levels:
Stone floors come in various types, such as marble, granite, limestone, and slate, each with its own unique porosity level. When it comes to porosity, it mainly refers to the stone's ability to absorb liquids. For example, the difference in absorption between marble and granite. Marble is more porous, and thus reacts differently. Understanding the porosity of the stone being used is crucial because it will help to determine the type and quantity of cleaning products and techniques to employ.
Why pH Matters:
The pH level of cleaning products can absolutely impact the surface of the floor and should be considered when developing a maintenance strategy. Most natural stone floors are sensitive to acidic or alkaline substances, so using cleaners with a pH level that is too high or too low can gradually damage the stone's surface. Keeping pH-neutral cleaning solutions on-hand to specifically deploy on stone surfaces helps increase longevity.
Seal the Deal:
One of the bigger secrets to preserving the appearance and durability of stone floors is regular sealing (especially flooring with beautiful patterns, like epoxy swirls). Because stone is a porous substance, it can cause big problems when left unsealed. Over time, it will absorb spills, stains and tracking patterns, and the longer it goes untouched, the harder it is to clean. Sealing creates a protective barrier. That way, various liquids that may come into contact with the surface are stopped at the top, and the floor will last longer.
Cutting Down on Scratching:
It seems easy enough to use abrasive pads or chemicals to remove stubborn stains, but this can lead to irreversible and noticeable damage to the stone's surface. Stone floors should be cleaned using soft, non-abrasive tools, such as microfiber mops and brushes made from gentle materials. For deeper cleaning, consider using a floor buffer machine with a diamond-impregnated pad designed for stone – that's what they’re for!
Stone floors can have various finishes, including polished, honed, or textured (and more!). Each finish requires different cleaning and maintenance considerations. For example, polished marble floors may need regular polishing to maintain their shine, while honed surfaces should avoid any acidic cleaning agents that can dull the finish. Understanding the particular finish is critical for keeping the aesthetics in tip-top shape.