Preventative Maintenance for Hard Surfaces
In today's blog article let's briefly discuss the maintenance procedures for natural stone, terrazzo, ceramic tile, and polished concrete. These simple easy to follow procedures are the most important part of caring for and extending the life of most any hard surface. Spend a little, save a lot.
How to maintain these surfaces is basically the same with a few exceptions. Polished surfaces will normally show wear faster than honed or textured surfaces. That is because the polished surfaces are not naturally occurring in nature, they are strictly man induced. Whereas, honed and textured surfaces are much closer to naturally occurring finishes.
Foot traffic abrasion (wear) can be equated to between a 200 grit and 400 grit (like sandpaper) level. A polished surface is normally far in excess of an 1800 grit (very fine) level. So foot traffic will naturally tend to hone down or dull a polished surface. Improper maintenance will contribute to an increased need for re-polishing as well.
The rate at which polished surfaces are abraded is increased in sandy areas like beach fronts and deserts. Think east coast, west coast, Nevada, Texas, and you get the point. Foot traffic carries the sand and soil in, abrading the polished surfaces prematurely. Darker materials show the wear faster just like a dark colored car shows dirt and imperfections faster than a lighter colored car. Softer stones also wear at faster rates than do harder stones. Think marble verses granite.
So to extend the life of polished surfaces, dust mopping or vacuuming is essential. The idea here is that keeping sand and grit off the floor will help extend the life of a polished surface. This of course, reduces overall maintenance costs by reducing the frequency of having to re-polish traffic lanes.
Walk-off mats and systems are also excellent ways to help prevent sand, dirt, and grit from being tracked in and off the flooring surface. It is said that a good walk-off system can eliminate 80% or more of the outside contaminants from being walked in.
Remember, it is better to invest in implementing a proactive maintenance program than to spend later on restoration. Therefore let’s look at a standard maintenance cycle for floors:
Quarterly (or as required based on traffic wear and degree of soiling)
- Clean grout lines (on stone applications) using a Majestic Deep Cleaning Stripper Degreaser and a non-abrasive scrub brush. This is also helpful for textured stones like flamed granite and slate.
- For polished surfaces evaluate and re-polish traffic lanes. For marble, limestone, onyx, and terrazzo, use either Majestic 5X Gold or Majestic Marble Polishing Compound to restore the natural polish (this may be best used by a restoration maintenance/professional). Pivot points and bottlenecks wear the fastest and require the most polish maintenance. Use Majestic Etch Remover to re-polish blemishes on marble and similar surface countertops.
- Evaluate and assess wear patterns. Determine if light honing is necessary before polishing or to refresh hones surfaces (definitely requires the use of a restoration/maintenance professional). Use of diamonds maybe necessary to achieve the desired clarity (flat and scratch-free surface). Feathering out with successive finer grits is typically used, depending on severity of lippage. Polish after honing per normal quarterly routine. Once dry, now is the time to reseal/impregnate if the surface no longer beads water satisfactorily.
There is no doubt that a quality proactive maintenance system requires investment. However, the reactive approach is certainly much more costly. It also takes more dedication to maintain hard surfaces properly.
When floors are cleaned, mop buckets must be refreshed with new solution about every 500 to 1000 square feet to avoid redistribution of soiling. Mops and pads must be replaced periodically as they become worn and soiled. They are consumables after all.
Of course there are many products for different applications like countertops and vertical surfaces. Specific products for specific applications like mold or mildew removal, stain removal, soap scum removal, and anti-slip products. Contact the Customer Support at Stonecare Central with any questions regarding maintenance you might have. With over 100 years of combined experience, the customer support team can assist you with advice, confirmation of a plan, and the correct product for most any application regarding stone, ceramic tile, decorative concrete, or masonry installations you may have.