Implementing a schedule of care and maintenance for both interior and exterior surfaces is essential to retaining the durability and characteristics of the materials for generations to come. Natural stone in particular is a material which like a fine wine will mature and improve in appearance with age. Where used on floor or paved areas of the property of course one should expect a level of wear and this should be accepted as adding to the overall character of the material itself. However protecting stone with suitable sealant and only use cleaning products suited to natural stone will ensure that these areas of the property will give and grow in character for years to come.
Protecting and Caring for Floor Areas
Sealing and protectors are an important part of caring for your investment. During installation there are membranes available which can be used to cover the unprotected stone while the project is ongoing. However these should be avoided if the stone material contains moisture. Once the installation is grouted and the tiles are dry and clean with a cleaner like Wexa by Lithofin, then only then should you apply the appropriate sealant. Always ensure you have had advice from a supplier or fitter of that material to ensure the correct sealant is supplied. This will help resist the effects of potential spillages and stains.
Cleaning Natural Stone Floors
Its best to only use cleaning products created for stone. Household cleaners may require more vigourous and abrasive cleaning and their chemical composition may damage the materials unnecessarily and remove the effects of sealants.
Ensure that the surface is swept clean before mopping the floor with the specialist cleaner. If the surface is textured you may have to scrub and not just mop the floor.
If a stain preventative sealer has been used on the surface then regular cleaning should be with a mild cleaning agent, with intermittant cleaning on occasion with a stronger cleaning agent. Again these should be specialist cleaning products appropriate for the natural material.
Polishes, waxes, oil based cleaners or harsh detergent based cleaners should not be used on natural stone, as these can leave a residue of soap, polish or detergent behind. This can have the effect of trapping soil and dust onto the surface and may eventually mean removing with chemical which of course will have an effect on the surface.
If there are large areas of the property which are floored then you should consider investing in professional floor cleaning machinery.
The principles for flooring also apply as above for bathroom environments which are of course prone exposure to high levels of moisture. For wall tiled areas you should consider incorporating use of specialist cleaning chemicals into your standard cleaning routines, to help bring out the inherent appearance and provide the adequate protection required for these materials.
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Implementing material specific cleaning and care with the use of specialist products is advisable if not with every clean then as a regular addition to your cleaning routine. This will bring out and retain the natural properties of the material.
Within your property interior surfaces may vary from one to another natural material for variation. Its important to avoid the use of specialist cleaning products across differing natural floor materials. Since these interior surfaces are likely to receive the most wear, its advisable to use only products appropriate to each surface material. This is especially so if you dont want to compromise the effect of the chosen material over time.