|By Marketwired .||
|June 10, 2014 12:11 PM EDT||
MISSION, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 06/10/14 -- (Family Features) Many homeowners install granite or marble countertops and vanities for their durability and to add more value to the home. But in the end, nothing beats the most visible benefit -- that rich shine and luster right after the workmen install the new natural stone.
It's that gorgeous shine homeowners desire to maintain. For some, their lustrous granite or marble surfaces are the envy of dinner guests. For others, it's a feeling of frustration and disappointment, most likely due to lack of knowledge and education on maintaining the life and beauty of natural stone. While literally solid as a rock, natural stone isn't impervious to wear and tear, and it requires correct and regular care and maintenance. It's important to understand the shine on granite is not from applying a wax, but a natural shine that goes through a rigorous process.
Quarried from the earth's surface using a combination of diamond wire cables, drills and even dynamite, these stone blocks weigh in at around 40,000 pounds. The blocks are then taken to a factory for processing. A giant gang saw using diamond blades slices the blocks into a calibrated thickness similar to a giant bread slicer. The next step is over to a polishing line where they pass under diamond polishing heads that apply thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch. Here, finer and finer grits bring out the natural polish of the stone. From there the slabs are bundled and shipped to your local stone manufacturer and installer to be further cut to a homeowner's needs. It's this factory finish that enhances their inherent characteristics -- veins, swirls, crystals -- prior to installations in kitchens and baths.
There are two common routes to pursue to maintain natural stone's durability and to ensure that brilliant shine persists. One option is contracting with a stone restoration specialist. These professionals can clean, seal and polish your natural stone. This does, however, come with a formidable price tag -- north of $250 to $500 a visit. A more palatable option is the do-it-yourself route. There's a lower price tag, less than $50, with more of an investment in a homeowner's time and attention.
"But do your homework first," cautions Lenny Sciarrino, a third-generation stone care expert and co-founder of Granite Gold brand stone care products. "Common household cleaning products can damage granite, marble and other natural stone, and that can lead to costly repair and replacement."
He also warns homeowners to be wary about misleading promises with some do-it-yourself granite cleaning products claiming they can remove stains and water marks or reduce dullness and scratching.
"Having grown up manufacturing, installing and restoring stone surfaces, I can assure you an off-the-shelf granite cleaner can't deliver on those promises," said Sciarrino. "In most circumstances, there are home remedies, and we're often teaching homeowners those tricks over the phone or through email."
To maintain that rich shine from when the stone was first installed, Sciarrino advises homeowners make sure the granite or marble is sealed upon installation. It's not uncommon for a new counter to be installed without a protective seal, leaving it immediately susceptible to stains and etches. After installation, he said, plan a regular routine of daily cleaning and frequent polishing.
"Although granite, marble and other natural-stone surfaces are highly durable, they do require proper care and maintenance," said Sciarrino, whose company recently introduced Granite Gold Clean & Shine, which fuses the cleaning and polishing strengths of the brand's two most popular products in one solution for those who are on the go. "The additional benefits of polishing these stone surfaces are that it helps resist fingerprints and water spots and it reinforces the protective seal."
Homeowners should often test the integrity of the protective seal, even scheduling it like they do when changing batteries twice yearly at daylight saving time. Here's an easy way to do that: Pour water (about 3 inches in diameter) on the surface in several locations and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you see a dark mark or ring, the water is penetrating the stone and it's time to reseal.
Protect Your Stone Investment
Beyond the basics, stone care expert Lenny Sciarrino offers some additional tips for caring for your natural stone kitchen and bathroom surfaces:
- Don't use everyday household cleaners, as they can be too harsh on stone and lead to costly repair or replacement.
- Seal regularly for the best protection. Have a stone backsplash? It's just as important to seal.
- Keep stone floors safe with mats and regular damp mopping to catch abrasive particles that can scratch the surface. Lift, don't drag, furniture to avoid risk of scratching floors. Don't polish floors -- they will become too slippery and will risk injury.
- Polish regularly (except stone floors) to increase the shine, color and beauty of your stone and reinforce its protective seal.
- Use safe-on-stone scrubbing pads and brushes when cleaning natural stone.
- Polishing stone shower walls adds protection to help prevent etching, water spotting and soap scum build up.
- Keep grout lines clean by using a cutting board on food-prep surfaces.
- Water spots on stone surfaces can be gently scraped off with a razor blade. Regular sealing and polishing will keep water spots from sticking to the surface. Water should bead on the surface when the stone is sealed.
- Common disinfectants can damage natural stone surfaces, leading to costly repair and replacement. Look for a safe-on-stone disinfectant.
Simple Stain Removal Steps
While many people believe that stains are impossible to remove from granite and other natural stone surfaces, there are simple steps you can take to remove or reduce these unsightly blemishes.
Oil Stains (vegetable, olive and other types of cooking oils)
Mix baking soda with acetone into a paste to the consistency of pancake batter and place onto the stained area. Allow the paste to sit for 24 hours, then remove and rinse with water. Repeat if necessary; some stains may require two or three attempts. Reseal the stone surface once this is completed.
Organic Stains (food products, mold, mildew, plant runoff, dirt and soil, pet urine)
Take a paper towel, cotton balls or white terry cloth towels soaked in any brand of liquid bleach and place it on the stained area. Allow it to sit for 24 hours and rinse with water. Repeat if necessary. You can also spray bleach on stained areas, scrub with a soft nylon brush and then rinse with water. Bleach does not harm natural stone as long as it is rinsed each time and sealed properly after the process is completed.
Most rust stains have to be removed by a professional. Pour or spray 3 or 4 percent hydrogen peroxide on the stained area and agitate with a safe-on-stone scrubbing pad or nylon brush (also safe on stone). Allow to sit for 24 hours, then rinse with water.
For more information visit www.granitegold.com.
About Family Features Editorial Syndicate
This and other food and lifestyle content can be found at www.editors.familyfeatures.com. Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for use in print and online publications. Register with no obligation to access a variety of formatted and unformatted features, accompanying photos, and automatically updating Web content solutions.
Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=2613328
SYS-CON Events announced today that Spirent Communications, the leader in testing navigation and positioning systems, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Spirent Communications enables innovations in communications technologies that help connect people. Whether it is service provider, data centers, enterprise IT networks, mobile communications, connected vehicles or the Inte...
Oct. 7, 2015 03:15 PM EDT
Between the compelling mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how busine...
Oct. 7, 2015 03:15 PM EDT
SYS-CON Events announced today that Luxoft Holding, Inc., a leading provider of software development services and innovative IT solutions, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Luxoft’s software development services consist of core and mission-critical custom software development and support, product engineering and testing, and technology consulting.
Oct. 7, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 600
JFrog has announced a powerful technology for managing software packages from development into production. JFrog Artifactory 4 represents disruptive innovation in its groundbreaking ability to help development and DevOps teams deliver increasingly complex solutions on ever-shorter deadlines across multiple platforms JFrog Artifactory 4 establishes a new category – the Universal Artifact Repository – that reflects JFrog's unique commitment to enable faster software releases through the first pla...
Oct. 7, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 571
DevOps is gaining traction in the federal government – and for good reasons. Heightened user expectations are pushing IT organizations to accelerate application development and support more innovation. At the same time, budgetary constraints require that agencies find ways to decrease the cost of developing, maintaining, and running applications. IT now faces a daunting task: do more and react faster than ever before – all with fewer resources.
Oct. 7, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 356
Saviynt Inc. has announced the availability of the next release of Saviynt for AWS. The comprehensive security and compliance solution provides a Command-and-Control center to gain visibility into risks in AWS, enforce real-time protection of critical workloads as well as data and automate access life-cycle governance. The solution enables AWS customers to meet their compliance mandates such as ITAR, SOX, PCI, etc. by including an extensive risk and controls library to detect known threats and b...
Oct. 7, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 112
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Oct. 7, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,885
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Oct. 7, 2015 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 169
DevOps and Continuous Delivery software provider XebiaLabs has announced it has been selected to join the Amazon Web Services (AWS) DevOps Competency partner program. The program is designed to highlight software vendors like XebiaLabs who have demonstrated technical expertise and proven customer success in DevOps and specialized solution areas like Continuous Delivery. DevOps Competency Partners provide solutions to, or have deep experience working with AWS users and other businesses to help t...
Oct. 7, 2015 02:45 PM EDT
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/...
Oct. 7, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 193
SYS-CON Events announced today that VividCortex, the monitoring solution for the modern data system, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The database is the heart of most applications, but it’s also the part that’s hardest to scale, monitor, and optimize even as it’s growing 50% year over year. VividCortex is the first unified suite of database monitoring tools specifically desi...
Oct. 7, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 437
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Oct. 7, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,842
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Oct. 7, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 285
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete en...
Oct. 7, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 102
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Oct. 7, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 479