Granite has been used in building since the Ancient Egyptians. From one of the largest of the Egyptian Pyramids, through 11th century Indian Temples, to Aberdeen Scotland where mechanical stone cutting tools were first used, granite has long been a popular choice when a durable but beautiful stone is desired. Granite is a dense and durable igneous rock made of mostly feldspar, quartz, and mica. Different minerals from different areas of the world will produce different colors in the stone and also different reactions to daily use and cleaning methods.
Granite countertops first appeared in homes in the late 1970's and has continued to grow in popularity. Roughly 65% of new homes include granite countertops. Granite is a durable choice for busy homes with a high resistance to heat, but like any surface - there are limitations:
Water deposits can also leave unsightly spots on your granite. This usually builds up around the faucets but can also be present around the sink and stove prep areas. Over time this damage can become permanent. And, as all stone is porous to some degree, granite can be stained by soaps and rust from regular products around the sink. Thankfully, granite counter tops are quite hard and respond well to cleaning and polishing. Stone is rated for hardness on a scale known as the Moh's Scale of Hardness. Talc is the softest natural stone, ranking a 1 and diamonds are a 10 on the Moh's scale. Granite will test between 5 and 6, generally on the higher end, but that will depend on the actual mineral content of each individual slab of granite. To put this knowledge to practical use, understand that the softer object will be scratched by the harder object when the two come in contact with a slight amount of force. A knife blade will be about 5.5 and steel will be about 6.5 on the hardness scale. Most granite counters will be scratched by steel, such as some pots and pans, and many will be scratched by a knife. Introduce acidic foods and a knife and you will surely damage the granite.
If your granite countertops have accumulated scratches or buildup over time, we have the proper knowledge and methods to restore the clean feeling and deep luster you once loved about it.
Decker's Carpet Cleaning will deep clean your granite using proper pH balanced cleaning solutions that will remove years of built up soil, oils, and hard water deposits. We remove the scale buildup around the faucets and in other areas as needed. We also remove bits of paint and many other imperfections. This will improve the appearance of your countertop and help preserve it for the life of the home.
Deep cleaning is necessary every one to two years and will remove dirt and grime from the surface and capillaries of the stone.
Some granite countertops have stains from rust, soap, wine, or other items that are soaked in. Sometimes these spots remove with a deep cleaning, but many times they may require a poultice to draw the stain out. Stains such as these are discussed as needed and priced on site as the situation presents itself.
Cleaning is generally followed by polishing, and should always be followed by sealing to protect the stone.
We can follow a Granite Cleaning with a granite polish to really bring out the shine and accentuate the stone's inner beauty. When we polish your granite, you will notice the colors will be richer and the mica flecks sparkle. The quartz crystals will look deeper and reflections will be clearer. You will also notice less fingerprints left behind and that it will clean easier when you do your regular maintenance.
When we hand polish your granite counters, we use various polishing powders and pastes, power hand tools, and various pads such as a hogs hair, lambs wool, 0000 fine steel wool, or felt.
Granite countertop polishing will remove slight scratches and improve the reflective quality of the stone. Polishing granite will not remove scratches or pitting that you can feel with your fingertip. For damage that deep, honing is required. We offer granite honing on a case by case basis and will require an evaluation.
Granite countertop polishing will not repair ugly seams or cracks. Granite repair is possible, but is discussed on a case by case basis and will require an evaluation.
Granite polishing will not remove chips in granite. Granite is hard, but can chip if the edges are bumped too hard with a harder object. If you have chips in your granite - whether they are chips around the sink or chipped edges, we offer granite repair on a case by case basis and will require an evaluation.
Finally, we provide stone sealing to protect the stone from damage due to spills and acids. We use a Solvent-based penetrating fluorinated-polymer technology which will increase the surface tension and help prevent oil and water based spills from staining.
Sealing your stone with a clear impregnating sealer will help it last longer and clean easier. We always recommend sealing the counter after cleaning and or polishing. Granite countertops require cleaning and resealing every one to two years in general.
Maintenance of your granite counters includes regular housekeeping cleaning and periodic professional detail cleaning or light polishing to restore the finish. Maintenance cleaning should be done using proper techniques and a pH neutral cleaning solution specifically designed for stone. We can provide a list of suggested products to maintain your granite countertops. We're always available to answer your questions regarding the maintenance of any surface in your home.