Frequently Asked Questions
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1. How often should my marble and granite be sealed?
2. Why does my granite look different than my neighbors?
3. Why does my countertop have white rings and spots all over it?
4. I have a crack in my countertop. Can it be repaired?
5. Can I test whether or not my stone was sealed?
6. My installer sealed my stone, do I need you to seal it also?
7. What do I use to clean my marble and granite ?
8. Can I remove the dull spots on my granite countertop?
9. How did I get scratches on my new countertop?
10. When is the best time to professionally clean and polish my stone floors
11. Is there a difference between Natural Stone Restoration Companies?
1. Q: How often should my marble and granite be sealed?
You need to have your stone sealed immediately after installation. This will help prevent staining and keep soils from penetrating into the pores of the stone.
When a quality sealer is applied, I recommend all exterior stone and any stone exposed to large amounts of water and oil sealed once a year and all other interior applications sealed about every three years. Areas with no liquid exposure need only sealing once in a lifetime.
2. Q: Why does my granite look different than my neighbors?
Consumers who are less acquainted with granite may expect the granite to be identical to the sample ordered or their neighbors. Each slab may differ slightly in polish and will invariably have differences from one end of the material to another. This lack of predictability gives the product its unique character incomparable to all other surfaces.
Granite polish is produced after multiple refinishing stages. The final polish or reflection is determined by the actual mineral content of the stone. Natural and incandescent lighting plays a major role in the appearance of the stone, especially after installation. The degree of polish never determines the quality of the stone, yet quality processing in Italy per se, can increase the likelihood of a better finish overall.
3. Q: Why does my granite have white rings and spots all over it?
You either have marble or black granite. If you have black granite see also (Repairs #3)
Marble, travertine and limestone are primarily composed of calcite and dolomite minerals. When calcite is exposed to acidic based liquids it causes etching. Etches are actually microscopic pits on the stone surface that may feel rough when you slide your fingernail across it. Etches do not have a reflection and appear as spots from an angle.
Black granites are often treated with a dye during initial fabrication or an enhancer after installation for the purpose of producing a blacker colored appearance. These treatments can be affected by commonly used liquids. Our stone experts can treat and maintain the stone helping to prevent this spotting. Granite is mostly composed of 30% quartz and 60% feldspar which are difficult to etch or scratch; for this reason granite is the most preferred natural product for kitchen and bar tops.
4. Q: I have a crack on my counter top. Can it be repaired?
Natural Fissures are narrow openings in the stone that look like cracks. They are not structural defects and will not impair the function or durability of the stone.
True cracks occur when excessive weight is applied on top of the stone at narrower areas such as around the sink or an overhang. Even though cracks can occur during install, once secured and glued down the crack will never cause additional problems.
Cracks, though unsightly, may also occur from behind the stone. When caulking or epoxy wears or deteriorates around the sink or backsplash, this allows water intrusion under the stone. Water intrusion can result in the adhesive to breakdown and the sub-top to swell causing the stone to crack.
(Before & After – Crack repair)
If you notice a crack, call Perfect Granite Solutions to assess the severity and determine the solutions to repair it. A quality repair with proper care will ensure the crack does not return.
5. Q: Can I test whether or not my stone was sealed?
Test for sealer by setting a wet bottomed glass on the stone for about 5 minutes. Remove the glass, wipe up the water and look for darkening. If it has darkened then it needs to be sealed. Some experts will tell you that water must “bead” on the surface proving it’s sealed. This is not entirely true. Beading is one indicator that the stone has been treated, yet liquid penetration and discoloration are the determining factors whether or not stone is sealed. Please note that although the sealer repels water, it does not guarantee it will repel oil and grease.
I have seen many situations where stains have occurred even after sealing. Many stains can be avoided with correct sealing applications and proper care instructions. You may have to pay a little extra, but consider using an expert in sealing who also provides a guarantee. A stone sealing expert should know the correct sealing applications of each stone.
The question is: “Did you choose a stone sealing expert to seal your stone?”
6. Q: The installer sealed my stone; do I need you to seal it also?
I have worked with dozens of installers over the years and I have identified some true facts about installer sealing. The installers’ primary goal is to install your stone, not seal and protect it. They also do not include deep cleaning and sealing in their bid, and when fees and costs for sealing are not included in the bid, then you’ll not get the service required. Last, installers do not guarantee the product or the application of sealer. Installers over the last few years have been left responsible for solving every possible issue, from natural marking in the stone, settling cracks occurring several years after install, and stains occurring from normal use of stone. INSTALLERS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR SEALING!
With this said installers usually apply a pre-sealer or grout release prior to grouting that helps keep the grout from sticking to the stone surface and helps repel liquids during the installation/constructions phase of the job. (Grouts are not sealed with grout release.) Grout release is sometimes a sufficient sealer for floors and areas not exposed to oils and liquids. I highly recommend kitchens, baths and porous stones to be cleaned and sealed professionally to improve the overall appearance and provide sufficient protection during normal family activities.
7. Q: What do I use to clean my marble and granite?
I have heard people recommending glass cleaners, vinegar, bleach, furniture polish and even acetone to clean their stone.
Because stones are composed of different minerals and some are more sensitive than others, we need a cleaner that will work in all situations without affecting the finish. I recommend a mild neutral non-rinse cleaner without abrasives or harsh chemicals made specifically for polished stone.
Avoid using any product not made specifically for polished natural stone. See our Care and Cleaning section for more information.
8. Q: What can I do to remove dull spots off my granite counter?
Dullness is the result of minerals in the stone that don’t reflect light the same as other surrounding minerals and this cannot be removed. If a dull spot has occurred after installation, then you need an expert in Granite refinishing and polishing.
There’s also the possibility the stone is not being cleaned properly and leaving surface residue and smudges on the surface. See Care and Cleaning for proper cleaning instructions.
9. How did I get scratches on my new countertop?
Granite is primarily made up of 30% quartz and 60% feldspar and is very difficult to scratch. First ask your installers advise then call Perfect Granite Solutions.
(See Before & After – Scratch Removal)
Marble and Limestone is primarily composed of calcite or dolomite and is soft compared to granite. These stones scratch easily from sharp utensils, pots or tools dragging across stone, or from using abrasive cleaning pads on surface. If people working around the stone are unaware of what causes scratches, this can occur quite rapidly after install. Scratches are common for stone and can be expected. I’m aware of the classic complaint: “I don’t want scratches on my new stone! If any scratches are going to be in the stone, I’ll put them in myself!” After spending thousands of dollars on your stone, I can see your point. I don’t like purchasing a product with scratches either, yet in the case of stone, it will most likely have a scratch during at least one phase of the process from shipping, handling, fabrication, installation, construction environments and just plain old accidents. My professional advice is not getting too worked up over it until a professional repair company has inspected it.
DON’T WORRY! 90% of all scratches can be removed by a skilled stone scratch removing expert. Call Perfect Granite Solutions to determine solutions for the repair.
10. Q: When is the best time to professionally clean and polish my floors?
Maintenance and Restoration of floors varies depending on the location, type of stone and desired finish. As a general rule for most stones, sealing is recommended after installation; cleaning and polishing required every 1 year in high traffic and wet areas, maintenance refinishing required every 2-4 years, complete restoration every 3-5 years. All stone surfaces are different, therefore needing different applications. All stones cannot be treated equally. If you currently have a stone flooring professional and are satisfied with their results… do not switch companies. Stone professionals use different procedures and you may not like the finish by the new company. If you are not satisfied with your current stone professional or you have questions about the appearance of your stone, please give us a call so we can help
11. Q: Is there a difference between Natural Stone Restoration Companies?
Although the obvious answer to this question is, “yes”. There are many unknown differences between companies that cause confusion. Stone professionals in our industry have different skill levels and experience depending on the training received and the number of year’s truly repairing stone. The only way to understand the best approach to fixing or restoring stone is by hands on experience and proven problem solving techniques. You may hear a company has 20 yrs experience in stone repair, but keep in mind; the products and machinery for stone restoration were not readily available in Orange County until around 1992! Don’t be fooled by unrealistic claims of experience or their ability to give you a lifetime guarantee. (Who’s lifetime are they basing this off?) Stone maintenance companies are starting up everywhere yet it takes years until they are fully competent in stone care. Stone is very difficult to treat and if you don’t have a highly experienced and competent company you may be in for a disappointing surprise. Mark Ortiz, Owner and founder of Perfect Granite Solutions has been performing hands on stone repair since 1988. He will ensure you have the best advise and solutions possible…guaranteed!
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