prego flooring – Stone floors are extremely popular, and they’ve been for many years. However, they’re not indestructible, they are easy to care for and maintain but there are a number of pitfalls to avoid. Below are the most common mistakes individuals make when caring for their floors.
1. Lack of Dust Mats
The number 1 enemy of all floors, not just stone, is grit. If I used to take two diamonds (the hardest known natural substance) and rub them against one another, guess what, they will both wear. Every-day grit, carried in on shoes can contain all sorts of minerals such as quartz. Walking this onto your floor will quickly dull and scratch its surface. The solution would be to eliminate grit, any way you can and one of the best ways would be to put a dust-collecting mat away from the door. Should you add another just inside you’re giving your floor a much greater probability of preventing harmful grit.
2. Walking on your Stone Floor with Out-Door Shoes
This is related to the first point of course. In case you’ve got a fancy polished hardwood flooring, or an expensive rug, I bet you take off your shoes right? We all tend to instinctively understand the way to be careful on other floors materials and deal with them with the respect they deserve. Well stone is not any different, it requires love and respect also. Take your shoes off and put your slippers on, so that way you cannot carry harmful grit onto the ground.
Some folk just appear to need to wash their floor to departure. The more you clean with strong detergents and do not rinse efficiently, (see point #6), the greater possibility of leaving residues that make the floor appear dull and lifeless. Most frequently, all that is needed is some normal dry sweeping or cleaning, with a gentle brush or micro-fibre floor duster and/or vacuuming. This will also help keep grit off the ground.
4. Not attending to Spills and Accidents immediately
Somehow, we tend to treat hard stone floors differently to state wood or carpeting. If, as an example, we’ve got an extremely costly carpeting and we spill something about it, like a glass of wine for example, would we sit and watch it become a stain? I don’t think so. Even if that rug has any kind of stain protection on it, we know that it will only buy us some ‘time to react’, thus we rush off into the kitchen for the towels.
Well guess what, providing ‘reaction time’ is all sealers do for stone. Exactly like the carpeting, if we spill something we ought to absorb it up straight away, particularly if it’s something such as wine or any other acidic liquid. We do not spill ‘stains’ we spill contaminants, it’s when we leave the contaminant for a amount of time to penetrate the stone, that they become stains. If the floor is sealed with a good sealer, we simply get a little more reaction time. Many stains could be avoided by taking care of spills and injuries as the occur.
5. Wrong Selection of cleaner for routine cleaning
It is all too easy to purchase an off the shelf floor cleaner out of the super markets. However, most of them are strong de-greasers, higher ph cleaners meant to deep clean very grubby floors. Furthermore, there is a natural human tendency to ignore instructions and allow it to be extra strong, if it says add one capful per bucket, just how many people have added another one just for luck? There are reasons for these instructions and dilution prices but even more important, there is absolutely no need to use such chemicals for every day or weekly cleaning.
When the floor does require a quick wash (and if we take note of the first 4 factors then this may not need to be too frequently) no problem, we simply must be certain to use a neutral cleaner, that is one with a ph value of about 7 to 8. There are loads of them on the market, all designed to clean gently with no harmful effect on the ground or on any sealer or finish that may be applied.
6. Just carrying on with the Exact Same old routine
From the company we call this a ‘Periodic Deep-Clean’ – From time to time the floor will require a deeper, more labour-intensive clean. This is the opportunity to utilize those high alkaline cleaners.
The crucial word here is live period – these cleaners need to get left on the ground for a time period – 5 to 15 minutes typically. The greatest mistake people make this would be to simply wash the floor with the high ph detergent. Ignore live time and you waste your time and effort. The cleansers require time to get the job done. They then ought to get agitated, or scrubbed, remember we are not doing so each week, just a few times per year so we can afford the opportunity to do it properly. Notice, this type of cleaner may have an effect on any sealer utilized, so check first; you may need to top up the sealer afterwords. This brings us onto the greatest mistake of most(it is also the easiest one to fix).
7. Not Rinsing the ground after washing
This is one of the very important, yet most overlooked aspects of floor cleaning. It does not matter how much effort we put into cleaning, nor how powerful the cleaning-chemical, if we leave dirty water lying around the ground, when it dries, we’ll have residues. Think about what we have just done: we put a solid chemical on the ground; we let it sit (live time) so it’s started to break down the ingrained dirt; we scrubbed – to loosen more dirt and permit the cleaner to penetrate deeper.
Then what tends to happen is that we push all of this around with a mop, then sometimes rinse the mop in water that by now has long since ceased being clean or fresh, and we put the sole partly washed mop, then back on the ground to spread more grungy water round. Sure, some of the dirt is moved into the mop bucket, but plenty gets left behind. In addition to the dirt (some of which is currently broken down and finer, so it can get deeper into the ground, especially the grout joints) we also leave behind detergent residue. This combination of residue and partly emulsified dirt quickly builds up to leave a dull patina on the stone and is one of the main reasons grout lines go dim and grubby so quickly.
The remedy is simple, after washing the ground, go change the dirty water that includes the detergent, rinse out the bucket and the mop and fill the bucket with clean, fresh water. Now, examine the ground again with just that clean water. If it’s a big floor, you may have to change the rinse water again, maybe more than once – but do it as it will save you time in the long term.
8. Leaving the ground moist
Have you noticed what happens to glass windows after washing if they’re just left to dry naturally? Many stone floors are eloquent or even polished and consequently they could behave in the specific same way as glass. Therefore, after rinsing the ground, it’s good practice to dry down the floor with an absorbent cotton towel or a micro-fiber fabric. Buffing floors dry just like that (either by hand or with a machine, based upon the size of your floor) will eliminate the residual moisture (and any stray smudges that may have been missed).
9. Ignoring Little Stains
If we don’t react fast enough to spills (error #4) we could wind up getting a stain. If we always ignore that stain, and the next one and so forth, pretty soon the floor is able to look deeply ingrained and usually grubby. For isolated little stains attempt a localized poultice stain remover.
10. Confusing Etch Marks With Stains
Once an acid sensitive stone floor, such as polished marble is exposed to an acidic contaminant, such as red wine, the end result is often either a blot (the red colour) and an etch mark. It is frequently confused with a stain because it’s so frequently accompanied by you. The acidity basically burns new holes in the stone, those holes weren’t there before, so no sealer might have got into them, Also, most polished floors use impregnating sealers which work beneath the surface and thus provide no defense against acids in the surface itself.
The best way to spot a etch mark would be to clean the ‘stain’ (deep clean or poultice like) then after rinsing and permitting the ground to dry check where the stain was. If the stain has now gone, but in its place is a dull place often with a more demanding texture (compared to the polished surface) and a whiter or bleached (less colour anyway) appearance, then this is an etch-mark. If we now ignore this damage (because that is what it is, physical damage to the stone surface) then it will leave the stone more vulnerable to rust (the surface is currently more textured so it will often maintain dirt more easily, it’s also less dense, and so potentially more absorbent and any sealer will have been compromised). Small and localized etching can be quickly repaired with a hand applied re-polishing lotion, bigger scale etching will likely require the help of a stone floor specialist.
We have all heard family elders, and TV experts rave about old homemade remedies for cleaning. Please, do not hear them, period. The reason why I consider such a strong stance about this is I have seen the results. The fantastic, versatile powers of family products such as peppermint and lemon juice are forever being indicated for all manor of cleaning, and yes they could get the job done. They operate by virtue of becoming acidic and will break down quite a few minerals (lime scale on tiles as an example).
Not only have you ever seen whole floors ruined, the surface completely piled, but they also stain the ground. After performing this as good job of taking away the polish, they then add their own colour or hue into the now much more porous floor.
Lemon juice and vinegar belong into the larder or pantry, not the cleaning cabinet.
12. Neglecting the Seal
Don’t assume that simply because your stone floor was sealed during installation, that it still has a powerful seal in place two years on. It may have, but throughout that time, the floor will have experienced a fair bit of visitors and it’s most probably been subjected to a variety of cleaning chemicals. It is highly advisable to check the integrity of the sealer occasionally. For a coating type sealer I’d suggest checking about every 6 to 12 months, for an impregnator each 12 to 24 months.
The means to do it is to drop some water onto the ground and leave it for say 10 minutes. If it goes in quickly and darkens the stone, then when wiped it away leaves a moist patch, then it would be advisable to top up the sealer. If the water does not go into the stone except for an feint surface shadow, it’s most likely fine for the time being.