Tips To Ensure The Beauty And Longevity Of Your Granite Countertops
Granite counters from places like Alma Granite are the new "must-have" for homeowners. Resistant to spills, stains, and even burns, these counters can defy any obstacle you throw their way -- and are sleek and attractive, to boot. However, even the most resilient granite counters require periodic maintenance to keep their luster and strength. Read on to learn more about the types and schedules of treatment for your granite counters to ensure that they'll remain functional and beautiful for decades to come.
This is the first and most important step in protecting your counters from spills and stains. In nature, granite is highly resistant to water erosion, and even has moisture-resistant properties. However, it is also porous, and allows water to flow and be filtered through it. By sealing the exposed portion of your counters with a sealant designed especially for granite, you can place an impermeable membrane between any potentially-staining liquids and the microscopic pores of your granite counters.
Although some solvent-based sealers will last for several years, it's usually a good idea to seal your counters more frequently than that. If you've recently noticed that water no longer beads up on your counters, but instead spreads out in a puddle, it's probably time for a new coat of sealant.
As an alternative to sealing your counters yourself with products available at a home improvement store, you can contract with a professional cleaning or home-improvement company to periodically come to perform a deep-clean and seal of your countertops. This cleaning will remove any stubborn grime or stains while providing a spotless surface for the sealant to be applied. In addition, the products used by these companies are generally more powerful and longer lasting than the products available for purchase by consumers.
To keep your counters clean and disinfected on a daily basis, all you need to use is a small amount of water and antibacterial soap. Don't use ammonia, bleach, or other harsh cleansers -- not only are they unnecessary, they can reduce the life of your sealant or even cause damage to your counters (if they've not been recently sealed).
Although your counters are naturally heat- and scratch-resistant, it's still not a good idea to use them as trivets or cutting boards. Over time, exposure to hot pans and dishes or sharp knives can increase the porosity of your counters, making them more difficult to seal and less resistant to staining and pitting.