Natural Stone Flooring Needs a Soft Touch

Natural stone flooring can be beautiful in a way that manufactured flooring can only aspire to. The variety and uniqueness of stone flooring can offer a breathtaking and welcoming entry to any building. While we think of stone as being rugged, durable and impervious to many kinds of damage, it actually needs a careful level of attention to avoid various risks to its beauty and longevity.

FOUR STEPS TO SAFER STONE CARE

1. Dust mop frequently.

Why so often? The answer is, erosion. Grit and sand wage a constant battle with your stone in a universe that exists within a few microns of the floor's surface. Pressed against the polished finish by a constant flow of shoes, wheels and chairs these carried-in particulates of erosion break down polished surfaces and chip away at the floor itself.

The solution? Set a dry mopping schedule that includes frequent dust mopping related to the volume of foot traffic. Microfiber fringe mopping is excellent for this purpose. For a guide to PUR-O-ZONE's complete Pro-Link line of advanced microfiber, click here. For training in use of and how microfiber works, click here.

Two other systems PUR-O-ZONE recommends for efficiency and productivity are the 3M Easy Trap and Advance’s Dust Magnet. These systems trap and hold more of the fine dirt that can continue to scratch the finished surface even after the bulk grits have been removed.

HOW TO

The LightningVac backpack vacuum allows for much faster coverage of flooring so with the same labor, you can vacuum more frequently or more area.Dust "mopping" with a vacuum removes more particulate with better indoor air quality results. Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum. The PUR-O-ZONE LightningVac backpack vacuum improves the speed at which floors can be vacuumed. Instead of pushing particulate along the floor surface, creating an additional scratching action, you are picking up the material and moving it with you where it can no longer damage your floors. Make sure to check the vacuum tool you are using to make sure nothing has become embedded in the brush or felt that could be scratching floor surfaces. (If your tool has a scalloped hard plastic head, you are using the device designed for carpet.)

If you use a dust mop, capture more material with a microfiber, untreated mop head laundered frequently. PUR-O-ZONE provides a simple guide to improving microfiber longevity, 12 tips on microfiber laundering and care. Never use a dust mop with any kind of oil on it for stone floors. The oil creates slip hazards, attracts dirt and can dull the polished finish. 

2. Damp mop periodically to remove residues and more fine dust.

Damp mop stone floors periodically using a neutral floor cleaner. We recommend Hillyard Top Clean(TM) or PUR-O-ZONE Sparkall(TM) as very good cleaners that are free-rinsing. Any chemistry you use on stone flooring must be diluted properly. If not, the chemistry could achieve a different pH and negatively affect, make sticky or even etch the floor. PUR-O-ZONE's Bond-Ayd(TM) neutralizer, while not technically a cleaner, is good for removing and neutralizing ice melt residue.

Also:

  • Use minimum moisture to dry faster (and be safer).
  • Barricade work areas until safe.
  • Auto scrubbing is ideal if available, using white pads that are clean and dedicated to entries and halls.
  • Use dedicated mops so as not to transport problems from other areas in the building.

3. Stop stains

Blot up spills immediately. Spills can contain any number of "floor assassins." The longer a spill remains, the more possibility it will leach into the stone itself and leave a permanent stain.

4. Protect with matting

The best way to keep floors clean is to not let dirt get tracked inside in the first place. Here is a selection guide to the right mix of mats for effective control.

STONE, A FLOOR MATERIAL THAT ROCKS

Natural stone is as beautiful as it is varied, and can be classified according to composition:  Siliceous stone is composed mainly of silica or quartz-like particles. It tends to be very durable and relatively easy to clean. Types of siliceous stone include: granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, brownstone, and bluestone.

Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It is sensitive to acidic cleaning products. Types of calcareous stone include: marble, travertine, limestone, and onyx.