Spring Home Maintenance Checklist
Spring has sprung. You’re likely making your way through your spring cleaning checklist — clear out the garage, give your AC a tune-up, and dust off those ceiling fans. If you have natural stone or terracotta in your home, set aside some time to give it a good spring cleaning, as well. Just like anything else of value, marble and other stones require proper care to keep them looking good-as-new. Not sure where to begin? Here’s our spring home maintenance checklist for your natural stone.
Indoor Natural Stone Features
Check the inside of your home for marble, limestone or other natural stone features. Since natural stone is beautiful, strong, and timeless, it could be anywhere from the kitchen and bathroom to the foyer and living room. Inspect the following features:
- Tiled Flooring
- Walls and Backsplashes
- Range Hoods
- Columns and Door Surrounds
How to Clean and Maintain Indoor Natural Stone
Your indoor natural stone features see their fair share of foot traffic, food spills, and soap buildup. Follow these steps to clean and restore your limestone, marble, or terracotta.
Dust or Vacuum
Start by carefully clearing away loose dirt, dust, and debris. Use a soft, dry cloth, microfiber duster, or gentle vacuum.
Wipe or Mop
Using a damp cloth or mop, wipe up any residual gunk, dirt, or residue. For a deeper clean, look for stone cleaners with a neutral pH. Avoid typical household cleaners, acidic solutions, or abrasives. These will damage, scratch, or dull your natural stone.
The best way to prevent stains is to wipe up spills before they penetrate the surface. However, if you do encounter a missed stain, there are some things you can do to remove or minimize it. There are special stone cleaners formulated for tough stains. You can also try a steam cleaner. Be sure to use both methods sparingly as overuse can dull the stone.
Natural stones are porous and need sealant to provide added protection and water resistance. Overtime, the sealant wears off. Spring is the perfect time to reapply sealant. Be sure to buy the correct one! Check the labels to see if a particular sealant is suitable for marble, limestone, or terracotta.
Outdoor Natural Stone Features
Since natural stones come from nature, they’re built to withstand the elements. For this reason, it’s common to find limestone, terracotta and even marble in outdoor home features. Examine your home’s exterior, yard, and garden for one of these natural stone designs:
- Tiled Roofs
- Decorative Stone Facades
- Retaining Walls
How to Clean and Maintain Outdoor Natural Stone
Your home’s exterior will face some harsh conditions. Dirt, rocks, animals, weather, and extreme temperatures can wear on your natural stone. Though stone does a fine job of resisting the elements, it still needs proper care. Regular maintenance will keep it looking bright and beautiful for many years to come.
Rinse with Water
A little water goes a long way. To rinse your stone, use a hose nozzle or pressure washer on the lowest setting. This will wash away surface debris and loosen up dirt and grime.
Wash with Stone Cleaner
Sun-baked stains and mold require a bit more elbow grease. Do not use commercial cleaners, abrasives, or acids. Purchase a neutral cleaner formulated specifically for terracotta or natural stones. Once you find the correct cleaner, dilute it in a bucket of water. Apply the diluted solution using a cloth or sponge. Lightly scrub in small sections, rinsing as you go.
If regular cleaning isn’t enough, there are a couple things you can do to minimize stubborn stains. If the stone has a rough finish, use a soft bristle brush or toothbrush to scrub the stain away. For even tougher stains, try an oscillating tool with 220 grit sandpaper. Do not use either of these techniques on polished stone as it can scratch the finish.
Once your stone feature is dry, reapply sealant. This will provide an added layer of protection.
Keep Your Impression Stone Beautiful With Spring Maintenance
Spring symbolizes rebirth. It’s the perfect time to revitalize your home and give it a fresh look. If you have questions about natural stone maintenance or are interested in a renovation, give Impression a call. Specializing in custom limestone, marble, and terracotta features, our experts will guide you through your spring home project. With a little TLC, Impression natural stone will last for many years to come.