Granite is incredibly durable, but it isn’t completely impervious to damage. Some forms of damage are more common than others, but all can be the result of a mishap or mistake. Here are 7 of the most common forms of granite countertop damage and tips on how to prevent them.
Does Granite Stain? Granite is very resistant to stains, but even water can still cause temporary discoloration if it’s allowed to soak in. Any liquids that penetrate the stone can leave stains, especially oils, fruit juice, and wine. The good news is that oil stains can be lifted with a homemade paste made of baking soda and acetone, and organic stains can be removed by soaking a paper towel in bleach and placing it on the affected area.
How to prevent stains: Make sure you seal your granite regularly with a high-quality granite sealer like Granite Gold Sealer® to provide a barrier against liquids. Wipe up any spills right away.
Etching is a chemical reaction that occurs when granite is exposed to an acid such as vinegar, fruit juice, soda, wine, or ammonia. Etching is a dulling of the surface of the stone that may seem like a stain.
How to prevent etching: Proper sealing and polishing of your countertops can guard against etching from acids. Avoid using common household cleaning products on granite because most contain corrosive or acidic ingredients. Wipe up spills right away, especially if you spill an acidic liquid.
3. Impact Damage
While granite is very hard, impact from a heavy object could cause it to chip. This is most likely to occur around the sink or the edges. Depending on the color of the countertops, these chips may not be visible, but they can be felt.
How to prevent impact damage: Be careful when lifting heavy objects above your granite countertops.
A cloudy or hazy appearance to the stone typically isn’t the result of actual damage. This cloudiness usually results from using the wrong cleaning product, whether it’s abrasive or acidic and eating into the surface of your countertop or you’re using a product that leaves behind a film. Sometimes cleaning granite with dish soap leaves a layer of soap film that makes the surface appear dull. Water from a sponge may also have this effect.
How to prevent hazing: Clean your countertops regularly. If you are unsure how to clean granite properly read our article “Why Do I Have Cloudy Granite Countertops and How Can I Fix Them?” for helpful tips. We also recommend that you use a high-quality stone-safe granite cleaner such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® to clean your countertops regularly. Wipe the surface dry to prevent streaks or water spots.
Why does granite crack? Granite is extremely unlikely to crack during normal use. Most cracks are the result of stress during handling, fabrication, or installation. However, it is possible to cause cracks or stress fractures by standing on countertops or, in some cases, placing extremely hot objects on the surface.
How to prevent cracks: Make sure you have your countertops installed by professionals who have experience working with granite.
6. Heat Damage
Granite is very heat resistant, but countertops can still be damaged by hot pots and pans. This is because the sealant and finish on granite is not as heat resistant as the stone itself. Repeatedly placing hot dishes on the countertop right out of the oven can leave black marks on the surface or potentially cause thermal shock and cracks. Extreme heat can also damage the sealer on the surface and make the stone more susceptible to stains and acid damage.
How to prevent heat damage: Play it safe and avoid placing hot pots and pans directly on your granite countertops. Always use trivets or hot pads to avoid potential heat damage.
Only materials harder than granite can cause scratches. In fact, what appears to be a scratch in your countertop may be etching on the surface. Still, some materials can cause scratches in countertops, including precious stones like sapphire, topaz, and diamonds.
How to prevent scratches: Scratching isn’t a major concern with granite, but you should avoid sliding rings with precious stones across your countertops.
The same types of damage can be done to flooring made of granite and other types of natural stone like travertine and slate if you don’t take proper care of it. Make sure to use Granite Gold Stone and Tile Floor Cleaner® when caring for your natural-stone flooring. If you’d like to learn about our other high-quality stone care products, give Granite Gold® a call today at 1-800-475-STONE.