When it comes to choosing additions that boost the value of residential properties, summer kitchens can be as effective as swimming pools, terraces, or extra dens, particularly if they feature granite countertops. Granite slabs, especially those that have been finished to a glossy polish, are unexpected in an outdoor setting, but they look quite elegant. Just about all granite patterns can match landscaping and other elements typically used in elaborate patios. Just like when they’re installed in indoor kitchens or bathrooms, granite counters in an outdoor kitchen require a certain level of maintenance to keep them looking great for years to come.
General Maintenance Tips
Just like with indoor countertops, you need to wipe up all spills immediately, keep the surface dry, use cutting boards, avoid placing hot pans directly on top of the counters, and never use common household cleaners. Keep in mind that granite surfaces can be scratched and damaged despite being very durable. Try not to drag sharp or heavy objects across countertops.
Frequency of Sealing
When granite is directly exposed to rain and sun, some degree of natural staining can be expected to occur. However, this is different from the stains caused by organic substances during the food preparation process. In the case of granite floor tiles with a brushed finish used in outdoor settings, frequent sealing might not be needed. However, the same cannot be said about kitchen countertops. Milk, oil, vinegar, wine, butter, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, fruit juices, and beer are just some of the many substances that can leave stubborn stains on granite, thus calling for frequent applications of granite sealer.
Frequency of Cleaning
Outdoor kitchens are often neglected in terms of cleaning because they happen to be outside. It’s not uncommon for summer kitchens to be left unattended for a few days after a poolside barbecue party, but this is not recommended with granite countertops. As long as the stone is properly sealed, wiping it down with granite cleaner after a cooking session is simple and effective. When the kitchen isn’t in use, it should still be wiped down a couple of times per week due to being exposed to the elements.
Keeping Granite Covered
To cut down on the frequency of cleaning and sealing, it’s a good idea to keep granite countertops covered during the winter season or whenever the kitchen isn’t being used, especially when there’s no overhead cover to protect it from direct sun and rain. To this effect, you can use vinyl tarps to cover the stone, but you should seal the countertops and polish them before retiring for the winter.
When caring for outdoor countertops made of granite or another type of natural stone, make sure to use an outdoor stone cleaner regularly. Granite Gold® offers a wide array of high-quality natural-stone care products. Call 1-800-475-STONE (7866) to learn more.