- 18th May 2015
- Posted by: Granite & Marble Specialties
- Category: Granite Countertops
Granite counter tops are a beautiful investment that will last decades, but there is always a chance that you’ll damage your countertop or inherit a damaged countertop by moving into a new home with pre-existing conditions. Let’s take a look at some of the most common afflictions of granite countertops and what you can do to fix any harm.
Haze from Sealing
One of the main causes of that hazy of filmy look on a granite counter top is the sealant. Not all granite needs to be sealed in the first place because it is naturally dense and non-absorbent, and any applied seal will not sink into the granite and bond with it, but just kind of “sit” on the surface of the stone and obscure its natural sheen. It’s also possible that the sealant was improperly applied, and left to sit too long on the countertop in pools and drying without integrating into the stone. In either case, you need to remove the sealant and start over from bare granite.
Etching is a kind of surface damage that comes from corrosive materials reacting with a mineral called calcite, which is the main ingredient in marble and limestone, and present in some granite. Acids like lemons, alcohols, and many cleaning products can react with the calcite and leave rings, dull spots, or rough-feeling patches on your countertop. It’s wise to do an “etching test” using a scrap or sample of a granite you’re considering before you buy, but if it’s too late, light etching can be repaired using a DIY marble polishing powder. Large areas of the countertop, especially if they are no longer smooth to the touch, will require professional help.
Granite is an extremely hard surface, but it’s not uncommon for small chips to form around the edges of the slab. If the chip is large enough, save the stone that’s fallen out and glue it back in using a clear epoxy. With small chips, you can just use epoxy alone to fill in the chip—either clear or colored—and sand it until smooth and flesh with the surface of the granite. This is necessary to prevent further chipping away from the original damaged area.
Fissure and Cracks
There is an important difference between these two kinds of problems. Fissures are naturally-occurring in granite, probably don’t go all the way through the stone, and are much narrower than cracks, which are caused by damage or stress to the granite. For small fissures or cracks, you can use a clear resin, epoxy, or acrylic adhesive for repair, and you can usually handle it without a professional. Be sure whatever substance you choose is UV-stable and won’t change color or consistency as its exposed to light. Larger cracks—like ones you can fit a coin inside—require professional attention, especially because they could be the result of structural or installation errors.
The main thing to remember about damaged countertops is that starting with good granite, installed by experienced professionals, is the best way to prevent damage before it starts. Most problems with the appearance of granite are rooted in faulty sealant, and problems with chipping or cracking come from improper installation. Do it right the first time—come in to Granite and Marble Specialties to get the best possible job done.