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Cleaning Slate And Grout Step By Step

Application of high pressure generated by a truck-mounted or portable compressor should do the trick. But to get good results, you will have to be familiar with the type of floor you are dealing with and know the correct way of cleaning slate and grout. Else, removing grout sealer and slate might prove to be a costly venture. It’s difficult to believe that over the last fifteen years, the sales of hard stone products have gone up by 2,000 percent. Even if you are handling the business of carpet cleaning, it helps to know how to clean different surfaces at your client’s end.

You are likely to come across slate in commercial building entryways, though people do use it these days at homes too.

Slate Origin

It is important to know how slate is formed if you like to undertake cleaning of this kind of stone. Slate is created in nature from clay-rich mud through tectonic stress and it is believed that the process of its formation started 570 million year ago. It got shaped when sediments of organisms at the seabed resulted to mud deposits. The pressure and temperature of Earth’s crust squeezed the mud into layers of shale that ultimately pushed it upward.Slate as a building material is used for construction of floors, walls, roofs, and also high quality pool tables. As floor care technicians you need to do things differently when cleaning slate?

Cleaning Challenges

Slate presents us with three different challenges, making it a bit more difficult to handle than most other stones. First is its formation. The thin layers of rocks that are stuck together may come off on facing very high pressure employed for cleaning.When cleaning slate, bring the pressure down. To compensate for the loss pressure, you have to slightly increase agitation, but keep it below 800 pounds per square inch (PSI).Second, as it is absorbent by nature it tends to absorb staining material, thus developing stains. Most cleaners experience that cleaning products containing oxygen when used to clean hard surfaces allow oxygen to get absorbed in the stone and cause safe “bleaching action” to remove the absorbed stains.

Maintenance Tips

Finally, to avoid staining and the layers of slate from getting chipped off, manufacturers and installers generally apply a coating of wax on the slate to make it more durable. Now, that presents another difficulty for cleaners. At times the wax might have been removed from certain areas or it could get removed from high-pressure cleaning. Tell your customer that this is not as much of a cleaning issue but, a restoration issue.Use only appropriate stripper and wax especially made for using on natural stones. And, remember to play it safe by testing it in a not so noticeable part of the slate. Learning a bit more regarding the floor you plan to clean prepares you better for answering when questioned on procedures and products will deliver the best results on a particular floor. It will do you good to read the natural stone care article on my website for understanding how to handle different types of natural stones.