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Tips on Cleaning and Sealing Slate Floors

Updated on April 16, 2012
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One of the most popular choices in floor coverings in new houses and remodels is slate. Slate is a natural product that is both appealing to the eye and is a durable material. It can be easy to care for if a person understands the uniqueness of the floor and makes sure that it is properly maintained on a regular basis. These factors have contributed to its increase use in many homes and businesses that are located in the Sydney and the Sydney Metro Areas including Northern Beaches, North Shore, The Hills District, West, Inner West, Sutherland Shire, Eastern Suburbs and CBD.

Why Use Slate?

Slate is a very organic looking material. It is a porus substance, which makes it ideal for areas where water or other liquids are present. The material is made from fine-grained metamorphic rock that was formed by the compacted rock of the oceans and riverbeds on the earth. It is made primarily of quartz, mica and chlorite. The material is waterproof, fire resistant and is stain resistant as well. Color selections for slate use to be very limited, but in recent years, more colours have been added to the choices a person has when they are planning to use slate materials.

Slate can be a very attractive looking addition to a person’s environment. It has an organic look to it. This fact alone can make it very appealing to those who are trying to live their life using products that are more natural. However, slate’s biggest asset may be its durability. A slate floor can withstand a lot of wear and tear and will look wonderful for many years to come, as long as it is properly maintained.

One of the first things a person who purchases or has a slate floor installed needs to do is have the floor thoroughly cleaned and then sealed. While this may seem like an easy task that one can do on their own, in many cases it may be better to hire a local slate sealing Sydney company who has the tools and knowledge to do the job right. Many times people decide to do this first cleaning and sealing on their own. Unfortunately, this can result in irreversible damage unless they know what they are doing. While slate can be a very durable material, it cannot handle certain types of cleaning chemicals. It can also be damaged if it is cleaned with the wrong types of cleaning equipment. Because slate is porous, it will rapidly absorb the chemicals used on it and some types of fluids can stain or even damage the floor. This can be very costly to repair and in some cases, it may be irreversible. For this reason, it is generally best to have a professional handle this initial work.

Once a person has a slate floor properly cleaned and sealed, it will require routine care and maintenance. One of the most important cleaning tasks will be dust or dry mopping the floor. This type of mopping is done without water and it should be done at least once a day, more if the area is a high traffic zone. Dust mopping entails using a dry mop to clean up the dust and dirt that has collected on the floor. This is critical not only to keep the floor clean but also it can be helpful in preventing scratches or other issues that might mar the condition of the floor. Damp or wet mopping will need to be done once a week. This cleaning is done without soap. It is generally a good idea to have a specific dry mop and wet mop that is only used on this floor. In addition, a soft bristle broom can be beneficial for sweeping the floor without creating scratches.

These floors will also need to be resealed on a regular basis. The frequency of this will depend on the degree of traffic that comes across the floor. Without proper sealant on the floor, there is much more risk for it to become scratched or stained. If the sealant has become worn, the floors may need to be deep cleaned once again. Since this can be a difficult task, using a slate sealing company may be the best alternative. Many times these professionals can offer a more extensive cleaning than one can do on their own. This can be a very important process to have before a floor is resealed.

How Much Maintenance Do They Require?

Slate floors in general do not require much special care on a daily basis. Most people have found that it is best to refrain from wearing shoes while walking on these floors. However, it can be a good idea to wear socks or other soft slippers as the oil from one’s skin can also cause staining to the floor as well. In areas such as the entryways or kitchen of a home, mats can be a very good way of protecting the floor from spills and other damages. In commercial situations, it may be necessary to have mats and runners to protect the floors that see a lot of traffic on a daily basis. When using mats, one must be careful of the type of mat they use. Some mats have backings that are rubber and this can stain the floor.

Summary

Having slate floors in one’s home or business can be a very eye catching feature. With the wide assortment of colours, that one can purchase slate in, they can be a very attractive addition to many different types of decors. Since slate is a natural element, this type of flooring can also add a sense of nature to many settings. There is generally minimal upkeep to this type of flooring as long as they are maintained properly and on a regular basis. While most upkeep can be easily performed, some maintenance issues may require the services of a slate sealing Sydney company. Slate floors are beneficial in many areas because they are not only beautiful but they are also waterproof, fireproof and slip resistant. This can be a great asset in one’s home or in a business setting.

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    • Brandym2012 profile image

      Brandym2012 

      6 years ago from PA

      Thank you for sharing this article. I find it very useful and interesting. Great hub!

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