The hazards of using natural stone in garages
The timeless beauty and aesthetic quality of natural stone can transform any space, including a garage.
While concrete is a popular option for garage floors, tiled stones can turn a standard space into a showroom, whether you intend to use it as a space for storing prized possessions, a game room or for other entertaining needs.
However, garages are most often used for storage, and this in itself can leave natural stone vulnerable to a number of hazards.
One hazard that garages often pose more than any other area of a home is paint. Homeowners often find themselves with leftover paint they intend to store for future touch-ups, and garages are typically the ideal location to store it.
While paint can be removed with lacquer thinner or scraped off with a razor blade, it’s important to understand how these surface cleaning methods may affect your stone flooring. For instance, marble and limestone are vulnerable to damage from cleaners and other solutions that contain acidic materials. On the other hand, sandstone is naturally soft, and scraping with a razor blade could leave unsightly marks.
Regardless of how you clean up paint stains, remember to never use acids or flame tools to strip it, as paint is a flammable material.
Just like with driveways, garage floors are also vulnerable to oil stains from vehicles. These types of stains will darken the stone and typically require some kind of chemical dissolvent.
Since garages are often used as storage spaces, they are also vulnerable to inorganic metal stains. Iron or rust stains are typically in the shape of the object that left them and must be removed with a poultice. Deep-seated inorganic metal stains are notoriously difficult to remove and may stain stone permanently.
Depending on how exposed the garage is to the outside world, it may be vulnerable to organic stains as well.
Leaves can blow in from outside, and birds who find themselves trapped inside a space will likely leave droppings. While these stains may disappear after the source of the stain has been removed, most garages don’t have the benefit of the natural bleaching action of sun and rain. This means a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia may be necessary. However, keep in mind that ammonia should never be mixed with bleach, as this can create a toxic gas that can be lethal.
Another option is easy and environmentally friendly cleaning power of Oxy-Klenza™.
Surface protection in garages
A little forethought can go a long way toward keeping surfaces clean in garages. Whenever something is being stored, be it paint or metal instruments, homeowners should make sure the item is put away safely and cleanly to prevent spills, falls and stains.
As for oil stains caused by vehicles, proper maintenance will help prevent leaks that can cause damage. Homeowners may even want to invest in special mats that sit under vehicles to prevent stone from falling victim to fluid leaks.
Perhaps the best course of action is making sure stone flooring used in garages is properly sealed with an impregnating sealer like STAIN-PROOF Original™.
An impregnating sealer will not only help prevent stains, it will also assist in preventing efflorescence, freeze-thaw damage, spalling and picture framing.
Plus, use of a high-quality sealer will make surface cleaning easier, reducing worry over dangers to natural stone and making upkeep that much simpler.