AK’s Care And Maintenance Newsletter (In Blog Form)

We know new spaces, new rooms and new designs are not a possibility for everyone right now. No matter how much we want it! But something we can all do is give the current features of our home a little TLC .

When things are looking and working at their best, it sure helps us feel our best. Yeah, we’re in the business of renovating your home; but, we’re also in the business of keeping you satisfied. And that is by far our company’s most important role!

Below you will find: Natural Stone Care, Wood Floor Care, Fiber Cement Siding Care and Amazing Uses For Bleach & Vinegar! We hope you learn something this month about care and maintenance for all the beautiful features of your home, and let us know how else AK can help you!

(Might we recommend that you print this blog? Keep it with your cleaning supplies so the information is at your fingertips when you most need it!)


Natural Stone & Granite

Normal Maintenance: Common care for granite involves only periodic washing with clean, potable water and a neutral (PH7) detergent soap or cleaner. Following the manufacturer’s directions, wash in small, overlapping sweeps. Rinse thoroughly with clean, potable water to remove all traces of soap or cleaner solution. Dry with a soft cloth and allow to thoroughly air-dry. **Soap, while the most gentle choice, can leave a residue. Even when you rinse and dry. You may want to try a special granite cleaner every 3 months or so to restore the shine!**

Stain Removal: Natural stone is a porous material susceptible to staining. Granite is much less porous than the other natural stones, and is therefore much less likely to stain. The level of porosity in the stone dictates the degree of ease or difficulty in removing the stain. In order to remove a stain, the staining process must be reversed. Originally the stone absorbed the stain; now the stain must be broken down chemically and reabsorbed into a different material. This different material is what we call a Poultice, which is a white powder and the appropriate chemical required to reactivate the stain. This is why it is important to identify the stain, thereby choosing the correct chemical. We recommend if you get to this point you call AK or another granite professional to consult on the project!


Wood Floors

  1. Do not use sheet vinyl or tile floor care products on wood floors. Self-polishing acrylic waxes cause wood to become slippery and appear dull quickly.
  2. Use throw rugs both inside and outside doorways to help prevent grit, dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your wood floors. This will prevent scratching.
  3. Do not wet-mop a wood floor. Standing water can dull the finish, damage the wood and leave a discoloring residue.
  4. Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly dampened towel.
  5. Do not over-wax a wood floor. If the floor dulls, try buffing instead. Avoid wax buildup under furniture and other light traffic areas by applying wax in these spots every other waxing session.
  6. Put soft plastic or fabric-faced glides under the legs of furniture to prevent scuffing and scratching.
  7. Avoid walking on your wood floors with cleats, sports shoes and high heels. A 125-pound woman walking in high heels has an impact of 2,000 pounds per square inch. An exposed heel nail can exert up to 8,000 pounds per square inch. This kind of impact can dent any floor surface.
  8. When moving heavy furniture, do not slide it on wood flooring. It is best to pick up the furniture completely to protect the wood flooring.
  9. For wood flooring in the kitchen, place an area rug in front of the kitchen sink.
  10. Use a humidifier throughout the winter months to keep wood movement and shrinkage to a minimum.

Fiber Cement Siding
While fiber cement siding is a low-maintenance product, it does require some care to maintain its appearance. Insect nests and accumulated dirt can easily be removed by power washing. Inspection of caulked joints between butt ends of boards, windows, and doors is recommended each year. Gaps that open when caulk pulls away can easily be filled with a high quality acrylic, latex, or urethane caulk. A well maintained fiber cement siding product generally requires repainting every seven to fifteen years.

Fiber cement product installations are typically not suited for do-it-yourself projects. Special tools and expertise are required to install the product. A builder or siding contractor with experience is recommended for a quality installation.

Keep Your Fiber Cement Siding Clean:
Fiber cement siding should be cleaned yearly using a power washer. When cleaning your siding, use the following procedure:

Look around. Inspect the siding thoroughly, keeping an eye out for accumulations of debris, dirt or mold. Also, check around windows and doors and at all corners for loose or missing caulk. Damaged siding may have to be replaced. Check with your dealer for matching styles and sizes.

Time for a trim. Now is a good time to trim back trees and bushes that have grown up against your house. Remove any branches that hang over or rub against your siding.

Use a little elbow grease. Use a lightweight wire brush to remove accumulated dirt or bird droppings. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water with two tablespoons of dishwashing detergent and use this mixture to remove any mold or mildew stains.


Amazing Uses For Bleach

Plastic Cutting Boards: mix 1 TBSP of Clorox® Regular-Bleach with one gallon of water, soak prewashed cutting board 2 minutes, drain, air dry.

Wooden Cutting Board: mix 3 TBSP Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon water, pour solution over prewashed cutting board, stand 2 minutes, rinse with 1 TBSP Clorox® Regular-Bleach per gallon of water. Do not rinse or soak overnight.

Cut Flowers: add 1/4 teaspoon Clorox® Regular-Bleach to each quart of water used in your vase to extend the life of your freshly cut flowers.


Amazing Uses For Vinegar

Clean the hoses and unclog soap scum from a washing machine. Once a month pour one cup of white vinegar into the washing machine and run the machine through a normal cycle, without clothes.

Keep a garbage disposal clean and smelling fresh. Mix one cup of vinegar in enough water to fill an ice cube tray, freeze the mixture, grind the cubes through the disposal, and flush with cold water.

Prevent misty spots on glassware. Place a cup of white vinegar on the bottom rack of the dishwasher, run for five minutes, then run though the full cycle. A cup of white vinegar run through the entire cycle once a month will also reduce soap scum on the inner workings.

Deodorize a stale lunch box.Soak a paper napkin in vinegar and leave it inside the closed lunch box overnight.

Prevent cracked hard boiled eggs. Add two tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of water before boiling to prevent the eggs from cracking. The egg shells will also peel off faster and easier.

Unclog a shower head. Unscrew the shower head, remove the rubber washer, place the head in a pot filled with equal parts vinegar and water, bring to a boil, then simmer for five minutes.

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