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Glacier Blue® Architectural Topics & News
Monthly Educational Newsletter
August 2007
In This Issue
KAL Architecture is Our Architectural Firm of the Month
Educational Topic of the Month: Cleaning & Sealing
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Take a look at some of our Finishes & Edge Treatments
Suggest a Topic and Be Our Architect of the Month!
If you would like to suggest a particular topic of the month, please submit your suggestion to: info@devonianstone.com. If chosen, your architectural firm, along with your topic, may be featured in one of our upcoming issues.
fountain_tilesDevonian Stone of New York, Inc. is a full-service stone mining and fabrication company that specializes in "high-end" cut-to-size Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone products. This stone has been chosen for projects from New York to California, including the courtyard of The Dakota apartment building in New York City, numerous estates in Southern California, The Smithsonian Institute, and many other residential and commercial projects across the country.
Architectural Firm of the Month
bankKAL Architecture is a small architectural firm located at 119 West 23rd Street in Manhattan, NY with Ken Lill as the main architect. The firm specializes primarily in corporate interiors. For the past eight years KAL Architecture has handled all of the First Republic Bank projects for the East coast, each of which uses an extensive amount of stone on both the interior and exterior. Most of the East coast branches have rock sculptures created by San Francisco artist Welton Rotz, works of art in stone that also serve as fountains. Although Ken Lill handles the projects on his own, the most recent branch of the First Republic Bank completed in Manhattan was done in partnership with Jack Esterson of Studio A Architects in New York because of Esterson's expertise with ground up experience. For more information about KAL Architecture contact the firm at (212) 655-9270.
Educational Topic of the Month: Cleaning & Sealing
sealingNatural stone is an incredibly durable material whether used on interior or exterior applications, but in order to retain its inherent beauty, any kind of natural stone requires proper care and maintenance. The best thing to do is to use products that are specifically formulated to prevent deterioration and enhance the beauty of natural stone surfaces.

Natural stone can be classified into two general categories according to its composition: siliceous stone or calcareous stone. Knowing the difference is critical when selecting cleaning products. Siliceous stone is composed mainly of silica or quartz-like particles, and includes stones such as granite, slate, sandstone, quartzite, brownstone and bluestone. Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate, and includes stones such as marble, travertine, limestone and onyx. Calcareous stones are sensitive to acidic cleaning products and frequently require different cleaning procedures than siliceous stone.

The Marble Institute of America recommends the following acidity test to determine whether a stone is calcareous or siliceous: using an eye-dropper, apply a few drops of household vinegar to the stone surface on an area about the size of a quarter. If the stone is calcareous, the vinegar drops will begin to bubble or fizz vigorously. If little or no reaction occurs, the stone can be considered siliceous. Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and wipe dry.

For the basic care of your natural stone, cleaning procedures and recommendations vary according to the types of application in which the stone is used. Dust countertops, islands, and vanities frequently, use place mats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that may scratch your stone's surface, and blot up spills immediately to minimize permanent damage to the stone. Do not place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the surface of many stones.

On floors, the best preventative measure is regular cleaning. The movement of dirt and grit as it is ground into stone tiles can wear away the finish, so the regular use of a dust mop can help keep dirt off the floor and preserve the finish. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and grit that will scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a non-slip surface. Normally, it will take a person about eight steps on a floor surface to remove sand or dirt from the bottom of their shoes. Wet the mop regularly with very hot water, and change the rinse water frequently. If the floor is particularly dirty, the use of a neutral stone cleaner is acceptable. In bathrooms, stone tiles tend to attract soap scum, just like manmade tile. Keep a squeegee handy for shower walls. Rinse vanities and natural stone sinks with hot, clean water and then towel them dry. We don't recommend using bleach, ammonia or other general purpose cleaners, or cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub and tile cleaners on your natural stone surface. Instead, use only neutral cleaners or stone soap available at hardware stores or from your stone dealer.

The use of sealers is also a powerful preventative measure, as they are typically used to protect against stains by blocking pores and small cracks in the stone, keeping liquid on the surface where it can be easily removed. People often assume that natural stone is "stain-proof," however all stone is porous to some degree. If not properly treated with a protective sealer, water, oils or other liquids can easily penetrate the stone, leaving behind unwanted stains.

For countertops and other food preparation areas, the stone should have a high-quality, food-grade sealer applied that is non-toxic and safe for use on food preparation surfaces. You will need to reapply this sealer periodically and the frequency of applications will depend on the sealer, and on the type of stone you have. Vanity Top Surfaces should have a penetrating sealer applied. A good quality marble wax or non-yellowing automobile paste wax can be applied to minimize water spotting. Penetrating sealers are also available for flooring and bath areas. Likewise, the application of additional coats of sealer will depend on the type of stone, the frequency of use, and the manufacturer's recommendations.

There are a variety of stone cleaners and sealers on the market such as those made by StoneTechPro, Stone Technologies, Granite Gold and Revolution Stone Products.

Stone Technologies makes a product called Stone Soap Ultra, which is a highly concentrated water based cleaner used by professionals that has been specifically formulated for natural interior and exterior stone surfaces. This concentrated cleaner is specifically formulated to be "stone friendly" and when diluted won't dull or damage the stone surface or leave any soap residue. This product is pH neutral (pH 7) and will clean down into the pores of all natural stone surfaces to remove dirt, dust, soot, grease, oils, food and beverage spills, finger-prints and scuff-marks. Granite Gold makes a complete line of safe, effective, ammonia-free natural stone care products, including a Daily Cleaner that quickly and safely cleans granite and natural stone.

Our sealer of choice is manufactured by StoneTechPro which makes a line of stone care products including Bullet Proof Sealer, Heavy Duty Sealer, and Heavy Duty Exterior Sealer. These offer protection against the toughest oil and water-based stains and can be used on natural stones such as marble, granite, limestone, slate, terrazzo, travertine and sandstone on interior or exterior surfaces. When using one of their sealing products, the company recommends to, "Always test in a small inconspicuous area with a 24-hour cure time to determine ease of application and desired results. Allow new grout installations to cure for a minimum of 72 hours prior to application. Make sure the surface is clean, dry and free of waxes and coatings. Surface temperature should be between 50°F and 80°F. Ensure that the area is well-ventilated during application and until the surface is dry to the touch. Keep children and pets out of the area until foot traffic resumes." This company also makes a solvent-based product called Impregnator Pro which is formulated with the latest fluorochemical technology and offers heavy duty protection against all stains on natural stones such as marble, granite, limestone, slate, terrazzo, travertine and sandstone. The professional sealers offered by StoneTechPro are available in three different looks. There are "natural look" sealers that penetrate the surface but do not alter the natural color of the stone, "color enhancing" sealers that penetrate the surface and enrich the natural color of the stone, and "high gloss" sealers that coat the surface and provide a shiny, wet look. The expected wear for most sealers is 3-5 years for interior surfaces and 1-3 years for exterior surfaces.

For questions about the maintenance, care and cleaning of your natural stone surface, don't hesitate to contact your stone dealer for a professional opinion. There is no substitute for natural stone when it comes to beauty, practicality and value. Keeping your natural stone beautiful is something you will enjoy, and no one ever regretted having chosen natural stone over its alternatives.

Educational Topic for Next Month:
Avoiding Freeze & Thaw Damage to Exterior Paving Applications
Need Samples?
If you would like us to send you samples of our Glacier Blue® Devonian Sandstone, we will be happy to! You may send your request to info@devonianstone.com with "Sample Request" in the subject line. Please provide us with your name, the name of your architectural firm or company, and your mailing address. Please allow 2-3 weeks for us to process your request.
We hope you enjoyed the August edition of our informative monthly e-newsletter. For questions, comments or more information, please e-mail or call us today.
Sincerely,
Robert Bellospirito, President
Devonian Stone of New York, Inc.

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