Maintaining and Cleaning Outdoor Granite Surfaces
One of the most common design aspects in any home is to continue the design outdoors on surfaces such as outdoor kitchens, bars, fire-pits and patio furniture. Keeping your countertops clean and looking beautiful for years to come is as easy to maintain as its indoor counterpart, with a few notable exceptions. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions for you to reference in order to learn the ins and outs of cleaning your outdoor granite countertops.
Do I have to care for my outdoor countertop differently than I do my indoor countertop?
Depending on your living environment, it is highly recommended to cover your countertops with adequate shading such as umbrellas or patio roofing. Direct exposure to the suns rays can affect the finish and color of your stone. This will also make your cleaning that much easier. You should clean with any mild dish soap and water or you can use any dedicated stone cleaning product.
Will animal droppings or waste stain my countertop? What is the best way to clean my countertops of animal waste?
You should always clean your granite as soon as possible. To clean, first remove the residue, and then clean the area with soap and water. Kitchen surface cleansers that do not contain bleach or harsh abrasives are also acceptable.
Will my granite crack from exposure to extreme cold?
When granite is properly installed and cared for, it will not crack due to normal weather conditions.
Will wet leaves stain my countertop?
You should not allow an accumulation of wet leaves to remain on your granite countertops for extended periods of time. If you live in an area where you do not use your outdoor countertops for extended periods due to your climate, we recommend covering your granite.
Will candle wax stain my countertop?
Candle wax will leave markings on your granite as the wax will leave residue in the pores of the stone that will eventually dissipate. To prevent the wax residue, we recommend the use of plates or trays under your candles.
Does Citronella oil stain?
Citronella oil can stain your granite if not cleaned properly. If you leave Citronella oil on your countertops for extended periods of time, it can break through the sealer’s protection. We recommend some type of plate or tray under any containers of Citronella oil.
Some garden tools were left on my tabletop and now there is a rust stain; how can I remove it?
Clean the areas with a mix of baking soda and water, using a soft bristle brush to agitate the rust, and then wipe to remove. If the rust is more stubborn, then you may need to use a rust remover, such as Iron Out, which is commercially available and acceptable for use on granite (it cannot be used on marble or limestone).
Is there a recommended process to clean my countertop after the winter?
You should first clean your countertop with water to rinse off any loose particles of dirt or outdoor debris, and then clean with soap and water. If you feel additional cleaning is necessary, you can clean with any kitchen surface cleanser that does not contain bleach or harsh abrasives.
Do I need to disinfect my outdoor countertop?
No. As dish detergents contain antibacterial agents, cleaning your granite with soap and water will be sufficient. Of course, use of a dedicated stone cleaning product is also recommended and you can use any kitchen cleanser that does not contain bleach or harsh abrasives.
I plan on having an overhang for a bar top; do you recommended supports? My contractor is not sure if supports are necessary?
Your outdoor granite should be supported in the same manner as any indoor installation. Overhangs greater than 10″ should have supports. We can advise you to the specific supports necessary for your application.
Is a brick base foundation suitable for stone installations?
Your stone should be supported by a rigid foundation for prolonged use. If your foundation is unstable or subject to shifting, then it will affect your stone if your installation has seams. Smaller, individual pieces of stone may not necessarily be affected by these circumstances.
Must my outdoor kitchen be installed on concrete? Stone pavers?
Different types of flooring or foundations can be used, but we recommend a poured footing when you are constructing an outdoor kitchen. Smaller pieces of stone do not necessarily require poured footing and can be used with pavers or bricks if they are individual pieces.
Is granite a good material to use as a surround for my outdoor fire-pit or fireplace?
Yes. Granite is a non-combustible material, which makes it an excellent choice for use around your fire pit or fireplace although it is not covered by the warranty.
Why do I need to seal again after a year?
Extreme weather conditions can break through the sealer’s protection. You should re-seal your countertops as necessary. Any good penetrating, or impregnating, sealer should be used when you re-seal.
My countertop gets so hot in the sun; how can I cool it off?
You can cool off your countertops / tabletops by wiping down with tepid water, but do not use very cold water as you need to cool the stone gradually. We suggest the use of umbrellas whenever possible as granite will absorb the heat of the sun; it will not affect the granite other than to make it hot to the touch in extreme sunlight conditions.