Granite Cracks – Why Wait for a Repair?

Ok, another article about granite crack repair! I promise this is new information.

We have had several clients call with rusted rod cracks that are not large enough to break and extract the rod and may not even be large enough to perform our proprietary 1 year warranty injection method to recoat the rod with epoxy, grind, an polish the surface.

I looked at a crack in April that was 18 inches long and about 1/8 inch wide. The crack began near the center of the sink and extended just beyond the right side of the sink. The crack was in the center of the rail with no tributary cracks extending to either side of the rail. The entire kitchen was only about 40 square feet with a standard bullnose. The customer had agreed on a $1000 price to make the repair. Like most of these repairs, we evaluated and bid it over the phone based on pictures that our customer sent. Due to the number of calls we receive, to provide timely estimates to each caller, we can’t see every project in person.

Granite Crack Before Repair
Granite Crack Before Repair

During the in-person evaluation that occurs at the start of each repair, in April, the customer concluded that the repair cost went a long way toward cost of total replacement for the counters in his small kitchen. As a courtesy I referred him to a local fabricator, refunded his deposit, and wished him luck with his project.

Seven months later he called again asking for the repair. For financial reasons he had to put aside his replacement project and as the months passed, the crack expanded and moved toward the bullnose. While the crack became more severe, the prospect for a successful repair actually became more certain. From the new pictures it appeared that we could break the sink rail, cut out the rod, and fit everything back together. After grinding and aesthetic adhesive repair, the crack would disappear.

We arrived in mid-November to perform the repair. After clamping the sink rail on a spot that could be used as a fulcrum to break the pieces apart, the rod was cut and extracted where possible and covered with epoxy where it was still embedded in the granite above the subtop. Breaking the counter when possible, instead of cutting them saves material and allows us to put the pieces back together more seamlessly.

Once the rod was removed, the pieces were cleaned and prepped to be glued back in place using a true two part fast setting epoxy resin. The pieces were carefully glued back in place and clamped to make sure they stayed true and level during the curing process. The finishing process can then take place which includes grinding and polishing, and well as chip and hope filling.

Granite Counter Crack After Repair
Granite Counter Crack After Repair

I teach an in depth online class for these repairs that can be found here:  https://stonecareedu.com/collections/professional-services/products/granite-repairs-crack-repair-seam-repair-other-misc-repairs

The videos below illustrate the two types of repair techniques. While we prefer to break and extract the rod, the more common repair is the injection method.

Here is an example of a project that allowed us to remove the rod:

If the rod can not be exposed, cut, and removed without causing further damage, the Epoxy Injection Method is used. The crack is cleaned out, dried with a torch or heat gun, and epoxy is injected into the crack in an attempt to coat the rod and hold the counter together. We use a real two part epoxy adhesive for this. Beware companies that use “flowing” or “penetrating” resins. These are not real epoxies and will break down around water.

Here is a video discussing three recent Injection Method repairs.


Ted is the owner of Sureshine Care and Restoration Services, Inc. in Orange County California with an office in Morgan Hill, California. Ted has been polishing and restoring natural stone and tile since 1987, has written a book on the subject and teaches a four day intensive hands on seminar to teach interested students the stone restoration trade. Most recently, Ted was instrumental in the completion of the new Stone Restoration Standard by the Marble Institute of America. For more information on the stone restoration standard click here.

If you are in need of services in the Bay Area or Southern California, please call us at (800)378-0266 or email repairs@sureshinecares.com.

Travertine & Marble Polishing and Sealing Project

Sureshine recently completed a 900 square foot travertine refinishing project with a lot of holes, scratches, and other damage. I made this video to show the process behind a refinishing project of this kind. Many of the videos that you see online are simply before and afters, or are process videos with no explanations. With this video I wanted to provide a more detailed explanation of a project of this kind. If you have any questions or would like to discuss a project in your home or business, please call Sureshine at 800-378-0266.

Sureshine services more than 1000 customers per year from two locally operated offices in Orange County / LA County, Huntington Beach, CA and Santa Clara County, Morgan Hill, CA. Call us today to schedule your estimate.

Here you see travertine floor cleaning, polishing, and sealing; as well as travertine counter refinishing, polishing, and sealing.

Ted is the owner of Sureshine Care and Restoration Services, Inc. in Orange County California with an office in Morgan Hill, California. Ted has been polishing and restoring natural stone and tile since 1987, has written a book on the subject and teaches a four day intensive hands on seminar to teach interested students the stone restoration trade. Most recently, Ted was instrumental in the completion of the new Stone Restoration Standard by the Marble Institute of America. For more information on the stone restoration standard click here.

If you are in need of services in the Bay Area or Southern California, please call us at (800)378-0266 or email info@sureshinecares.com.

Get Spick n’ Span with Tile Cleaning and Grout Sealing

Get Spick n’ Span with Tile Cleaning and Grout Sealing
By Robert Russell

While a general cleaning of the house is easy, there are specific things that require extra attention and care. The flooring is one such example. Cleaning your tile floor on your own is not as easy as you may think it is. While you may be cleaning it a little every day, overtime it becomes impossible as dirt keeps getting accumulated and more and more resistant to cleaning. Professional tile cleaning and grout sealing services help you get a ‘brand new’ look and finish. Tile and grout floors are excellent and provide the look, durability and great resistance but if you don’t take care of it, it’ll lose all of that.

The problem is that people often directly mop a floor making the dirt stronger. It is necessary to first dry sweep or vacuum a floor before using a mop. This ensures the dirt does not go deep into the surface. It’s also very important to wash the mop after cleaning to ensure that it does not stick to the dirt. Sometimes, we may be using certain cleaning products that are very harsh only making our floor more and more damaged with every use. Every different kind of flooring has different cleaning needs and you need to ensure you are not damaging your floor in efforts to clean it the wrong way! That’s where a professional comes in, to help you understand your flooring, its needs and specific requirements.

Grout is a highly porous material and it therefore easily collects all the dirt, grime and every spill! This often makes it lose its original look and discolors the flooring. A daily cleaning process may not be effective on grout as one can’t reach deep enough for complete spick and span results. The dirt reaches deep within the grout lines and normal cleaning solutions and tools don’t have the power to reach deep within. Professionals and experts have the right products and equipment that get the job done! High pressure water and vacuum cleaning may be all you need if you have been regularly relying on expert cleaning help but sometimes it could be more. Today, it’s even possible to get a seal done over your tiled floors, post cleaning, to help it remain cleaner and sparkling for a much longer time. This seal stops the grime and spills to get to deep into the floor.

Tile cleaning and grout sealing enhance the overall look and hygiene of your home environment!

Robert Russell operates Elements Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Services in Windsor, Ontario Canada. Please check out his web site at elementsrestoration.ca or email him at  for more information.

Clearstone Marble Sealer Application and Care

Sureshine was asked by a prestigious race track if we had a solution to the etching problem on their marble table in their VIP lounge. The table was approximately fifteen feet long by four feet wide, was polished, and had numerous etch marks from glasses and bottles.

Marble Counter Before Clearstone

Etched Marble Counter Before Clearstone

Marble Counter Before Clearstone
Marble Counter Before Clearstone
Marble Counter Before Clearstone
Marble Counter Before Clearstone

In the past we would simply tell the customer that the nature of the stone is to etch and if they wanted it be polished, it must be refinished often. That is no longer the case.

Clearstone is a durable, long lasting, self leveling liquid coating that is applied to the counter and sanded to whatever shine the customers desires. In this case the highest natural looking shine attainable was what the customer wanted. The surface was carefully prepared to accept the coating by Sureshine, a licensed applicator if the Clearstone product. Once the coating was poured and applied and allowed to cure, it was refinished much like the stone to a high polish. The resulting finish will never etch or stain as long as the coating stays intact.

Clearstone will Never Etch and Never Stain. Clearstone comes with a 10 year stain and etch proof warranty.

Marble Counter After Clearstone
Marble Counter After Clearstone
Marble Counter After Clearstone
Marble Counter After Clearstone
Marble Counter After Clearstone
Marble Counter After Clearstone
Marble Counter After Clearstone
Marble Counter After Clearstone
Marble Counter After Clearstone
Marble Counter After Clearstone

Ted is the owner of Sureshine Care and Restoration Services, Inc. in Orange County California with an office in Morgan Hill, California. Ted has been polishing and restoring natural stone and tile since 1987, has written a book on the subject and teaches a four day intensive hands on seminar to teach interested students the stone restoration trade. Most recently, Ted was instrumental in the completion of the new Stone Restoration Standard by the Marble Institute of America. For more information on the stone restoration standard click here.

If you are in need of services in the Bay Area or Southern California, please call us at (800)378-0266 or email info@sureshinecares.com.

Granite Crack Repairs Explained

Granite Cracks Explained

We receive several calls per week regarding cracks in the front and/or rear edge of under mount sinks. Occasionally there is a crack by a drop in sink as well but it is rare. It is rare because of the cause.

Under mount sink rails are especially susceptible to these types of cracks because of the break down in the caulk sealant around the sink. As the caulk erodes water enters the space between the wood suptop and the counter causing the steel support rod to rust. A suptop is a 5/8″ – 3/4″ piece of plywood that in installed between the cabinets and the counter to provide structure and support to the counter. Recently, within the last five years, the granite fabrication industry has moved away from steel support rods to fiberglass and other materials, but steel has been the rodding material of choice for twenty years.

How Granite Cracks Happen

One of the biggest geographical differences between the West Coast and the rest of the United States is the thickness of granite counters and the need for support. Still, many granite and quartz counters installed on the West Coast are 2 cm in thickness. The fabricator laminates to pieces together to create a thick edge or bullnose. The sink can be between the suptop and the counter or installed under the counter using a sink setter or straps. It is common for the sink to be sandwiched between the granite and the suptop. Because of this arrangement the intrusion of water is a particular problem. The support rod is usually encased in a polyester rodding glue that breaks down under prolonged contact with moisture. This breakdown along with the absorption of water into the underside of the granite creates all of the conditions necessary for the rod to corrode and begin to expand. The expansion is slow and steady and acts like a spreader pushing the granite apart.

It begins with a small crack usually on the right side of the sink. If you have a crack, look at the inside of your sink rail. You should see a crack or void in your sealant where moisture has been allowed to enter for some time. Unfortunately, your counter has already begun its slow failure. The best thing that can be done now is to reduce or retard the corrosion as much as possible. To do this, remove the caulking, and stop using your sink until the moisture is gone. You can speed the drying by directing a torch or heat gun into the crevice to remove as much of the moisture as possible and reapply a waterproof sealant to the sink. Silicone is recommended. This will not completely remove the danger of corrosion but will slow it down.

If the crack on the sink rail is large enough to see a gap between the pieces, a repair must be performed by an experienced stone restoration professional. The process for this typically includes filling the crack with a flowing epoxy, grinding the surface flat, and filling again with aesthetic adhesive so the appearance blends with the rest of the counter.

Removal of the rod is not always possible

Of course the most permanent solution is to remove the rod. This is much easier to do on the East Coast were 3 cm granite is used without a subtop. When this is the case the sink is installed using straps, sink setters, and other methods. This allows a repair technician to drop the sink and see the rod and in many cases remove the rod without too much effort. A repair of this kind still takes time, but the removal of the rod offers a much better long term value to the customer by saving the counter.

West Coast repairs are limited by the subtop and the severity of the crack.  Recently I was called to the project were the client let his counter crack to the point that is was falling apart and rust was being pushed to the surface. In this case I was able to remove the rod and glue the pieces back together.

20160831_101649 20160831_121023

You can see how corroded the granite rod is and the stain that the oxidation left in the granite. This photo was taken immediately prior to re-installation of a white silicone sealant around the sink.

It still amazes me however when a counter has been allowed to crack to a point almost beyond repair. Further still, these repairs still may not allow for the removal of the rod due to the numerous cracks and the crumbling of the top and the presence of a suptop. Filling the large gap with a flowing epoxy, grinding, the surface, and polishing is an option but as I said, it is not a permanent repair. An example of a repair of this kind is in the video below.

The bad news is that so many counters were installed during the housing boom in most parts of the country using steel for rodding support. I estimate that there are 10,000 rusting rods in the American Southwest alone. My company receives 2-3 calls a day now for these types of repairs and we repair 4-5 per week. We expect this number to double in the coming years.

The good news is that reputable granite fabricators no longer use steel for their rodding support. So you can rest assured that the industry is policing itself. You should ask a lot of questions of your fabricator to make sure you are getting what you pay for. Consider using a member of the Stone Fabricators Alliance and the Marble Institute of America. Both of these organizations hold their members to stringent codes of conduct.

About the author:

Ted is the owner of Sureshine Care and Restoration Services, Inc. in Orange County California with an office in Morgan Hill, California. Ted has been polishing and restoring natural stone and tile since 1987, has written a book on the subject and teaches a four day intensive hands on seminar to teach interested students the stone restoration trade. If you are in need of services in Southern California, please call us at (800)378-0266 or email info@sureshinecares.com.

Natural stone shower care and restoration made easy

Natural stone shower care is easier than it seems.

When it comes to taking care of natural stone showers out customers have gotten a lot of conflicting advice over the years. Squeegee the wall, dry them with a towel, don’t squeegee, leave the door open, use bleach in corners, never use bleach, the advice from professionals goes on and on and in many cases is full of contradictions.

It seems that all of this advice leaves clients with more questions than answers. Sureshine understands this confusion and has worked hard over the years to take the guess work out of your long term shower care. During your evaluation a skilled stone restoration expert will look at the problem areas and  offer concrete ways to ensure that your shower will stay cleaner longer.

Some maintenance suggestions include:102_0028

  1. Getting rid of the soap scum causing bar soap. Doing this one thing can cut long term maintenance costs and headaches in half. We recommend using liquid soap.
  2. Squeegeeing or wiping down the walls after each use or after the last shower of the day. This will prevent minerals in water from bonding to the stone causing spotting and eventually mineral build-up. This can happen even with a potassium based water softener.
  3. Use only cleaners that are specifically designed not to hurt marble. If it says “marble” it also will be safe for travertine and limestone. Easyoxy multi-surface cleaner from Easystonecare.com is a great clean102_0034er that can be used to clean everything in your home except glass. We highly recommend it.
  4. On honed or textured shower floors, the corners can be hard to clean. Periodic use of a dilute bleach solution in the corners will eliminate mold and mildew and will wash down the drain during your showers. Just allow to sit for five to ten minutes and allow your shower to run a minute longer before entering.
  5. Call Sureshine if you ever have any questions or need service.

Long lasting stone shower restoration.

Sureshine will restore your natural stone shower back to its original “like new” condition, reseal the surfaces, repair missing grout or regrout areas as needed, and provide advice to maximize the condition over the long term.

Services that Sureshine provides on natural stone showers includes:

  1. Refinishing the stone surface to a hone, satin or polished finish. This service will remove minerals lines and build-up, acid marks from improper cleaners, and soap scum. The surface is wet sanded and honed to the desired finish and sealed.
  2. When the grout around the perimeter of the shower is missing, it can cause serious long term problems. Whenever you see gaps or holes in the floor grout it should be repaired immediately. We recommend not using the shower until it is repaired so the pan does not fill up with water or can be sufficiently dry for the repair to hold. Grout color can be inconsistent around a shower perimeter when the gap has been left open for awhile. This is the result of water wicking up from under the grout.
  3. Deep cleaning of travertine, marble, limestone, and tile showers is a common service that we offer. The surfaces are deep cleaned with chemicals and mild abrasives to remove as much of the contaminants from stone and grout as possible. Please keep in mind that grout is porous, and even the cleanest grout can have tonal color differences differences when the service is competed.

Over the years I have posted project videos on my youtube account.  Check them out below to see what you can expect from your shower restoration and give us a call at 800-378-0266 with any questions or to schedule your complimentary evaluation.

Marble shower restoration, polishing, and sealing

Travertine shower deep cleaning, mold and mildew removal, and sealing

About the author:

Ted is the owner of Sureshine Care and Restoration Services, Inc. in Orange County California with an office in Morgan Hill, California. Ted has been polishing and restoring natural stone and tile since 1987, has written a book on the subject and teaches a four day intensive hands on seminar to teach interested students the stone restoration trade. If you are in need of services in Southern California, please call us at (800)378-0266 or email info@sureshinecares.com.

Travertine Honing and Polishing

Travertine Polishing and Sealing

Here is an example of a travertine refinishing service in process. The floor was honed and the customer wanted a polish. Sureshine wet sanded the floor to a high shine. The floor was then polished and sealed. Call Sureshine at (714) 841-8300.

 

 

Honed Travertine Before Polishing Honed Travertine During  Polishing Perfectly Polished Travertine Floor

 

About the author:

Ted is the owner of Sureshine Care and Restoration Services, Inc. in Orange County California with an office in Morgan Hill, California. Ted has been polishing and restoring natural stone and tile since 1987, has written a book on the subject and teaches a four day intensive hands on seminar to teach interested students the stone restoration trade. If you are in need of services in Southern California, please call us at (800)378-0266 or email info@sureshinecares.com.

Ted McFadden Delivers Stone Restoration Standard at Coverings 2016

Sureshine Sets the Standard for Stone Restoration!

 

Hello I am Ted McFadden the owner of Sureshine. I am pleased to announce that I was asked to deliver the new Stone Restoration Standard to the world at this past Coverings Trade Show in Chicago. This was a major project, originally started by a team of thirty and finished by a team of less than ten in three years. The new standard is 108 pages and replaces the old chapter in the Marble Institutes Design Manual that totaled eight pages. Some of the best stone restoration professionals in in the country were involved in this project. I was please and honored to take a major role in the completion of this document.

From marble polishing and repair to granite restoration to exterior stone cleaning and sealing, everything is in the new standard. You can find the new standard, free of charge here.

Delivering the Standard

I was asked to be involved because I wrote “The Stone Care Guide” a popular stone restoration textbook that is widely used by new stone restorers as a reference. You can find the stone care guide at Easy Stone Care a site that sells terrific stone care products to both homeowners and professionals. This unique knowledge of stone refinishing has helped me train my technicians to be the most thorough and best technicians on the West Coast of the United States. The entire team believe that with all that we do to create the TOTAL QUALITY customer experience, there is no equal in the marketplace.

Call Sureshine today at 7148418300 and schedule your complimentary estimate.

 

About the author:

Ted is the owner of Sureshine Care and Restoration Services, Inc. in Orange County California with an office in Morgan Hill, California. Ted has been polishing and restoring natural stone and tile since 1987, has written a book on the subject and teaches a four day intensive hands on seminar to teach interested students the stone restoration trade. If you are in need of services in Southern California, please call us at (800)378-0266 or email info@sureshinecares.com.

Granite Counter Polishing and Repair

Granite Counter Polishing and Repair

Granite has steadily become the surface of choice for stone counters. Granite is easy to clean, does not etch with acids, and if sealed properly will not stain. But there are times when when your granite surfaces need attention.

Over time a heavily used granite counter space can become dulled by the constant abrasion of porcelain dishes, metal hardware,and other impliments. When this happens the surface needs to be polished. This is done using specialized tooling and polishes. Once the surface is brought back to a polish it is detailed and sealed. Your newly polished granite will last for years.

Cracks around the sinks can happen when a steel rod has been placed in the granite for strength around the sink hole. Water intrusion causes the steel to expand as it rusts. These cracks run parallel to the sink and in many cases are not permanently repairable. At Sureshine we have a developed a method of repair that will extend the life of your counters. The cracks are filled with flowing fast curing epoxy then ground flat. Once flat the surface is filled with aesthetic adhesives to make the repair look as natural as possible.

Services Offered:

1. Granite Counter Clean and Seal – Removal of all residues and debris from the surfaces, application of the highest quality sealer, buffing to remove residues and polish.
2. Granite Counter Polish, Clean, and Seal – Mild abrasive restorative polishing prior to detail cleaning and sealing.
3. Granite Counter Repair – Includes Cracks in front and behind the sink, holes, and seam repairs. Please call us for more information on these services.

Examples of our Work
 Granite Crack Repair - Before  Granite Crack Repair - After and ready for use.
Granite Seam Repair in Porgress The perfect polish

Cracked granite counter to be repaired
This crack is caused by a rusting steel rod cut into the underside of the granite.

Granite Crack Repair and Clean and Seal
Granite Crack Repair and Clean and Seal

Get the Most From your Investment:

1. Keep areas around fixtures clean and dry
2. Put soap and other cleaning products on trays away from the surface
3. Blot spills with a paper or microfiber towel and use Easyoxy to remove residues
4. When cleaning the surface do not use dish soap or other highly concentrated cleaning agent. These product attract dirt and build-up that can be hard to clean over time.
5. For polished surfaces, use Ultimate Stone and Multisurface Polish periodically (Weekly or semi-monthly as needed).
6. Do not cut directly on the surface. Use a cutting board.
7. Periocically check the caulking around your sink and backsplash and repair if necessary.
8. It is generally not advisable to set hot pots directly on the counter. Using trivets can prevent damage.
9. Use a your favorite daily cleaner regularly to remove residues.

Products to buy:

Easy Oxy
Ultimate
Stain Remover

Honed Granite Absolute Granite Refinishing

Honed Absolute Granite Refinishing and Honing

Recently, we refinished honed granite kitchen counters for a very good client. Though honed absolute black is a terrific counter top material that delivers years of useful life, it does tend to need service from time to time. We refinished all of the spots off the surface and deep cleaned it to remove any oils and grease.

Granite Counter Before.

 

       Black Granite Counter
 Black Granite Counter - Close-up before refinishing
 Black Granite Counter
 Black Granite Counter

Granite Counters After Refinishing and Honing

 

The granite surface was wet sanded to remove lines, marks, and swirls. The surface diamond polished to a nice satin finish then color enhanced to both darken the surface and seal it to reduce future issues. This kind of service must be done once every three or four years.

Black Granite Counter
 Black Granite Counter
 Black Granite Counter
 Black Granite Counter

 

About Ted McFadden

Ted is the owner of Sureshine Care and Restoration Services, Inc. in Orange County California with an office in Morgan Hill, California. Ted has been polishing and restoring natural stone and tile since 1987, has written a book on the subject and teaches a four day intensive hands on seminar to teach interested students the stone restoration trade. If you are in need of services in Southern California, please call us at (800)378-0266 or email info@sureshinecares.com.