For most homeowners, winter is a time to take account of your home. Not only are you decorating for holidays and preparing for family, ‘Tis also the season to make a few lists and check them twice regarding household maintenance. The winter is the perfect time to handle a few home interior upkeep tasks. While repainting the porch can wait for warmer weather, now is a great time to tighten your handles, oil your hinges, and re-caulk the windows. It’s also a good time to consider countertop care.
Your countertops are front-and-center during the holiday season. The sheer volume of food prepared in your kitchen may overshadow home meals for the rest of the year. From the treats you prepare solo to the many family members helping with the big holiday feasts, your countertops will see a lot of action in the next several weeks. Are you and the countertops ready?
Getting Your Countertops Ready for the Holidays
- Check Your Resealing Schedule
- Stock Up On Hot Pads, Trivets, and Cutting Boards
- Retrieve Your Step Stool
- Granite Safe Scrubbing Gear
Resealing Your Countertops: Is It Time?
Stone countertops aren’t just exposed solid stone. Because granite is porous and can absorb water (and stains) it’s usually protected by a layer of smooth sealant over the surface of your countertop. This ensures your stone is safe from moisture, stains, and anything strong enough to scratch it.
Once, countertops would need resealing once a year which started our tradition of yearly countertop maintenance. However, sealant has been much improved in the last decade and now you only need to reseal every 3-5 years before the sealant starts to lift and chip away, or wear down from regular cleaning.
Signs Your Countertop Needs Resealing This Year:
- No longer perfectly smooth when perfectly clean.
- Run your hand over a freshly clean countertop. If you feel imperfections, this means the sealant is wearing away.
- Cloudy appearance
- If your countertop has started to look cloudy like a fogged mirror, this can be the sealant lifting from the stone.
- Lifting and Chipping
- You’ve started to notice the top of your counter lifting and then chipping away like dry paint
- Stains and Scratches
- Stains and scratches are usually only sealant-deep. Replacing the sealant will restore your counter to its pristine natural stone beauty.
How long has it been since your countertop was resealed? If you’re not sure, consider now to be a great pre-holiday time to ensure your countertop stays beautiful and safe.
Protect Your Countertops from Holiday Damages
Granite and even soft marble countertops are incredibly durable when sealed, but your benchtops still require special care to keep them perfect. The holidays are a time when countertops are most likely to take those little spots of damage from hot pans and tons of cleaning. Here’s how to make sure your countertops stay pristine while still focusing all your attention on producing one or more amazing holiday feasts with the whole family.
Hot Pads and Trivets
Sealant can melt and stone can discolor if exposed to too much direct heat. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep your counters safe from heat with one or two extra items in the kitchen. Stock up on hot pads and trivets (which are hot pads for your countertop) so that hot pans never set on the stone directly.
Extra Cutting Boards
When the whole family is prepping food, you may need a few extra cutting boards. Make sure no one in a hurry starts chopping directly on the countertop by having more than a few cutting boards ready for constant use.
Use Your Step-Stool Wisely
Most people don’t know this, but it is not safe to climb on a solid stone countertop. Placing stress in the wrong place can potentially crack the whole slab. At the same time, we know that your roasting dish, Christmas linens, or holiday cocktail glasses are hidden in those upper cabinet spaces and it’s a long reach up.
To stop yourself (and over-eager young relatives) from climbing on the counters for up-high storage, make sure your step stool is available. Keep it handy and fodled nearby in the kitchen so that any tall reach doesn’t result in a quick knee up on the granite.
Stone-Safe Scrubbing Solutions
Finally prepare for some major cleaning. Nothing can make a kitchen mess like holday feast prep (or cooking with family). You will likely wipe your counters down a few hundred times during this season, but never scrub with a brillo pad or similar. You can wear away the sealant with that intense abrasive action. Instead, stock up on plastic brushes and Barkeeper’s Friend (and other stone-safe scrubbing cleaners) so you can get up the most stubborn sauce spills without risking your stone seal.
Considering New Countertops for the New Year
Finally, the new year is an important time to think about improvements you can make to your home. If your countertops have seen better days (or if you just want to make a change) winter is a great time to plan new countertops installation. If your countertops are already cracked, scratched, or stained beyond what resealing can repair, the new year is perfect for new countertops.
As an interior upgrade, there’s no need to fret about cold weather when exploring your options for stone, color, and grain to reinvent the entire appearance of your kitchen. Fall in love with a slab and have new countertops custom-cut. You can even take the opportunity of new countertop design to completely reimagine your kitchen cabinetry and even the floorplan layout. Face the new year with a glorious new kitchen – and a new perrspective on keeping those gleaming countertops in perfect condition for years to come.
New Year, New Outlook on Countertops
Whether you’re planning all-new countertops or just need a fresh layer of professionally applied sealant, contact us today. Here at Arch City Granite, we know that the holidays are a big time for countertops. Let yours be the star of the show for countless hours spent meal-prepping with family. We look forward to being a part of your perfect kitchen experience.