If you have a granite countertop, you probably chose it for its beauty and durability. Granite is one of the most popular materials for countertops due to its strength, heat resistance, and easy maintenance. However, sometimes granite countertop flakes, chips, or peeling. In this article, we will explore the possible causes of countertop flaking and provide tips on prevention and care.
Why Is My Granite Countertop Flaking?
The most common reason for countertop flaking is the wearing off of the sealant. Granite is a porous material that requires sealing to prevent staining and damage. When the sealant wears off, the granite becomes vulnerable to stains and damage. If you notice your countertop flaking, it’s essential to assess the condition of the sealant and consider reapplying it.
Other Possible Causes of Countertop Flaking
Granite countertop flaking can also occur when the granite surface is damaged due to various reasons. Let’s take a look at them below.
- Improper Installation: If the countertop was not installed correctly, it can lead to flaking. Insufficient support or inadequate adhesive can cause the weight of the granite to result in cracks or breakage.
- Exposure to Water: Excessive exposure to water, especially in areas with heavy rainfall or if proper cleaning methods are not followed, can contribute to flaking. Using too much water or not properly drying the countertop can weaken the sealant and damage the granite surface.
- Failure to Follow Manufacturer Cleaning Instructions: Not following the recommended cleaning methods and products specified by the manufacturer can lead to flaking. Improper cleaning techniques or using harsh chemicals can damage the granite and compromise its integrity.
- Lack of Regular Polishing: Regular polishing helps maintain the granite surface and keeps it in good condition. Neglecting to polish the countertop can result in the buildup of dirt, which can lead to damage and flaking over time.
- Use of Sharp Objects: Cutting directly on the countertop with sharp objects, such as knives, can cause damage to the surface and contribute to flaking. It’s important to use cutting boards or other suitable surfaces to protect the granite.
- Exposure to High Temperatures or Chemicals: Repeated contact with high temperatures or exposure to acidic substances like vinegar or harsh chemicals can warp or crack the granite, leading to flaking. It’s essential to avoid placing hot items directly on the countertop and use appropriate cleaning products.
- Insufficient Maintenance or Care: Neglecting regular maintenance or proper care of the granite countertop can contribute to flaking. Lack of cleaning, sealing, or polishing can result in the deterioration of the granite surface and increase the risk of flaking.
How to Prevent Countertop Flaking and Peeling
To keep your granite countertop in good condition and prevent flaking and peeling, follow these simple steps:
- Clean your countertop with warm water and mild soap, then rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth or paper towel.
- Apply a thin layer of primer before adding a clear-coat paint and allow it to dry completely. This will provide an additional protective layer to the surface.
- Use suitable utensils or oven mitts when placing hot items on the countertop to avoid direct heat exposure. Heat can cause the granite to expand or contract, leading to cracks or flaking.
- Use trivets or other protective items under pots and pans to prevent damage to the granite surface. This helps distribute the weight and reduces the risk of impact-induced damage.
- Place wax paper under objects placed on top of your granite countertop, as it reduces friction and protects the surface from scratches or dullness over time.
- Regularly seal or polish your granite countertop according to manufacturer recommendations. This will help maintain the integrity of the sealant and keep the surface protected.
If you follow the tips stated above, you can minimize the risk of flaking and peeling and ensure the longevity of your granite countertop.
What to Do When Your Granite Countertop Is Flaking?
If your granite countertop is showing visible damage such as chips or cracks, it is important to investigate the cause. In such cases, the adhesive holding the granite together may be compromised. Contacting a professional to assess the situation is advisable as they have the expertise to determine the underlying issue.
A professional can run tests to identify the exact cause of the flaking. This could be due to a number of factors, such as excessive moisture in the house, weak subfloor construction, or improper installation. If the adhesive is found to be ineffective, they will recommend replacing it with a new one to restore the integrity of the countertop.
It is crucial to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Prompt action can help save your countertop from extensive repairs or replacement.
However, if professional assistance is not immediately available or if you prefer to attempt repairs yourself, you can follow these steps:
- Ensure that all of your counters are clean and dry before starting the repair process. This will provide a clean surface for effective repairs.
- Apply a thin layer of oil (avoid mineral oil) on top of your countertop using a cloth or paper towel. This step helps prevent dust from sticking to your counters and minimizes the chance of small chips falling off during the repair process.
- Carefully remove any chips with a putty knife or a similar tool, taking caution to avoid causing further damage. Gently scrape away loose or flaking areas to create a smooth surface.
- After removing the damaged portions, clean the area again to remove any debris or residue from the repair process.
- Depending on the severity of the damage, you may consider using a granite repair epoxy or filler to fill in the gaps or chips. Follow the product instructions carefully and apply the filler evenly to ensure a seamless repair.
- Allow the epoxy or filler to cure completely before using the countertop. This typically involves leaving it undisturbed for a specified period of time as mentioned in the product instructions.
- Once the repair is complete, clean the countertop again to remove any excess residue or marks from the repair process.
- Consider applying a fresh coat of sealant to protect the repaired area and maintain the overall integrity of the countertop.
Remember, DIY repairs may not always provide the same level of professional results, especially for significant damage. If you are uncertain or uncomfortable with the repair process, it’s best to consult a professional to ensure proper restoration of your granite countertop.
Granite countertops are a popular choice for their durability, beauty, and versatility. While they can develop flaking and peeling over time, proper care and maintenance can prevent these issues. Regular cleaning, sealing, and adherence to manufacturer guidelines will help preserve the beauty and longevity of your granite countertop.
In case of flaking or visible damage, it’s important to investigate the cause and address it promptly. Seeking professional assistance ensures accurate assessment and appropriate repairs. However, if you choose to tackle the repairs yourself, take caution and follow the steps outlined above to achieve the best possible results.
By implementing preventive measures and promptly addressing any issues, you can enjoy the enduring elegance of your granite countertop for years to come.