Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cleaning: rich ground for a practice

Fast food and frozen dinners are the first things that come to mind when I think of the convenience of food. Aggressive cleaners, loads of product and paper towels are what comes to mind in the convenience of cleaning. Neither of these conveniences are necessarily good for our health. Just like much of our culture, convenience has powerfully invaded our homes. Maybe it is time to take our homes and health back, turning cleaning into the practice of cleaning for health.

As a culture, we don't always value cleaning our homes, nor do we value the person doing the cleaning. So often it is shoved into nooks and crannies of a busy life, a kind of low man on the totem pole philosophy. I say it is time to let the true value of cleaning rise to the top. Not only is cleaning an essential element to a healthy home, when done with the skills and intent of cleaning for health, it also extends the life and value of your home. Cleaning is one of the guiding forces behind a great feeling, beautiful and smoothly run home. But beyond the obvious benefits of cleaning for health, cleaning for health also give us a rich time to practice mindful living.

Cleaning for health as a practice gives you time to do nothing but wash your dishes while breathing and relaxing your shoulders. A time to open up the windows, smell the fresh air and methodically vacuum your floors for the health of your home and not just to remove some fuzz before company comes. A moment each morning to quietly dry your showers walls with nothing in mind but watching the water absorb into the towel. Does this sound slow? On the contrary, slowing down and being mindful gives you time and as an added benefit, a healthy more relaxed home.

Wishing you all a relaxed, healthy and happy home,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How to avoid using a coating on your natural stone

One of the more frustrating calls we get is from someone who needs a coating removed from a brand new surface. Sometimes these coatings were improperly applied, applied to a non recommended surface, or the wet plastic look was not what was intended. Complete removal of a coating is expensive and in the case of a new surface not necessary and avoidable!

There are defiantly coating supporters out there but we spend much of our time inspecting coatings that have uglied out, looking at coatings that were improperly applied and removing coatings for multiple reasons. For us putting a coating on is the last option not the first.

How to avoid using a coating...

1. Pick the surface that has the look & characteristics you want from the start.
Don't select and try to alter the stone or tile after the installation

2. Have your stone and tile professionally cleaned after installation. So often a
surface will look dull and not at all what you remembered in the showroom. A lot of the
time, this is because it is dirty from travel, installation, grout haze and construction soil.
Have it cleaned and watch its true beauty emerge.

3. Don't fall for the "wet look". In the installation process, the stone will get wet,
we tend ooh and aah over the dark stones. Don't make any decisions now.
Wait until the stone is clean and dry. A shiny stone looses the natural essence of stone.
The texture, the color ranges and the true beauty can be hidden from the "wet look".

4. Before sealing, do your research. There are 3 basic types of sealers.
Impregnating sealers, enhancing impregnating sealers and coatings
These 3 sealers are all very different.
Make sure you know what type of sealer is being used, its maintenance and wear
characteristics and if it is even recommended for your surface.
If you want to change the look of your surface do multiple samples and then try to damage
those samples to see what may happen in the real world.

5. When in doubt please call us first.
Not only do we professionally seal but we can also help you make an informed decision.

Wishing you a happy and stress free home,