How to Disinfect Stone and Other Natural Surfaces: Get Rid of COVID-19

With the Delta variant running rampant, the vast majority of homeowners throughout the United States are concerned about contracting COVID-19. Families in the Carolinas, and around the nation, are taking extra precautions to make sure they stay safe during these challenging times. While you might have hand sanitizer stationed on your front porch, however, what are you actually doing to prevent the COVID-19 virus from living on the exterior of your home? 


If you haven’t been taking steps to disinfect the outside of your house, especially if it is covered with stone or another natural material, this guide is here to help. In the following paragraphs, you’ll discover a few steps you can take to kill not only the coronavirus, but other microbes that could be living on your Carolina home’s cladding. That means this information will be useful long after the coronavirus pandemic ends. 


Clean loose dirt and other debris. 


Stone, in particular, can hang onto dirt particles and other lawn waste due to its porous nature. If this debris had any virus microbes living in it, they can be transferred to your house quite easily. Therefore, it is wise to clean loose dirt and other forms of debris as soon as you notice it. 


In order to keep your home’s stone exterior in the best possible condition, use a soft broom that won’t scratch the surface. If you opt to use a handheld vacuum, make sure the edge of the suction hose doesn’t scrape against your stone. 


Stick with good old soap and water. 


On store shelves and television commercials, you’re likely to see all sorts of cleaning agents that practically promise miracles. In reality, though, many disinfectants are not good for stone and other natural building materials. The chemicals in these products can leave permanent streaks on limestone, granite, marble, and other forms of stone. 


Instead of buying pricey cleaners, the best way to disinfect your exterior stone walls is with old-fashioned soap and water. Mix warm water with your preferred antibacterial or antimicrobial soap, then scrub your stone with a soft sponge. Wipe with a lint-free towel to get it as dry as you can to prevent mold from growing. 


Completely avoid certain ingredients.

There are some ingredients and products that should never be used to clean natural stone walls. These include vinegar and anything else that is highly acidic; it can cause irreversible damage to stone. You should also avoid using any cleaners that contain bleach, which can discolor or streak your stone walls. 


When in doubt, do your research.


If you have questions about using a specific antimicrobial cleaner on your stone cladding, do research first. This may include asking a question on a reputable online forum for homeowners, contacting the manufacturer, or calling a local cleaning company with whom you have a relationship. Before you risk ruining your residential stone exterior for good, always find answers to questions! This is not the time for trial and error. 


Many North Carolina and South Carolina homeowners choose to clean and disinfect their own homes to save money. During these trying times, however, it sometimes makes sense to hire a professional cleaner who really knows how to get rid of viruses from various surfaces. Just make sure social distancing is practiced during your appointment. 

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