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Protecting Granite Countertops From Heat Damage

One of the biggest reasons people choose to purchase the fairly expensive material of granite for their countertops is because of granite's reputation for being extremely durable. People are amazed and impressed that they are able to cut directly on their granite countertop without fear of damaging it. What damage could a puny steel knife hope to inflict upon a might granite countertop, after all?

Some are aware that granite comes from a molten process of different minerals becoming liquid deep within the earth and then hardening as it rises to the Earth's crust. It is exactly that process that makes granite so tough it must be cut with the same tools that are required to cut diamonds. With that knowledge, it is pretty surprising to think that granite needs to be protected against heat damage.

What Causes Heat Damage?

Although granite is a very durable material, it can still be damaged in a few ways especially if the proper granite countertop sealer is not applied. One of those ways is with heat damage. Repeated exposure to a very hot pot or pan is liable to leave scorch marks or scratches on the surface of your granite countertop. The reason heat is able to cause this damage is because it changes the state of the granite just a little bit. Excess amounts of heat can warm up the granite surface to the point where it is soft enough to be gouged by your pots and pans.

Even in cases where the heat doesn't make your granite soft enough to be scratched, a too hot pan being set directly on the same spot on your granite countertop can lead to scorching on that spot. Scorching is where the surface becomes blackened. It's often difficult to tell if a scorch is directly on the surface of the countertop, or if something that is on the countertop has been scorched. In the second case, the scorching can be removed by using a special paste or cleaning solution.

How Do I Prevent Heat Damage?

The good news is that heat damage to granite countertops is incredibly easy to prevent. Here are a few tips to help you keep your granite countertops looking brand new for years to come.

Tip #1: Don't put hot pots or pans directly on the granite! Now, this may seem like a bit of a no brainer, but some people honestly think that their granite countertop can take the heat. When you have a countertop that is strong enough to be used as a cutting board, and is durable enough that it actually adds value to your house just by being in the kitchen, you start to think that there is nothing granite can't handle. The sheer weight of each granite slab adds to that impression. Still, granite is not impervious to damage, and would greatly benefit from being babied just a little bit.

Tip #2: If you absolutely must set a pot you've cooked with directly on the granite countertop, let the pot cool down a little bit before you do. Just a few degrees of heat can make the difference between suddenly finding a nasty scorch mark on your granite countertop or not finding one. Another great option for still using your granite countertop during cooking without putting it at risk for heat damage is to just use pot holders every time you have to put a pot on the countertop.

When you make the decision to include granite countertops in your kitchen, you do so with the knowledge that it is one of the more expensive choices you can make. So, keep your protected granite countertops from heat damage!

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