Stone countertops such as granite are relatively simple to care for, and they make cleaning up spills and messes easy. By using common sense and not placing hot cookware on them, you can keep the surface looking new and in good shape. Stone countertops are one of the most durable building materials found in homes today. Most cracks generally occur due to other elements such as user accidents, poor installations, and foundation settlement.
Most granite countertops that have been professionally installed are less subject to cracking; however, it can happen. There are some basic DIY steps you can use to repair them. If you have more serious cracks in your stone countertop, it’s a good idea to have them repaired by a professional stonemason. You may also want to call a soil remediation company to inspect your foundation.
What’s the Difference Between a Crack and a Fissure?
Although a fissure may look like a crack at first glance, there is a difference. A fissure is a small and naturally occurring imperfection in the stone itself. Fissures do not change the plane of the stone, unlike a crack that will change the plane from one side to the other and cause the surface to be unlevel. Additionally, cracks generally appear in one place where the added stress is occurring, while fissures typically occur in different areas of the countertop.
One way to check to see if it’s a crack or fissure that you’re dealing with is to use your fingernail and run it across the area. If it glides across the area without snagging, chances are it’s a fissure. If your fingernail catches the edge and it feels course, it’s more likely a crack. If you determine that you have a crack, there are two types, and each one will determine your course of action.
Hairline cracks are hard to feel and see, and they don’t have a lip, change the plain, or have a gap. Hairline cracks can occur during the installation as the heavy stone is moved into place. They’re more likely to happen in sections of the granite where cutouts are present and don’t require repair. Hairline cracks will not affect the integrity of the stone or the use of the countertop, and they will not grow.
Separated cracks are just the opposite of a hairline crack. You can easily see them, and they have a lip and gap. Separated cracks occur from an excessive weight on top of the countertop, standing on them, or foundation settlement and require repair. Most homeowners would like to replace the unsightly cracked slab. However, even with the best installation, replacement slabs can still get a separated crack if the reasons just mentioned are occurring.
5 Basic DIY Steps for Stone Countertop Crack & Fissure Repair
- Step 1: Use a 50-50 mixture of warm water and household ammonia or acetone and clean the entire surface around the crack. Let it air dry for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Step 2: Buy a good quality granite epoxy and mix it according to directions on the package. It’s a good idea to mix just enough resin and hardener for the crack or fissure repair and only what you can use before it hardens. This time typically ranges between 10 and 15 minutes.
- Step 3: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use the color pigment kit to add your desired color to the epoxy.
- Step 4: Use a plastic putty knife to spread the epoxy in the fissures or cracks to avoid scratching or damaging the surface and wipe the excess away before it hardens.
- Step 5: It’s essential to seal the crack with granite sealer after the epoxy sets. Apply two coats of granite sealer over the repair site and wait 10 to 15 minutes before applying the last coat. You should avoid using the area and let the repair cure for at least a day before regular use resumes.
- Pro Tip: You should also perform an inspection underneath the countertop for any signs of weak support, especially under the crack site, and reinforce the area.
Been There and Done That – Now What?
If you’ve done everything possible on your own to repair the crack, and it’s still occurring or not coming out the way you want, what now? There’s a good chance that you will need to contact a professional to repair the crack, or you may have a foundation problem. For cases such as this, an expert should be called to inspect the situation. For more information and to contact a professional in your area, please fill out the contact form below.