How to care for a flagstone slate floor

and remove latex paint spots from carpet

By

Q. I recently put a flagstone slate floor in my foyer and have no idea how to care for it. Should I wax it? Or should I apply some sort of sealer to protect the surface? Or leave it alone?

- A.T.B., S. Berwick, Maine.

A Slate is a porous stone material, so should be sealed, says Ann Field, a specialist at Michigan State University Extension's Home Maintenance and Repair. Get a special stone floor sealer from the flooring dealer or building supply. The sealer penetrates the upper surface of the slate, and protects it from soil, scratches, and grease.

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Slate floors can be washed with a detergent and water solution, and rinsed well. They are not damaged by alkali cleaners, but strong solutions are not needed for cleaning. A water-based, self-polishing wax can be applied over a clean, dry, sealed floor for extra protection and shine. Weekly damp-mopping with a barely damp mop on a waxed floor will keep it clean for quite a while before the washing with detergent is needed. If you have an electric polisher, solvent-base polishing wax may be used to clean and wax the slate.

Q How does one remove small dried spots of latex paint from a carpet?

- B.K.J., Mystic, Conn.

A When a Monitor staffer had a similar problem, a paint store employee recommended a product called Goof-Off. It worked perfectly. Be sure to test it on an old piece of carpet or in an inconspicuous spot first.

If you can't obtain Goof-Off, "Don Aslett's Stainbusters Bible" suggests using a water-rinseable paint and varnish remover.

Readers: Pose your questions and we'll seek out experts on home repairs, gardens, food, and family legal issues. Send queries to the Homefront Editor, The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 or e-mail home@csps.com

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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