Indroducing: Evolution Polishing Pads

Evolution Polishing Pads

Stone restoration has evolved. From the leader in the natural stone restoration industry, Modern Stone brings another innovative solution to stone restoration with the Evolution pad. Unlike other pads that were made to lightly buff or clean, the Evolution pads offer today’s professional full restoration capabilities from scratches to polish in one simple system.

The longest lasting pad in the industry. The Evolution pad contains the highest levels of true diamond abrasives, therefore providing up to three times the wear of other competitive products while delivering a higher quality result.

One pad that can be used WET or DRY. The Evolution pad is the only pad on the market which can be used with little or no water when restoring a natural stone, terrazzo or concrete surfaces.

Available in five different grits. Whether it’s a one step polish, or a full restoration project, the Evolution pads offer a full range of options for the flooring professional.

A flexible design. The Evolution pad can follow a floor’s contours better in order to reach high and low spots on uneven floors. Simple rinse when done and it’s ready for the next job.

See all Modern Stone abrasive products

Product Video Tutorial: Scorch

Product Video Tutorial: Honing Powders

Product Video Tutorial: Ultra Clean

Product Video Tutorial: Easy Etch

Acid vs. Alkaline: What, Why and When?

Acid vs. Alkaline: What, Why and When? By Jasen Santiago

As we all know, cleaning the floor is an essential step in the tile and grout restoration process. In most cases, however, this important first step acts only as a prepping stage in bringing the floor to our customer’s desired result. Whether we are looking to revive an old, dingy floor back to its original lustrous finish, provide a customer with a sealant to protect their investment, or completely change the appearance of an existing tiled floor, the cleaning process is going to be the determining factor as to how well our jobs turn out. So what is the best way to prep our floors? Using an alkaline cleaner? Using an acid cleaner? Or maybe the most effective solution is to use both. These are common questions often debated by many tile and grout professionals. While there are too many factors involved to determine the right answer, with proper education it is possible to determine the right answer for you.

To answer the “acid vs. alkaline” debate we must first discuss the purpose of both of these cleaners. Alkaline cleaners or cleaners with a pH level higher than 7, are often used as the sole cleaning agent in the tile and grout restoration process. Alkaline cleaners are formulated to loosen the bond between simple waxes, vegetable oils and animal fats from the surface we are cleaning. The primary advantage of high-pH cleaners is that they are effective cleaners, even on the most tenacious soils. Alkaline cleaners are also recommended when there is a large amount of soil to be cleaned. Additionally, alkaline cleaners can be used in almost any operation, but will not do anything to remove mineral deposits, rust or hard water stains. Also, when you’re prepping old surfaces for topical or penetrating sealers, alkaline cleaners will do little more than remove the soil from the substrate. This is where acid cleaners come into play.

Sometimes, when prepping old surfaces for sealing, etching the substrate may be beneficial. While alkaline cleaners do a great job of removing surface debris, acid cleaners, or cleaners with a lower pH level than 7, will directly work with the bonding agent in calcium carbonate based surfaces. Etching the surface is going to expose new pores providing some extra “tooth” making the product-to-surface bond as strong as possible. This will make any sealer more effective and in most cases, will make color sealing more efficient. Acid cleaners may also be used to remove tarnish, alkaline discoloration and corrosion, remove hard water deposits from many surfaces, and will neutralize alkalis. Being that acid cleaners are used to remove calcium build-up, they should not be used on calcium based stones such as marble, travertine, and limestone as they will also damage those surfaces.

So what is the bottom line? When do we use alkaline, when do we use acids, or when is it appropriate to use both? The answer to this question is going to be job specific and will depend on a variety of things. What type of surface are you restoring? Which kind of stains are you trying to remove? Or what final result are you looking to provide your customer? On many jobs, using an acid cleaner won’t be necessary. Cementitious surfaces, such as grout or concrete, harden (or become less porous) overtime with the addition of moisture. It’s in these situations where etching the surface is going to make a significant difference. However, on newer surfaces, cleaning with an acid may be overkill and unnecessary. On that same note, using an alkaline cleaner may also be an unnecessary step. Many times grout will become discolored due to years of mopping improperly, but will not have a considerable amount of dirt and debris on the surface. In these situations, a test patch should be conducted to determine whether or not the grout is exposed enough to react with the acid, possibly saving yourself a cleaning step. If the cleaner immediately “fizzles” when applied to the surface, continue the cleaning process using only an acid to start the restoration process. However, if you get little or no reaction with the acid, this is an indicator that you must first remove the soil with an alkaline cleaner to expose the grout, making it a two step cleaning process.

While the great dispute of “Acid vs. Alkaline” will continue on, I hope this article will at least shed some light on the subject. If nothing else, just to provide you with some ammo for the next time you find yourself in the middle of this classic debate.

CRP Member Feedback

The Modern Stone Team would like to give a big thanks to all of our new, and existing CRP members. 2011 is blowing by quickly and as our membership number grows we would like to continue to add value our role supporting the contractor. We have tons of ideas and are ever implementing new things to support our contractors, however, we thought it would be a good idea to hear directly from you! If you would like to give feedback leave a comment below.

As a reminder for our new members make sure you check in with Jasen Santiago at the beginning of the 2012 year, in order to cash in on your product rebate that you earned for the 2011 year. If you are purchasing from one of our Distributor partners, just ask them for a print out of your annual purchases. Hopefully this extra savings will make the month of January even more profitable.

How To Interview an SEO (Search Enginge Marketing) Company

14 Revealing Question You Better Ask

You probably get calls all the time about it..or worse yet, spammy emails making outrageous promises about putting your business on the first page of the search engines. Well, when it comes to choosing an SEO company to work with, there are some important questions you’ll want to be sure to ask to ensure the person you are considering is both competent and qualified. These 14 questions can reveal a lot about the company you are considering.

1. Have you optimized other cleaning services? If so can you give us an example of feedback/response they have received? Go Pro Local has completed many cleaning service and home improvement sites, as that is where we have the most experience. We also work with many different businesses and consumers. These have included hot tub wholesalers, photographers, solar electric companies, architects, dentist and many more.

The specialized tools we utilize work for any business and are best suited for local search engine marketing for local business like yours.

There are some great testimonials from our clients on our testimonials page. We took one client from no website to over 1200 page 1 rankings for highly searched geo-modified terms. The results have been a dramatic increase in business and customer interaction.

2. Based upon your professional opinion when should we expect results? SEO is an on-going process of promoting your business online. With a consistent effort over time, we see the best results. In the most challenging cases, we see measurable results in 6 months. If we are aggressive, it’s normally much less, sometimes in as little as 2 months.

3. Will you/company be doing the work yourselves or will you be outsourcing the job? We do not outsource core tasks. All work is done by our employees and we do have some employees offshore. All core tasks are performed in house.

4. What is the payment schedule? We bill by credit card on the 1st of the month.

5. Who owns the rights to the SEO work? You do. Some companies retain the rights to all the work they do meaning if you quit using their services, you lose a lot of what you had paid for.

6. What is the monthly maintenance after the site is live? What does it include, and why is it due at the same time as the initial investment. Monthly maintenance involves many different SEO tasks that are independent of a website build. Claiming local listings and directory submissions are just a few of the tasks that begin to happen right away. Other maintenance and promotions tasks include link building, article marketing, video marketing, blog marketing, forum marketing and more. We have several levels of maintenance programs available. The maintenance packages are customized based on your business, online marketing blueprint and how aggressive you want to be.

7. Will you be providing any additional value added services with the setup? Example: blog, ezine, newsletters, PR, etc. Often times, we’ll use all of the above methods. We also create content and perform SEO copywriting services for clients that are used for off-site content on blogs and other outlets. As an added service we can help with newsletters and email marketing as well.

8. Is there a limited number of keywords that will be used? We usually select a group of 20 search terms to focus on. These keywords are determined by performing in-depth keyword research and competitive analysis. This way we are able to target buying keywords where there are the best opportunities to rank highly. While these initial keywords are our focus, we track hundreds of keywords and report to you regularly where you rank and where we’re seeing upward movement.

9. What is Google PageRank™ and how does it affect my site? How would you address improving our PageRank™ with Google, and other search engines that calculate the number of quality inbound links to our website? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank

PageRank is basically Google’s measure of how much authority a site has. All of the search engines do some level of weighted link analysis which helps to sort the sites competing for a given set of searches. If there are two sites that have the same content on them, the one with more back links should rank higher in the search engine rankings.

But, more links aren’t always better. The page rank of the links plays a large role in how well a site will rank. Basically, the more links a site has from other important links, the better. If a site with 10 links has links from Harvard, Emory, NASA, The Pentagon, and other high page ranking sites, and another has 100 links that are nothing more than free directory links, the 10 back links beat the 100. To improve PageRank, it’s important to focus on trusted inbound links that are looked at by the search engines as authority sites.

10. What changes do you make to our site to increase our rankings? Will we see these changes? Will you change the coding on our site? We normally optimize a number on-page factors; including the title and description which are not easily seen on your site but are important in rankings and how your site appears in the search engine results. We also normally optimize the content of your pages and other page elements like the heading tags, which signals of important text for the search engines. We don’t normally completely rewrite the content or change the structure of your website unless it is blocking the search engines from indexing your site.

12. What kind of reports will we get and how often. Will you explain the reports so we have a clear understanding of the output? We report both rankings and traffic. We’ll send monthly reports by email interpreting the data we’ve collected and are readily available to go through the data to explain anything that is not clear.

13. How many pages will you be optimizing in our website? We will optimize all of the pages. The search engines rank pages of sites, not just the main page so every page is important and needs to contain everything the search engines need to rank them highly.

14. Can you assure us that the optimization strategies and methods that you use are safe and won’t get our site penalized or banned? We use strictly white hat techniques that meet the criteria of Best Practices for the SEO/SEM Industry? We don’t do anything risky. Our techniques create natural looking links that boost rankings over time. We post content in the form of articles, press releases and blog posts.

These questions should give you a good feel and clear picture of whether or not the SEO company you are considering is the company you want handling such an important task. You might be surprised at the answers you’ll get from some of the fly-by-night SEO firms out there that use unscrupulous methods to inflate rankings that don’t stick or could get your site de-index (removed) from the search engines altogether. Beware of guarantees or unsubstantiated claim and most importantly, go with someone you know and trust.

Product Video Tutorial: Shine & Seal

Product Video Tutorial: Reveal & Seal