Sealing Stone

When attempting to maintain the quality of the natural stone in your home and elongating its life, it is beneficial to consider sealing it. If you are wondering whether or not this is a good option for you, there are a few things you need to figure out before making a decision.

  • What is the hardness, density and durability of your stone?
  • How porous is the stone? This is important for knowing how quickly it will absorb a liquid.
  • Is the stone at high risk for staining? In other words, will it often be subjected to substances that could stain the surface of the rock?
  • What finish does the surface have? This is important because a polished surface is much more resistant to sealer than a honed (matte) finish.
  • Will the sealant damage the color of the stone?
  • Where is the stone in your home? If it is not a residential location, the same question applies to commercial use.
  • How do you plan on maintaining it? Will there be personal cleaning or a maintenance team? This is important because some cleaners will react negatively with the sealer and cause damage to the stone.

All of these questions are very important and will affect your determination of how to protect and maintain your stone.

Generally, sealing stone is a good idea because it protects it from the everyday effects of dirt and spills. Sometimes though, there are cases in which stone should be left untreated because sealer can potentially damage the stone’s color and appearance. Most often though, when dealing with indoor natural stone, sealing it is an important step, especially with granite or calcium based stones like marble or travertine.

If you have decided to seal your stone, there is still some work to be done because different stones can need different sealers depending on their composition. There are many different sealers but there are two main ones to know.

1) TOPICAL SEALERS. These are coatings (film formers) designed to protect the surface of the stone from damages that could be caused by water, oil, and other contaminants. They are composed of natural wax, acrylic and other plastic compounds. The most important thing to know about topical sealers is that it completely shifts the maintenance approach. Once this seal is applied, maintenance becomes about caring for the sealer instead of the stone. That is because instead of entering the stone, though it does, its main purpose is to coat the stone and completely cover it. Therefore, the stone really isn’t accessible.

2) IMPREGNATORS. These are water or solvent based solutions that penetrate below the surface and become ingrained repellents. Their nature is to be hydrophobic, or water repellent, but they are also oliophobic, or oil resistant. Impregnators provide full protection against dirt, stains, and contaminants just like topical sealers, but allow the interior moisture to escape. This is important for more porous stone in which moisture can collect and degrade the integrity of the stone.

Now that you know the basics of stone sealing, here are a few things to keep in mind before actually sealing it. Read the manufacturer’s warranty and instructions, contact the manufacturer if you are at all uncertain about your decision to seal, make sure you know all of the effect of the product you If you have any questions about whether sealing your stone is necessary or good for you, contact a representative at Nickel Rock today and we will do our best to assist you in whatever way possible.

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