Do you need to seal stone surfaces to protect them?
This is a broad question so we will explain it under several headings:
Sealing stone floors
Sealed vs non sealed paving
General information about stone sealer
A few years ago the stone sealers available were not very effective. This was because their main ingredient was silicon. The pore size in stone varies but in general they are smaller than the particle size of silicon. This meant that on application, most of the silicon was unable to be absorbed by the stone, and the sealer was effectively acting as a surface sealant (i.e. sitting on the surface of the stone).
As such, this surface sealant was then exposed to sunlight, which gradually broke it down, making it increasingly ineffectual at preventing stone staining over time.
Thankfully, science has moved on and newer, more effective products have been developed which reliably and safely protect stone. Longer lasting sealants can now be relied upon to provide effective protection of stone for up to 10 years. This has been possible since newer sealants are now oil based. This enables the stone to absorb the sealer more easily, resulting in a sealant that sits within the stone. Furthermore, recent eco-friendly developments now include water based sealants, reducing the use of petrochemical bi products.
Do you need to seal stone paving?
Sealing exterior paving has been a hotly debated subject in the past. The effectiveness was one of the main issues, as laid out in the above chapter, but there are also issues in the UK regarding the drainage of water, due to our climate, that have caused many disagreements between stone suppliers and landscapers alike on this subject.
A lot more is understood now about the nature of sealants and its reaction with stone, and here at Stoneworld we are able to reassure you if you have any doubts about whether to seal your patio or not.
At Stoneworld our advice would be to definitely seal stone if it is of a very light colour, such as White Mint. The light colour of this stone means that any lichen, or spillages from the BBQ, etc is going to quickly spoil your enjoyment of the stone.
We would also suggest sealing a stone like Black Limestone if you like the finish that can be achieved using a colour intensifier whereby the natural colour of the stone is enhanced. There are various products on the market for this kind of effect, but Rob Parker’s Best Colour Enhancing Sealer is unique because it is a colour enhancer and sealer treatment in one.
Sealing a stone patio in the UK can also help preserve the structure of the stone. Our cold damp winters can be detrimental to the long life of a patio. If water is held within the structure of the stone and we then get a cold snap of weather, the water will freeze and expand. Then on thawing the water will contract again. Over time this continual expansion and contraction will cause weakness in the stone, and eventually cracks in the paving. Effective sealing will prevent the ingress of water completely.
After sealing your patio with our Rob Parker’s Best Patio Sealer, no moisture will penetrate the surface, therefore it is essential to ensure that rainwater run-off is controlled with an effective gradient to ensure that standing water does not collect on the surface, which could cause a slipping hazard to users. This is best practice with patio building anyway, and landscapers should be aware of this.
Do you need to seal stone floors?
To have relatively carefree enjoyment of your stone floor, we strongly recommend sealing your stone floor tiles.
Stone surfaces such as sandstone are characterised by their high decorative value. Thus, using the right products to prevent them from getting damaged and stained is important if you want to keep them in the best condition for longer. All natural stone is porous to some extent, with sandstone being the most porous, and granite and marble being the least. Any spillage has the potential to seep into unsealed stone tiles and cause staining that will affect the overall appearance of the floor.
By using Rob Parker’s Best sealing products, you are taking preventative action which will save yourself the worry of having to deal with problems occurring. This treatment will help to keep your floor free of grease stains, prevent staining of wine, and keep general dirt on the surface, where it can be more easily washed away, rather than allowing it to become ingrained.
Should you be sealing sandstone paving?
Sandstone is a type of natural material, which means that is not as prone to damage as other man-made materials. Even though sandstone is very resilient and withstands everything that is thrown at it, this does not change the fact that the material is porous. This means that sandstone is susceptible to staining, which makes it difficult to clean it. For this reason, some people opt for sealing sandstone.Sealing sandstone could slightly change the colour of the stone, however, not to the point where it would be unrecognisable. After the sealing,sandstonewill not be porous anymore, which will prevent it from liquids and oils to set within it. If you are worried that your driveway might get stained, we would recommend sealing sandstone for peace of your mind.
Do you need to seal granite worktops?
We would definitely recommend sealing your granite worktops.
Buying a granite worktop is not a maintenance free option. They are not hard work, but many people buy them and then face problems due to lack of proper care.
Stone is hard, and is a natural element of our world, but before we install it in our homes it is polished to bring out the hidden beauty that lies within the raw hewn rock.
We do not recommend:
Cutting directly on the polished surface
Putting hot pans straight from the hob onto the polished surface
Leaving acidic spillages (lemon juice, vinegar, wine) for prolonged periods on the polished surface
Cutting directly on the surface can leave scratch marks. Hot pans can leave marks in the polished surface. Acidic substances can spoil and mark the polished surface.
It is possible to help protect the surface from these spillages however, by sealing your worktop at installation.
Responsible granite worktop suppliers will always seal your worktop during the fabrication or installation process. A good granite sealer like Rob Parker’s Best, can offer protection for up to 2 months before they need reapplying.
Sealed vs Non Sealed Paving
Sealing sandstone or any other type of paving will help you to eliminate rain-water run offs, slipping hazards, discolouration, protect it from cracks and also protect the overall structure of the stone. Stone that is not sealed will have exposure to various risks, mainly material damage that might require repair, however it’s recommended to use protective sealer to ensure that your investment lasts.
Stone steps usually last many years, however, if the stone is not sealed it can get slightly damaged year by year. On the positive side, our natural stones are very high quality and never experience breakage due to their natural strength.
To use or to not use sealing sandstone products is your choice. 80% of our clients have purchased sealing sandstone or patio products to seal their stone for protection and to enjoy the shiny or matte finish look for a low cost and maximum effect. Browse our product range above or click here to view more natural stone cleaning and sealing products.
We hope this article has helped you decide whether to seal your stone products.
Please contact us for further advice on suitable treatments and remedies for your stone surfaces. You can contact our team on 01844 279274 or email us at email@example.com and we will be happy to help.
We are always happy to share our expertise on stone.
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