Emerging out of the earth’s crust, natural stone is a delightful material that can be used as a building material and a decorative enhancement. These stones include granite, marble, slate, travertine and such other varieties. People have been investing in natural stones for their flooring, shower and countertops as they enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the surface. But natural stone is not completely maintenance free. Many people who have invested in natural stone end up with dull, chipped and etched surfaces within a few years due to lack of proper care. Does that mean that you need to keep on cleaning the surface to prevent the dullness? No, of course not! There are much better and modern technologies today that help you prevent such problems. The number one solution to etching and staining is sealing natural stone. But before you understand the sealing procedure, let us read a bit more about natural stone.
Characteristics of Natural Stone:
Natural stone is available in myriad hues and designs. Different natural stones have different characteristics, but some properties are common to all:
- Natural stone is porous. It tends to absorb all kinds of moisture and liquids inside its pores.
- It tends to shed dust. Some varieties are very flaky.
- Any stains forming on the surface get deep-rooted because of the porosity factor.
- Sometimes, this stone does develop cracks or holes if the underlayment has not been proper and also due to heavy impact.
Problems with Natural Stone:
- Due to the porosity factor, natural stone absorbs liquids and moisture leading to mold formation. Mold and mildew love to thrive in dampness and the pores full of moisture provide excellent conditions for them to breed.
- Mold if left unattended, can spread quickly over the entire surface. It can ruin the aesthetics with its greenish black residue. Another issue with mold is that it causes health hazards like respiratory issues and eye problems. Mold also reeks of a bad odor.
- Some stones shed dust and this makes the surface look dusty and dirty all the time.
- Etch marks on natural stone are a common occurrence, which form due to food and acidic beverage spills. The spillage is inevitable and these lead to etching real quick.
How can You Prevent Natural Stone from the above-mentioned Problems?
The only way to prevent the occurence of the above-mentioned problems is sealing natural stone. By sealing the stone, you form a protective barrier on the surface, thereby preventing it from any moisture or liquid absorption. In the absence of moisture, there is no mold breeding and no dust shedding. It is also possible to prevent stone from staining and etching due to acidic spills. By sealing stone floors with clear topical solvent based sealers, a waterproof surface is formed on the stone.
Advantages of Sealing Natural Stone and its Future Results:
- Sealing natural stone tile prevents your surface from shedding dust and losing its sheen.
- It helps to fix etching on marble, travertine and other stones.
- It also prevents deep-rooted stains.
- Sealing prevents moisture absorption and hence halts mold formation.
- By sealing the surface with solvent based sealers, you render a slight sheen on the surface, taking its beauty to the next level.
- Sealing the surface will preserve the beauty of the stone and also give prevention from mold and staining.
- Sealing a natural stone tile shower, prevents the surface from absorbing the constant moisture prevalent in the areas. This prevents staining due to hard water dots and mold formation.
- Sealing marble countertops and granite countertops prevents staining and etching of the surface.
Should you Seal Natural Stone Tile before Grouting?
You should not seal natural stone tile before grouting because grout is also highly porous and tends to absorb water and moisture, leading to mold formation. Sealing granite countertops and marble countertops before grouting, will make the mold breed on the grout, giving you a very hazy and cloudy appearance. Before sealing natural stone, you should first repair the grout and seal it to give you a uniform flooring.
How can Natural Stone be Sealed?
Natural stone has to be sealed in a step-by-step procedure systematically. This is best done by experts as they are highly trained and also use heavy-duty and high-quality products to give the best results. Sealing cannot be done directly. Before the stone is sealed, it has to be cleaned with a heavy-duty cleaner to remove all the stains and mold at the root level. Grout should be repaired and sealed next. Then, the cracks should be repaired using epoxy resin fillers, which fill up the crevices, forming a seamless and permanent bond. Lastly, the surface should be sealed with topical sealers, which form a protective coat on the surface.
Important Tips on Natural Stone Care and Maintenance:
After sealing, care and maintenance is also important if you want to keep up the beauty of your surfaces. It is recommended to use maintenance cleaners, which remove the superficial dirt and stains accumulated over the top surface in order to keep up the sheen and lustre of your surfaces. You can use these cleaners weekly once to care for your natural stone. In case of any spills, it is best to blot the spillage instead of spreading it all over the surface while wiping. This will prevent the spillage to spread everywhere.
Investing in costly stone is easy but retaining it in good condition is where you need to be more careful. Sealing helps to preserve the integrity of your stone and also ensures that your surfaces do not get stained or moldy. If you have been avoiding sealing your surfaces, you might end up with damaged and etched floorings and countertops sooner than you had imagined. You should always seal your natural stone if you want your floorings and countertops to look immaculate and as good as new for long.
This article has been created by D’Sapone - one of the leading natural stone and grout restoration companies in the United States. It was founded in 2005 with the vision of imparting high-quality restoration services to residential and commercial premises. Their patented processes and exquisite products make them restore the surfaces at the next level. They also offer a 5 year labor warranty on their services. Today, D’Sapone stands as one of the top companies in the US for stone restoration. For more information or queries, readers can visit their website.