Sealing Natural Stones: The Dos and Don’ts

StonesStones have been used since the ancient times for building and construction purposes. Natural stones have also been used extensively as architectural and interior design elements to homes and establishments. Truly, this natural geologic wonder has given man something to celebrate about when it comes to creativity.

However, contrary to what you may think, natural stones are not inherently tough. While they may be hard, they are primarily composed of microscopic elements that have certain spaces in between them. Take a look at a sponge. It may look solid but if you are going to look closely, there are pockets of air within the structure itself. Natural stone is like this, although not soft as a sponge. It is for this reason that for decorative purposes, natural stones must be appropriately sealed.

Why Seal Natural Stones?

All stones are porous. Some stones are more porous than others. For instance, sandstone is generally more porous than granite, which means that in areas of the house where water is a principal elements, you might want to use granite instead of sandstone. Unfortunately, even granite can still absorb liquids, but more slowly.

Dos of Sealing Natural Stones

When using stone sealers, it is important that you understand the natural porosity of the stone you are going to seal. Expert advice to test the natural stone’s surface before applying any sealant. This can often include performing the paper towel test or even the solvent test. Use the solvent test to check whether oil or other greasy substances can penetrate the natural stone.

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Apply solvent based natural stone sealers if the solvent test turns positive. If the paper towel test is positive, then you need to apply a coat of water-resistant sealer. Before applying any sealer, it is important to thoroughly clean the stone’s surface to remove any dirt, debris, and excess fluid or moisture. Make sure that it is completely dried too.

Don’ts of Sealing Natural Stones

It is important that you do not use abrasive and alkaline cleaners on your natural stones prior to sealing. So, it is important to steer clear of bleaches, vinegar, ammonia, and/or scouring powders. These will only damage the delicate microscopic crystalline structure of the natural stone. In addition, do not forget to cure the sealant for at least a couple of hours before you can even begin to start using it.

Sealing your natural stone is one way to maintain its elegance and classic finish for several decades. Because stones are naturally porous, protecting them from liquids is tantamount to extending their lifespan.