We recommend sealing any newly installed stone, whether it is a floor or a wall. Sealing your stone is like buying a new car and putting on car seat covers: it provides a layer of protection. Sealing doesn’t eliminate staining but it helps prevent it.
The different types of stains would include trees, plants, pets, birds or other scavangers, as well as food and drink. Most of these stains, if cleaned up quickly, should come off if sealed. Another example would be if you spilt red wine on your carpet, would you clean it up quickly? The same applies for natural stone. If spills go untreated, they may become permanent on the stone.
The sealant that we recommend is called Chemforce Stain Protector. It is an impregnating sealer, which means the product soaks into the stone and repels stains from the inside out. It is a one time application and has a guarantee of 10-15 years when installed by an accredited installer. When choosing a sealant, just be sure to check how often it needs to be re-sealed as different products have varying lifespans. Another benefit is that you can seal the stone yourself once installed. There is a simple DIY process that suppliers can run through with you.
The advantages of sealing:
- Stone is easier to clean stains
- Less maintenance required
- Prevents bacteria growth i.e. – Algae
- Stone looks better for longer
- Does not change the appearance or texture of the stone
- Does not require regular applications of sealant
The initial cost of the sealant could range from $10-$15m2, but over the long term, it will save a lot of time on cleaning and maintaining your natural stone. Once sealed, a simple pressure wash can do the trick when cleaning. $15m2 for an approx. 15 year lifetime seems quite reasonable doesn’t it?
Are stones affected by salt water?
If you are planning on using Travertine, Limestone, Sandstone or Marble around a salt water environment such as a salt water pool, mineral pool or a beach, there is another sealant that is required. The product is Chemforce Fortifier Plus. Again, this is a one time application and lasts 10-15 years. Using this sealant doesn’t change the appearance of the stone.
If you don’t seal the stone around salt water, the stone will slowly deteriorate and could cause pitting. The image below is an example of the coping piece with the top surface sealed but not the edge of the coping. This is two years post installation.
Stones that are not affected by salt water environments include granites, bluestones and porphyry’s. Because they come from a volcanic background/make up, these materials can withstand almost anything.
When planning to use stone around your salt water environment, we advise you to check with your supplier and confirm that the product you are looking at is suitable. Some products may not be for these environment as they may be affected by salt or could be too slippery when wet.
In conclusion, we recommend sealing your stone whether it’s a floor or a wall. It is relatively inexpensive for its lifespan and can go a long way in maintaining your stone and preserve its beauty for the long term.