Sealing… Why and How.

Why seal?

Building materials such as natural stone, tile, masonry, concrete and grout are all made up of countless invisible capillary pores. This makes them porous and allows the absorption of damaging liquids such as water, water-borne salts and oils. These liquids cause the building material to deteriorate prematurely and in so doing reduce their usefulness.

What type of sealer should I use?

There are two main types of sealers, namely, surface sealers and impregnating sealers. A surface sealer will provide a physical barrier over the surface. The result is a darkening of the surface. These coatings usually wear and weather relatively quickly, make the surface more slippery when wet and must be completely stripped off when re-coating. Salts may also build-up under the surface, causing the coating to appear cloudy. Impregnating sealers can be classified as those that repel water and those that repel both water and oil based stains. Impregnating sealers usually have little effect on the frictional properties and appearance of the surface but will not completely stop dirt and rubber getting into the open pores of the surface. When comparing similar sounding impregnating sealers the two most important questions are: (a) is it permanent? and (b) how deep does it penetrate below the surface? A good depth of penetration is critical to provide protection against traffic wear and weathering.

How to maintain a sealed stone countertop

The kitchen is dirtier than most bathrooms. A kitchen worktop has about 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat! Near the drain there are about 3,000 bacterial per sq.cm. Without nutrients and water, bacterial cannot grow. An impregnating sealer should make the countertop highly water and oil repellent. This doesn’t mean that the surface won’t get dirty, but it should stop water and oil based liquids from penetrating into the pores and causing a permanent stain, and should also make the countertop easier to clean.

Even once impregnated, natural stone still needs to be correctly cared for.

HANAFINN Rejuvenata for countertops™ is a gentle daily cleaner designed for natural and engineered stone countertops, which contains a touch of sealer so an extra layer of protection is added over multiple cleanings.

Are DryTreat products environmentally responsible?

Yes, in three main ways. Firstly, our preferred carrier solvent is alcohol, a renewable and biologically responsible bio-liquid that is produced using sugar cane or corn. Secondly, our products are semi-permanent which means once treated the sealing procedure does not have to be redone, in some cases for thirty years. Making a surface easier to clean means that substantially less aggressive cleaning liquids and water are required for use in commercial, industrial and home cleaning. In these important ways we are making a small contribution to long-term sustainability.

 

EPIC is certified with DryTreat and are happy to speak with you about the importance of treating your stone during time of installation.