Why Should You Seal Your Limestone?
There are differing opinions in the natural stone world about whether or not limestone (among other natural stones) should be sealed. On the one hand, experts generally advise sealing all stones. Sealants, on the other hand, are notorious for altering the natural appearance of the stone.
In general, all stone surfaces should be sealed. To prevent other particles and liquids from seeping beneath the surface of porous stones like limestone, sealing is required. Ground-in dirt, dust, and dried liquids can be found on unsealed stone floors and worktops.
This is particularly problematic in the kitchen and bathroom, where colourful liquids can quickly discolour a lighter-hued stone. Exterior limestone used around pool decks or patios, for example, can be exposed to a variety of conditions, chemicals, and a lot of foot activity.
How to Extend the Life of Your Limestone Home Feature
Limestone should be sealed to ensure that it lasts as long as feasible. It preserves the natural beauty of your stone and can help prevent staining. Dirt and water can produce “crystallization” in the pores of your limestone, resulting in harmful and ugly stains.
Sealants & Coatings for Limestone
Limestone sealants come in a variety of forms and kinds, and which one you choose will most likely be determined by the type of limestone home feature you’re protecting. Some solutions are ideal for bathroom limestone, while others are specifically designed for limestone flooring.
Permanent Limestone Coatings
Permanent coatings are more difficult to remove and are intended to stay on your stone for the rest of its life. Polymers contained in a solvent are commonly used, with polyurethane and epoxy being the most popular. These are frequently not advised for natural stones.
Removable/Strippable Limestone Coatings
Strippable coatings can be easily removed from stone surfaces. They’re composed of acrylics, styrene, polyethylene, and other materials, and they’re usually manufactured with water-based formulae. If you choose a strippable option, make sure to choose one that is designed for stone rather than tile floors.
Limestone Penetrating Sealants
Penetrating sealants are meant to penetrate the stone’s pores and deposit particles far below the surface. They also coat the minerals beneath the stone’s surface.
When you use a penetrating sealant, your stone becomes water, dirt, and oil-resistant. These sealants are typically solvent- or water-based and contain silicone, siloxane, methyl silicate, or other silicon derivatives.
Penetrating sealants are classified into subtypes based on whether they are oil-repellent or water-repellent. Water repellent ones are known as hydrophobic, and they can combat common kitchen spills such as juice, coffee, tea, soda, and wine. Oil repellent materials are known as oleophobic, and they repel both water and oil-based liquids.
This comprises the aforementioned liquids as well as cooking oils, grease, and body oils. Oil-repellent alternatives are always hydrophobic, whereas water-repellent options aren’t always oleophobic, thus most homeowners choose oil-repellent solutions.
Penetrating Limestone Sealants vs. Coatings
Many homeowners are undecided about whether to use coatings or sealants. Coatings, in general, are easier to apply by non-experienced homeowners and are more cost-effective. They enhance brilliance to stone and provide anti-slip capabilities.
They also serve as a “sacrificial” layer that is worn away by traffic. Coatings, on the other hand, require frequent buffing or reapplication and can give the stone an artificial, almost plastic-like aspect.
Penetrating sealants, often called impregnating sealants, are usually applied by a specialist. They’re less eco-friendly and more expensive, but they don’t need to be reapplied as frequently. Penetrating sealants remain for years and, unlike coatings, do not modify the colour or appearance of your stone.
Choose Limestone from The Pressure Cleaning Guys
The expert team at The Pressure Cleaning Guy understands the significance of maintaining your limestone. This is why our team of experts strives to provide our customers with world-class service in the Perth, Western Australia market.
For more specific and specialized advice on how to care for your one-of-a-kind limestone home feature, consult with your artisan team. If you don’t already have limestone, contact us today to get started on a new custom home feature made of the best natural stone available!