Natural stones can add immense beauty and sophistication to a home. Their appeal does not come without a price, however. Natural stone should be sealed frequently. We reached out to some stone specialists to see what they think are the pros and cons of sealing natural stone. Keep reading to see what they had to say.
Defends Against Some Stains
Surfaces made of natural stone should be sealed. Because these stones are porous, sealing them every six months and cleaning them with solutions made specifically for natural stones is a must.
In time, water can weaken the stone, causing it to crack or crumble. The water can penetrate to the subfloor, and once that occurs, it can spread to other areas of your house.
Advantages of sealing stone
- Sealing defends against many stains.
- It prevents acid erosion and bacteria from growing.
- Sealed stones exposed to the elements (such as salt and frost) are protected from damage.
- Sealant provides traction and slip resistance.
Disadvantages of sealing stone
- Taking care of it is a frequent chore.
- Stains may not be fully protected by the sealant.
The best practice for maintaining your stone is to wipe up spills and standing liquids promptly and not to allow them to sit on the stone surface for long.
Prevents Bacteria, but at a Cost
Natural stones are very appealing to the eye because they make the space appear much more authentic and unique. Sealing natural stones helps to prevent stains, the growth of bacteria, and acid erosion because they are naturally porous and more prone to these problems. Sealing extends their lifetime, protects their value, and prevents excess damage.
Unfortunately, sealing natural stone is not a one-time occurrence. To effectively protect the stone, you have to apply sealant pretty frequently, which becomes a consistent extra expense and chore. Also, if it is not applied correctly, damage and stains can still occur (and unfortunately, it is difficult to tell if a sealant wasn’t applied correctly).
Protects from Stains but a Recurring Chore
Advantages of Sealing Natural Stone
Sealing your natural stone countertops will protect them from stains. It also prevents the growth of bacteria as well as acid erosion. Sealing would also shield it from weathering and salt damage. It adds resistance to slippage while making it easy for you to clean messes.
Disadvantages of Sealing Natural Stone
Sealing your natural stone countertop is not a one-time deal. You may need to do it as frequently as twice a year. Your natural stone countertop may not be fully protected from stains even with a proper application of a sealant. You would still need to wipe your countertop often, especially if there’s any standing liquid or spill. And with time, your countertop will show wear patterns and may become dull in some areas.
Prevents Acid Erosion; Requires Regular Maintenance
One of the main advantages of sealing natural stone is the prevention of acid erosion and bacterial growth. It is an extra layer of protection that can be helpful for surfaces that are prone to stains. For outdoor pavers, it helps maintain quality throughout the winter while increasing slip resistance.
As for its disadvantages, it needs regular maintenance, and stain protection is not 100% guaranteed. It requires sealant application as frequently as every six months or one year depending on the type of stone.
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