Natural Stone Cleaning and Preparation
As with all projects, proper preparation is the MOST important step! Before a protective treatment can be applied, any non-compatible existing sealers MUST be removed and the surface completely cleaned and de-greased to ensure adhesion and penetration. In most cases, a thorough pressure washing is all that is needed before sealing stone that is clean and in good condition. If your stone has an existing sealer that has failed or is incompatible with the new sealer you want to use, you will need to remove the old sealer before re-sealing. Specific issues like efflorescence, rust stains or calcite should be addressed with the proper cleaners before applying any stone sealer or sealant.
For grouted horizontal natural stone such as patios etc. we highly recommend mechanically prepping the stone with a floor machine and an abrasive grit brush. This wet scrubbing will smooth, clean and remove a very thin layer of the stone surface, revealing the beautiful true colors of your stone previously hidden by embedded slurry, dirt and contaminates. This scrubbing process is also recommended when stripping old sealers or removing heavy mineral deposits. Before scrubbing or applying any product to any stone surface, be sure to confirm that the process or cleaning product being used is compatible with your specific stone! Do not acid wash!
Penetrating Stone Sealers
This is the type of sealer we recommend for most natural stone sealing applications. This type of sealer penetrates deep into the surface, sealing out water and contaminates. Penetrating sealants work 100% below the surface to protect your stone and mortar from within. These sealers do not form a film or change the look of the masonry surface. These sealers do not become slippery when wet, and can never flake, peel or chip like film-forming sealers. These are very effective, long lasting and offer easy application and maintenance. The life-span and level of protection you get from this type of sealer will depend on the quality of the product you choose. Penetrating sealers should never be applied over an existing sealer, unless the previous sealer was a similar and compatible penetrating sealer.
Wet Look Water Based Urethane Sealers
We include this option because some customers demand a wet-look or gloss sealer for stone. If you MUST HAVE a wet-look product for your stone, this is our best recommendation. These urethanes are two-component products that chemically harden like an "epoxy" after you mix part:A and Part:B together. This makes them hard, durable and chemical resistant. Urethanes are also UV stable and will never turn yellow due to UV exposure. Since these urethanes are also water-based, they offer an easy and safe application. SuperWet comes in a concentrate form, applies easily by sprayer, is compatible for use over many types of existing sealers. To maintain protection and appearance, this sealer should have a maintenance coat every 3-4 years.