SEALANTS

SEALANTS FOR PAVING

Sealing natural stone is not necessary, it’s a personal decision whether to use a sealant or not. Some sealants can alter the appearance of the natural stone. It’s important to remember some sealants once applied, it’s irreversible and permanent. Before you consider using a sealant, it’s important to understand the type of sealant to use. We recommend you test this first on a sample before you commit.

Why do people use sealants?  To protect against the natural elements, blooming, efflorescence, staining, tanning and moisture protection. With all natural stones they contain grains and minerals. When laying a new patio the natural stones soak up by the moisture within the cement. We previously discussed this in a earlier article, click the link to recap, ‘Common issues with natural stones‘. Sealing your paving stone will prevent against these stains being permanently ingrained. It will also make cleaning wine, coke, grease and oil stains, more easier to wipe. A good quality sealant will repel the oil and water. There are dry and water based sealant applicants available. An equal benefit will ensure the longevity of the natural stone.

  • Coatings
  • Impregnators
  • Colour Enhancer

COATINGS​

​These are ‘surface sealants’ that act as a barrier between the stone and the natural elements. What this application allows, to coat the paving surface to get the desired colour you want. You can apply one coat or more to achieve this outcome. This type of sealant does not protect against moisture or stains. You will need to apply a further sealant (impregnator) on top of this. This type of application can later be removed but, not if you have used a more permanent sealant.

COLOUR ENHANCERS

These colour enhancers are not sealants but act similar to coating, which sit on the stones surface. It does exactly what it say’s on the tin, enhance the colour of the natural stone to your desired liking. Once dried we then advise to use a sealant applicant to protect the stone. Multi purpose sealants are more commonly available on the market.

IMPREGNATORS

This type of application will create a permanent resistant protective barrier. This application is absorbed into the stones surface. Once applied it is permanent and not reversible. Where coatings and colour enhancers will alter the colour of the stone, impregnators however will not. Again, the main quality of this product is to protect against moisture and stones for longevity. Multi purpose sealants are more commonly available on the market.

POROUS STONE

Are natural stones porous? The majority of natural stone paving is porous some are more porous then others. Granite, Indian Sandstone and Slate are porous products. As natural stone is porous it will absorb the moisture within the cement, which can result in surface changes see below. We will discuss these in more detail in another article the common occurrences within natural stone;

  • Blooming or white spotting
  • Efflorescence
  • Picture framing
  • Staining (brown/yellow in colour)
  • Tanning (leaf staining)

You may come across the word ‘permeable stone’ this is referring to the water absorption being less. ‘Permeable paving is a method of paving vehicle and pedestrian pathways to enable infiltration of stormwater runoff. Permeable pavement surfaces typically include concrete, asphalt, paving stones and interlocking pavers‘. An alternate and less porous stone is the Porcelain stone (we do not stock this stone yet). 

SEALANTS AND USE

As previously mentioned sealing natural stone is a personal preference, it does need to be treated. We would advise to seal your stone. If you are looking to treat your paving stone, here are some top tips to consider.

  • Ensure the paving stones are completely dried out (UK summer periods tend to be dryer periods).
  • Clean the surface and joints area before you start.
  • Choose the right sealant applicant for your type of stone, granite, sandstone and slate. Generally they tend to be more multi-surface friendly. 
  • Read the application instructions carefully as they may differ.
  • Seek expert advice from landscapers and paving contractors. 

While there are other sealants available but if you looking for a sealant of quality then we recommend the following below. The majority of these can be purchased directly or through stockists. Alternate products can be available at the local DIY stores, again we would advise to test these before committing to any use. 

CAN NATURAL STONE BE BOUGHT PRE-SEALED?

NOT SEALED

Our paving stone products are not sold, treated. The reason we do not pre-seal any of the natural stone because they are imported from other countries, their climates differ to that of the UK. Like all suppliers we import from Brazil, China, Europe and India. Also we are not aware of what pre-sealed applications are used and if it’s good for the UK climate. However, while we do not sell pre-sealed we would recommend you do treat your stone. Alternate UK based products can be purchased. 

PRE-SEALED

If you are considering purchasing pre-sealed paving stone from another UK supplier, check where the pavers originate? Was this treated in the UK or overseas? What type of sealant has been used? Ensure you are satisfied by the answers you receive before committing. 

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