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Sealers are not all the same. Choosing the right protection for your stone is one of the most important decisions you can make. Correct sealing and maintenance are a reliable way to keep surfaces in top condition without devaluing the initial installation investment. In fact, the life of your stone greatly depends on that one, two-fold decision: how to clean and seal it.
Protecting stone is critical, but choosing the right sealer doesn’t have to be difficult. In this article we’ll discuss the main points to consider when selecting stone protection.
Choose a sealer that works on all types of stone. There are sealers on the market that are limited and can only be used, for example, on unpolished stone. The danger in using this type of sealer is that if the stone is compact, residue will stay on the surface, creating a sticky film and compromising performance. Sealers indicated for unpolished and polished stone make the decision-making process easier because they simply work regardless of the type of stone at hand.
Choose a sealer that deeply penetrates the stone. Penetrating sealers do not simply stay on the surface, they seep into the stone’s inner structure, making it water and stain repellent. Without protection, staining agents such as food and dirt are absorbed and become extremely difficult, if not impossible, to remove. Inhibiting the absorption of stains is critical because they do not only compromise the appearance of the stone, stains also create a nesting place for odor-causing and staining germs and bacteria.
Choose a sealer that is breathable. Wait, you might ask, stones breathe? Well, air passes through the porosity of the stone. Breathable sealers allow air and water vapor to pass from the substrate.
Choose a sealer that is eco-friendly. Using the right raw materials to create a product determines its performance, the impact it has on living spaces and the planet. Raw materials used to produce sealers should be chosen consciously, with very low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions.
VOCs in indoor settings become concentrated over time, impacting the air we breathe and posing short and long terms risks. Exposure to VOCs in indoor spaces may cause several health effects including eye, nose and throat irritation and potentially cancer. Sealers with very low VOC emissions ensure that treated surfaces are not contributing negatively to people’s health.
Choose a sealer that is water-based. In the past, water-based sealers were deemed to have lower performance than solvent-based ones. However, today’s premium water-based sealers are chemically formulated to provide the same level of protection as that of top solvent-based sealers, and there are major advantages to going water-based.
In addition to emitting less VOCs, water-based sealers also dry faster than their solvent counterparts, which cuts application times and personnel costs. Another plus to water-based sealers is that they are odorless. This becomes particularly important when applying the sealer in areas with low ventilation, where harmful fumes could remain in the spaces for weeks, contaminating indoor air quality.
When looking for cutting-edge sealing and cleaning solutions, the surface care experts at FILA are a source of skilled insight. FILA scientists and technicians have been creating pioneering solutions since 1943, that’s 80 years of surface care innovation that today serves as the foundation for the company’s Innovation Center located in northern Italy. The Innovation Center is the beating heart of FILA, where new products are developed yearly.
Emerging from the company’s deep-rooted experience, MP90 ECO PLUS is a go-to premium, high performance sealer that embodies all the characteristics necessary for first-rate stone protection. It’s dual action formula using microtechnology provides top-notch water and stain repellence on all types of stone, from the most absorbent to the most compact.
Extensive testing carried out at the Innovation Center demonstrates MP90 ECO PLUS’s superior water, stain and wear resistance according to US and European standards, making it a benchmark for stone protection.
Sealing stone is one of a two-fold process necessary for complete surface care. Now let’s look at the other piece of the puzzle needed in order to extend the pristine condition of natural stone.
Once stone walls, floors and countertops are sealed, daily maintenance is key to keeping them in mint condition. Neutral delicate cleaners are the way to go for cleaning stone. Spray neutral cleaners can be used for wiping small surfaces or for spot cleaning floors between the weekly maintenance regimens. At least once a week, floors should be cleaned with a concentrated neutral cleaner diluted to remove dirt that may have accumulated. Diluting the cleaner at a higher concentration is perfect for heavy duty cleaning if needed.
An important note to always remember: Acid cleaners will ruin acid sensitive stone, irreparably etching it for life.
Here are three takeaways for stone sealing and cleaning:
- Choose a water-based, high-performance penetrating sealer that repels water and stains on polished and unpolished stone.
- Keep indoor spaces safe by using products that emit very low VOC emissions.
- Clean stone surfaces regularly with neutral cleaners.