To maintain the integrity of these crystals they must interact with the air and the component parts of the air in particular the oxygen. Hence they must be allowed to breathe. It is also essential that any water that gets into the stone is able to evaporate by moving through these spaces until it reaches the surface and can evaporate.
Most importantly and a little considered aspect of stone structure is the interaction between the crystals of the stone and the many millions of bacteria that live in these pores. Research is demonstrating that bacteria would seem to play a vital role in maintaining the integrity of the stone in ways that are understood. In order for these bacteria to survive and prosper the sealant used should be one that does not damage them but possibly promotes their activity.
Different Sealants for Sealing Stone: Acrylic type sealants or waxes should be avoided at all costs because they fill up the pores killing the bacteria and blocking completely the movement of water through the rock. This can ultimately lead to the rock cracking if the underside becomes wet for any reason.
They are also very difficult to remove if excess sealant is applied and not properly removed while still wet.
What you end up with is a covering of sealant on the surface of the stone which discolors and dulls it. The best sealants to use are those based on natural products and made up of fatty acids such as soap. These can be applied in the normal cleaning process to top up the seal and clean at the same time.
Any excess is washed off with pure water. Most importantly these fatty acids fill the spaces but not in a rock hard manner. Because fat is hydrophobic it repels water stopping it penetrating during any spillage so preventing absorption into the rocks and subsequent staining.
Being semi hard only does not stop the natural movement of water through it so it can still escape by evaporation. Most importantly it encourages the bacterial population by providing another source of nutrient and a comfortable environment in which to live and reproduce.
Why not just waxing instead of sealing your floor? Waxing does not replace the need for sealer on your decorative concrete. Sealer penetrates deep into the pores of your concrete, protecting your surface and maintaining your concrete’s true color.
Unlike sealer, wax is a topical coat that’s designed to be used over a non porous or sealed surface. Waxing protects the top surface by putting a hard acrylic base over the top usually vinyl, laminate, sealed ceramic and porcelain but not the grout. While the sealer protects the actual surface by impregnating the actual surface usually a natural stone.
How does waxing work? Most waxing is acrylic based and when applied will form a cohesive layer of acrylic across your floor. This hard layer of acrylic will serve as a layer or barrier against the extreme conditions surrounding your decorative floor.
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