The majority of natural stone or tile surfaces exhibit some degree of porosity that exposes them to several unpleasant types of stains. These are grease, oils, water-borne salts, vegetable dyes efflorescence, graffiti and red wines, plus many more. As a result, homeowners do their research on the web in order to find out whether Miracle sealants would protect their investment while keeping the surfaces looking great. Although many experts agree that all stones and tiles need to be sealed for maximum protection, some emphatically claim that not all of these surfaces need to be sealed.
In case you already researched the topic, you probably found opposing opinions, leaving you a little confused about whether sealing your surfaces is worth the cost. This post of mine explains why and how you can use different sealers to maintain and protect your tiles and stone surfaces. It also recommends using high-quality sealers by Miracle to not only to protect your surfaces but also to keep them looking great for several years.
First – what is stone and tile sealing?
Sealing is a terminology accepted to mean the application of chemical solutions various types of porous materials, which are capable of soaking in and penetrating into the surfaces. Most sealant companies design non-visible sealers that can reduce the porosity of the surfaces, limiting the depth of stains penetration and making it easier to clean them. Different surfaces have different porosity and the active chemical compounds vary from one sealer to another. Therefore, you need to choose the correct sealer depending on the type of protection your surfaces require.
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Furthermore, the necessity of a sealer is not entire to waterproof the surface as it does not place an impenetrable barrier against water and stains. Companies design most penetrating sealers to let a surface to breathe after a given period, allowing the movement of both water vapor and stains into and through the surface. The type and amount of liquid permitted to migrate into the surface depend on the chemical compound found in a sealer. In other words, the resistance and performance of a sealer will depend on its composition, the stain, and porosity of the surface. This suggests why you should consider paying for a high-quality sealer, like Miracle 511 spray-on grout sealer.
What type of sealer is correct for you?
Essentially, you can choose from two types of sealing product that are available on the market suitable for both tiles and stone surfaces. Below is an explanation of how each of the two types works as well as their pros and cons to guiding you select the proper product.
Impregnating or penetrating Miracle sealers
Impregnators are sealers designed to permeate below the surface of tiles and stone, depositing solid particles in their pores or coating the individual molecules below their surface. Those particles from the sealer are responsible for restricting dirt, oil, and water from entering through the surface. As aforementioned, the effectiveness of a sealer depends on its quality, the straining agent, application method used and the type of stone or tile used.
All impregnating sealers rely on a liquid carrier to transport the chemical protectants into the stone or tile. The carrier can either be solvent- based or water-based, and it will evaporate, leaving the actual protectant to cure in the stone and tiles. The protectant will in turn form a bond within the stone or tiles, reducing their porosity and ultimately the straining effect.
It is worth emphasizing that the effectiveness of a protectant varies with tiles or stone type as well as staining agent, which means that no single sealer is most suitable for all stains and tiles types. You will find some sealants by Miracle to be better at repelling greases and oils, and other being more effective at preventing water damages.
Penetrating sealers tend to allow moisture vapor to pass slowly through the chemical bond over time. This allows the stone or tile to breath, preventing moisture from being trapped inside them where it can cause damage especially in freeze and thaw environments. In other words, leaving contaminants to stay on your property for extended time will encourage the staining agent to pass into and through the tile. So, it important to ensure that you wipe any contaminant or spills off the surface as soon as you can to ensure that they have no time to penetrate the sealer.
Pros of penetrating sealers
• Make cleaning out dirt and other contaminants from your porous tiles and stone easier by reducing the entry of stains
• Protect your tiles and stones without interfering with their look
• Minimize the need for strong cleaning agents to uncontaminated the surfaces.
• Since the protectants in the sealer are below the surface, you can stay for several years before considering reapplication.
• Solvent-based penetrating sealers produce flammable and noxious vapors during application that can be harmful to the environment
• Penetration of dirt as well as other contaminants into tiles or stone’s pores is not ceased completely
Coating or surface sealers
Coating or surface Miracle sealer places a sacrificial coating or physical barrier on the surface of the tiles or stone, preventing dirt, water, and oil from penetrating into their pores. These sealers may sometimes bond into the top layer of tiles and stones by partly penetrating into their pores, leaving them visible from the surface. Most of the coating sealers are impervious, limiting the entry of any contaminant, but there are some specific types that allow a small amount of moisture vapor to migrate into and out of the tiles.
Some people also use surface sealers as the finish to provide wear protection for limestone, marble, and some other softer stones since they are easier to maintain compared to the stone itself. You will need the service of trained cleaning personnel to undertake regular maintenance of the coating. However, they can change the appearance of your tile or stone with a gloss finish, which can sometimes appear artificial.
Pros of coatings
• The initial application cost is relatively small
• Prevent wear on the tiles and stone by providing a sacrificial layer
• They wear relatively quickly, requiring frequent re-application, burnishing or buffing
• They can create an unsightly look on the tiles and stone, giving them unnatural, plastic look
• Your stone turn yellow if the coating quality is poor or exposed to UV light
In conclusion, it is clear that you need to make careful consideration of the quality of a sealer, your tile or stone type and the type of straining agent you expect to encounter when choosing a sealing product. I recommend Miracle sealants to have the correct product that can keep your stone surfaces and tiles clean for several years to come. Miracle provides sealers for various types of surfaces to ensure that you get the perfect product that yields the best results possible on your cleaning work.