Picking up on our previous post about sealing natural stone veneer, this time we focus on sealing manufactured stone veneer. As with natural stone, manufactured stone can also be sealed. With that said, when sealing manufactured stone it is imperative to use a sealer that is breathable and allows the manufactured stone to both absorb moisture, and also let it evaporate through the face of the stone.
Typically, a sealer is applied to manufactured stone in order to create a protective barrier against moisture, salt, weathering, staining or potential fading. When selecting a sealer, ensure you choose a sealer that is a penetrating silane or siloxane based sealer. As mentioned in our previous post, penetrating or impregnator sealers are absorbed into the stone and do not affect the stone’s surface appearance.
Stone Sealer verses Stone Enhancer
Like with natural stone, it is important to consider whether or not you want to seal or enhance your manufactured stone. As a quick refresher, stone sealers are designed to protect your stone from staining, while stone enhancers are designed to bring out the colours within the stone.
Whether you are using a stone enhancer or not, it’s important to note, sealing your manufactured stone will help protect the stone, assist with ongoing maintenance of the stone and provide added longevity to your stone project, so you can be proud of your manufactured stone project for years to come.
When sealing manufactured stone it is important to consider the porosity of the stone. Generally, more porous stones will require additional coats of sealer. While sealing manufactured stone is considered a DIY friendly project, sealing stone is not a one and done project. For manufactured stone, sealers should be reapplied every 2 to 3 years to ensure it continues to function as you expect.
Protecting Against Graffiti
We have been asked several times if there are sealers designed to protect against graffiti. Manufactured stone’s uneven and undulating surfaces and blends of colors often act as a natural deterrent for graffiti artists who typically prefer to work with a less colourful and even “canvas”. However, should you want additional protection against graffiti, some sealers can help protect manufactured stone against graffiti. These sealers are usually urethane or wax-based, and while they do provide a layer of protection that makes it easier for graffiti removal, these sealers may damage the face of stone or cause the stone’s surface to “yellow’. As with any sealer, it is always recommended to test a small area first to ensure the sealer will have the desired effect on the appearance of your stone.
Lastly, the curing cycle for concrete (manufactured stone) is approximately 28 days. With that in mind, regardless of the project, sealers should never be applied to manufactured stone until after the stone has been installed for at least a month.
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