Why it’s important to seal your outdoor Limestone and concrete right away
As shown in the video. Limestone and Concrete are vulnerable to elements that can cause irreversible visual damage. This damage can easily be avoided but many people don’t bother with it for 3 main reasons.
1. They don’t know that sealing is something they should do
2. They know about it but don’t want to spend the money
3. They know about it but don’t know what is the most appropriate product to use and in the confusion, they end up doing nothing
When installing new stonework or concrete, the cost of sealing should be built into the cost but few contractors do this.
What are the benefits of sealing right away?
With concrete, sealing with a penetrating sealer can prevent that crackled look that can occur as a result water absorbing into the concrete and expanding during a freeze. It can also prevent efflorescence from forming in some cases (see below). Only sealing with our penetrating sealer can prevent staining from any oil AND water based liquids or from leaves that sit on it during the fall and winter. Sealing can also prevent spalling which happens when water and/or salts get into the material and break the surface of the concrete when they escape and/or expand. When you put salt down on concrete to get rid of ice, you are opening yourself up to spalling damage. A few hundred dollars spent at the time of installation could have prevented the damage on the surfaces seen below. As long as they are cleaned properly, they’d still look like new.
Why seal Limestone right away, why not and what with.
Limestone and sandstone are very soft and are very susceptible to damage by the elements. Please note though, no sealer will protect them or any surface from acid as talked about in the video above. Limestone absorbs a lot of water because it is so porous. Lots of water…Lots of mildew/algae. Sealing with our penetrating sealer keeps the water out so the stone will dry off much quicker and require much less cleaning. Mildew stains on Limestone are hard to get out without using harsh products that damage Limestone. Ask us about our products that won’t do this. Regular cleaning of Limestone with power washers and harsh chemicals can erode the surface if not done properly and who wants to clean their outdoor surfaces so often anyway.
You don’t want to seal Limestone if there is a concern that water (not vapor) will be coming through from behind the surface like in a planter or retaining wall. Sealing in these cases can actually cause the surface of the limestone to break off at the point where the sealer penetrated to.
Limestone should only be sealed with one of our sealers because only ours will actually harden the stone by 40%. Ours is a sealer and a consolidator. Limestone and Sandstone are very friable and can chip very easily if banged by something hard. One of our specialty sealers has dissolved glass in it which will strengthen the surface to the depth of about a centimeter. This sealer is completely invisible once applied but requires a trained applicator to apply it or serious visual problems can occur. Limestone should especially be sealed with this sealer if you are near the ocean or a salt water pool. Spalling of concrete in these locations can occur so soft Limestone is especially vulnerable in these environments.
Click here to fill out a contact form if you have any questions or want to request an estimate for our sealing service…or any other service. I hope you found this helpful.