The importance of frequently sealing natural-stone surfaces is something archaeologists and architectural restoration experts know very well. In Rome, centuries of acid rain falling on the numerous marble columns around the historical city have taken a painful archaeological toll. The same can be said about ancient Mayan ruins, particularly those located closer to the heavily industrialized sectors of Mexico City, and even the Acropolis in Athens. The ancient builders of these magnificent structures didn’t get around to developing resin technology, and it wasn’t until the 17th century when an English gardener discovered the effects of acid rain on marble and limestone. Since then, archaeological restoration efforts have featured stone surface sealing, because not doing so could eventually ruin ancient structures, monuments, and sculptures. Here are a few things that could occur if you don’t seal the natural-stone countertops in your home.
The attractive colors, patterns, and textures of natural stone are the result of geological processes that start with chemical reactions. For example, the chemical composition of marble includes silicon dioxide, calcium carbonate, iron oxide, and other elements that react to certain substances, temperatures, and conditions. The ability of natural stone to produce chemical reactions doesn’t stop after it’s quarried, cut, finished, and installed. Keeping stone countertops sealed is a way to prevent chemical reactions that alter their appearance.
The easiest way to understand what happens when you don’t seal your stone countertops is to perform a water test. In various spots on the countertop, pour water on top, about 3 inches in diameter. The porosity of the stone will result in absorption, which will in turn form a dark ring underneath if the surface doesn’t have a proper seal. This is how you know it’s definitely time to use a granite sealer. If the water flowing into your home is particularly “hard,” meaning it has a high mineral content, the stains it leaves on your stone countertops will be very unsightly and hard to remove.
Food and Grease Stains
Many organic substances have the right chemical compositions to create reactions within stone counters. Imagine spilled blackberry jam sitting on top of your white marble kitchen counter. Without a strong seal, this would be a difficult stain to remove, and the same can be said about natural coal or pine tar shampoo on a bathroom countertop made of sandstone.
Acidic Substance Damage
Low pH substances have high alkaline contents that could stain your stone counters and cause etching, which can disrupt the stone’s texture. For this reason, acidic substances must be kept away from natural-stone flooring and counters at all times, including common household cleaners. Make sure to only use a high-quality granite cleaner on your counters, and don’t forget to apply sealant frequently.
Granite Gold Sealer® is just what you need to seal your stone countertops properly, but it’s also recommended to have a granite polishing kit on-hand that contains many of the other essential products you need to care for your stone. If you have any questions related to caring for natural-stone and quartz surfaces, reach out to Granite Gold® today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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