What should I know when it comes to Impregnators and Sealers?
When it comes to natural stone one of the most commons problems is due to the stone staining easily. Removing the Stain when and if possible can also be quite expensive. In order to reduce the staining, it is essential that the stone be protected with a good quality impregnator or sealer.
An impregnator is a chemical designed to penetrate in the stone thus creating a barrier to repel water, dirt, pigments, and any other foreign substance from penetrating the stone. The impregnator does allow the stone breathe and allows vapors to escape the stone.
Sealers also provide a layer of protection, in some case the stone is unable to breathe. There are two types of sealers the first is a penetrating sealer and it functions like an impregnator. The second type is of topical sealer is known as “coating,” such as acrylic based sealers.
Hydrophobic and Oleophobic
Sealers are water solvent and are classified into two type of functions: hydrophobic and oleophobic. Hydrophobic repels water, Oleophobic repels water and oils. Oleophobic is from Latin meaning “oil” and refers to the physical property of a molecule that is replied from oil. For the advantages that oleophobic provides, such as better protections, these solvents will tend be more expensive.
In conclusion, Solvent based impregnators are the go do for natural stone, granite, and high traffic areas such as the kitchen. For a large investment, It may be worth the up front cost instead of dealing with costly stain removal down the road.
Note: For flat stones like slate, limestone, sandstone, flamed granite, Enhancing sealers will help bring out their color.