May 5th 2023 / General Stone Care
A Lifetime Sealer for marble, granite, and other natural stone... what works best?
Despite endless scientific efforts, there is simply no such thing as a true "Lifetime" sealer. It's like trying to find a unicorn in a hayfield - it's just not going to happen. Too many factors come into play, such as application methods, post-cleaning practices, and overall surface usage. The so-called "warranties" and "lifetime seals" that companies flaunt around like hot potatoes are clever marketing tactics. Take a closer look at those "warranties" and you'll see that they're void of any actual insurance company backing, chock-full of restrictions and disclaimers, and only offer a measly "we'll replace what you used" as some sort of consolation prize. Don't get us wrong, there are some legitimately awesome sealers out there with impressive warranties. Just don't hold your breath for that mythical lifetime guarantee.
We know we're about to hit you with a lot of info, but we promise it'll be worth it.
See, a sealer is basically like a secret agent with two main components: the carrying agent and the solid. Once it's applied, the carrying agent disappears like a magician in Vegas, leaving the solid to protect against all those pesky stains. But here's the catch - the sealer only works temporarily, giving you a little window to clean up before any damage is done. If you're like some of us and miss a spill or are just plain lazy, then unfortunately, there's not a whole lot a sealer can do to help.
When it comes to choosing the right sealer to protect your stone surfaces, you have to consider how "absorbent" or "tight" those suckers are. From marble, granite, limestone, travertine, or other stones… the porosity changes with each type of stone. If your surface is porous and as tight as your jeans after Thanksgiving dinner, then a solvent will be better. But, if your stone is a little more porous and less dense, then water-based is totally fine. Don't forget to ask your supplier about the type and concentration of solids used in the sealer. If they're skimping on quality, you'll only end up with minimum protection - and nobody wants that. Oh, and speaking of protection, make sure that the warranty has your back. Basically, if the warranty doesn’t remove the staining or the material is not replaced, is it really a guarantee?
Oh and let us tell you a little secret... not all materials need to be sealed.
You've probably heard of the water test that MB Stone started, right? Well, it's the MVP of testing. If the surface can withstand water sitting on it for 10 minutes or so without absorbing any of it, then guess what? It won't soak up a sealer or a stain either. Take black absolute for example. It's often sealed, but truth be told, it doesn't absorb anything!
So, take the plunge and conduct the water test on your stone, and if it seems like you are in need of a sealer, don’t worry. We’re here to help and provide you with more information on the various products available in the market, like our MB-24 Barrier. We hope we didn’t overwhelm you with information! If we did, that’s ok too. We are always here to help and you can contact us via social media, email, or phone with any questions you may have.