Some stone types need to be sealed to keep them in tip-top condition for many years to come.
A sealant protects stones from stains caused by water, dirt, and oils, adds UV resistance to stones that suffer from solar colour degradation, and can protect joints.
Some sealants create specialist finishes, such as creating a gloss finish or enhancing the colour of the stones you have chosen.
However, sealing stones still raises questions for many. Improper sealing or using sealant when it is not needed can be a costly mistake- for both your bank balance and your paved area.
Which stone types need to be sealed?
As each stone type has different strengths and weaknesses, sealant can be more beneficial for some than others.
This may be due to the stone type or the manufacturing process.
Sedimentary rocks, such as sandstone or limestone, will require extra protection as they can be worn away at a faster rate, much easier than an igneous rock, such as granite, which is naturally much harder and more resistant to erosion.
Similarly, porcelain tiles undergo the vitrification process to increase their durability and water resistance, while also making them resistant to fading and colour change.
|Stone type||Does it need to be sealed?|
|Sandstone||Yes, to prolong original colouring and resist staining.|
|Limestone||Yes, to withstand solar colour degradation.|
|Slate||No, but can be improved with a colour-enhancing sealant.|
|Vitrified porcelain||Not necessary.|
|Marble||Yes, to stop staining.|
When do I apply a sealant?
Most manufacturers advise that if your stones require sealant, it is best to apply it anywhere from 12 weeks to 1 year after laying your patio. This will allow for efflorescence to pass from the stones and for the paving to settle.
The sealant you purchase will give more specific advice if you need it.
When applying the sealant, it is best to apply it in the spring or summer, as you will need dry weather to apply the sealant and allow it to dry properly. Applying sealant in the rain can mean that it is simply washed away, rendering it ineffective.
Is sealing a patio difficult?
Applying sealant is not a complicated procedure but it is important that manufacturing instructions are followed carefully to ensure the product is applied properly.
Generally, to successfully seal a stone paving structure, you should follow the steps below.
- Ensure the area is clear from dirt, debris, weeds etc. You could brush the patio to achieve this.
- Clean the patio as advised for your paving stone type, usually with warm, soapy water.
- Apply the first coat of sealant with a spray applicator or fibre rolling brush and allow it to dry. Drying time could take around 3 hours.
- Some products will need a second or even third coat of sealant. Always check with the brand you purchase.
- Your patio is now protected.
How regularly do I need to seal my paved area?
It is generally recommended that patio sealant is re-applied every 2-5 years, but you should check the manufacturer’s advice included with the brand that you purchase for specific product information.
If you live in areas of particularly harsh weather, or your patio is used heavily, you may find that you will need to reseal more often.
Need more advice about sealing your patio?
Be it for dining, barbecuing, or even as a quiet place to read the newspaper without interruption- with regular cleaning and the proper application of sealant, if required, your paved area can give you extra space and impress your guests for years to come.
Your stones will retain more of their colour and texture, and the need for repairs can be minimised, saving you time and money.
Browse our range of sealants today, or for more advice, contact our friendly and knowledgeable team by calling 01744 304 545. Alternatively, you can send us an email, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.