Don’t Skimp on Surface Sealants, Here’s Why
To keep your floors, tiles, and countertops looking fresh and beautiful, surface sealants are added to create a protective layer. These sealants are especially important if you have a deck or wood or tile floors. In addition to your deck and flooring, surface sealants can also be used on solid-surface countertops like granite as well as on brick and other materials. Without it, the important parts of your home can become damaged and maybe even irreparable. Here’s why you should never skip on using surface sealants for the important parts of your home.
What Sealant Does
The main purpose of applying surface sealants is to protect your floors or counters from significant damage. If you spill water on hardwood floors, for example, it can cause the wood to warp or leave a permanent stain. With the help of sealants, there’s a protective barrier there that allows water to bead and easily be wiped away. Water damage can wreak havoc on a variety of materials like natural stone, ceramic, and even your grout. Thanks to sealers, your tile, countertops, and flooring are safe from unsightly stains and nasty water damage.
Sealants come in three main types: solvent, water-based, or polyurethane. The type of sealant used often depends on the material it’s being applied to. For example, polyurethane sealant is exceptionally strong and lasts a long time, so it works well on floors with a lot of foot traffic. A water-based sealant is much more environmentally friendly and less toxic, but it’s also less effective. A solvent-based sealer is quite strong but also produces a toxic fume when applied, so it should only be applied in places that are properly ventilated.
Surface Sealants for Granite, Marble, and Concrete Countertops
Any solid surface countertop requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. Even concrete countertops should be sealed in order to prevent food and beverages from seeping into the concrete and causing a permanent stain. Marble should also be sealed to keep its natural beauty protected. You can reapply sealant around once per year, but if your counters are losing their shine, consider doing it more often. Applying surface sealants on a regular basis is the best way to prevent stains and damage to your counters.
Choose a sealant that is specially designed for your particular choice of material. The sealant should be effective, long-lasting, and do a good job at protecting your counters from the daily activities of cooking in the kitchen. Avoid cleaning your stone or concrete counters with harsh cleaning supplies. Instead, mix warm water with mild soap and gently wipe them, and then follow that by drying the countertops with a soft cloth. Using chemicals to clean your countertops can eat away at the sealant and leave holes and marks behind.
Sealing Interior Brick Walls
Whether you have a modern loft in the city or a rustic home, exposed brick inside your house can add tons of unique character and charm. You might not think of it, but you should also seal these walls to keep the brick and the mortar protected. Brick is prone to crumbling over time, especially if it’s exposed to moisture. That’s why adding surface sealants to interior brick walls is so important. The sealant will help to repel water and keep your gorgeous grout and mortar lines intact. You can choose between a sealant that leaves behind a shiny finish or you might try something that creates a matte aesthetic to maintain that classic homey brick look.
Don’t Forget Your Deck
With constant exposure to weather and water, it’s no surprise that your beautiful deck can start to show serious signs of wear. Applying surface sealants to your deck will extend its life and keep the finish looking new throughout the changing seasons. Before you apply a sealant to your deck, clear it of all debris, make any needed repairs, and deep clean it with a pressure washer if possible. This will provide the best surface to ensure that the sealant fully absorbs into the wood. Choose a sealant that comes in a clear formula to maintain the original finish. Or, you can try something with a light tint that still allows the wood grain to show through but adds just a hint of color. Read the instructions fully and then apply the sealant to the entire surface of your deck to keep it weatherproof all year round.
Protect Your Investment with Sealants
Whether it’s brand-new hardwood flooring, gorgeous granite, or your favorite outdoor deck, surface sealants can help to protect your beloved investments throughout the home. If you’re not sure whether or not sealant has been applied to a surface, there’s a simple test you can try. Apply a few drops of water to grout lines, floors, and counters. If the water beads up, there’s likely already sealant there. For grout, if the water droplets get dark or change color, you likely don’t have any sealant on the grout lines.
Reapply a layer of sealant at least once or year, or as needed if you notice that it’s starting to wear down. Most manufacturers of floors, counters, and decking materials provide a guide to help you determine how often you should re-seal their products. Another great way to extend the life of your sealant is to use only mild, pH-balanced cleaning products. Never clean any surface with abrasive cleaners or cleaning tools if a surface sealant has been applied. With these simple surface sealant tips, you can enjoy your beautiful home for a long time to come without the worry of pesky stains or expensive damage.