Natural Stone Porous Materials Protection Cleaning D.I.Y.

Make your terracotta last

China's first emperor knew the value of terracotta.

More than 2,000 years ago, when China's first emperor Ying Zheng knew he needed protection during his time in the afterlife, he ordered the creation of 7,000 life-size warrior sculptures for his tomb. And what material did he choose to make this inanimate army out of? Terracotta, of course. 

Terracotta, Italian for "baked earth", tends to retain its color and appearance over a long period of time, making for a long-term and aesthetically pleasing solution for many different surfaces. It was the natural choice for an emperor who needed his army to last the eternity he would spend in the afterlife.

Unfortunately, its porosity means that terracotta protection is of the utmost importance if you want it to last. Whether that's for an eternity or for decades is up to you. 

The vulnerabilities of terracotta

Terracotta tends to be very porous if it's unglazed. However, even if you go to all the trouble of glazing it, it can still be partially porous, leaving the material at risk of staining and water ingress. 

"The only reason that building materials biodegrade is because they are affected by water," says the Property Care Association. 

Left untreated for too long, dampness can lead to fungal decay in your terracotta, leaving you to watch your floor slowly degrading over time as you wonder what you could've done differently. 

Not only that, but unprotected terracotta floors tend to pick up dirt easily, which could leave your home looking unsightly. You chose terracotta for its aesthetic, long-lasting value, you might think, and now that decision has backfired.

Sealing and protecting terracotta

All is not lost, however. If you simply treat your terracotta tiles with an impregnating sealer, you can enjoy the rustic, authentic character they lend to your home without giving another thought to their health. 

Ying Zhang could only have dreamed of products like DryTreat's STAIN-PROOF Original™ to make sure his warriors stayed protected while he enjoyed his slumber. These are a great solution for when you want an invisible, fully breathable and impregnating sealer to protect against  water, salt and oil. 

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