Surface protection and UV light
For something that we're literally in contact with for hours every day, most of us know very little about ultraviolet (UV) light. But getting a little more familiar with UV rays and what they do is not just important for your general health – it's also critical to carrying out proper surface protection on your natural stone.
What is UV light?
Radiation falls on what is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. The visible light which we usually think of when we hear the word 'light' is only one tiny part of this spectrum, which includes infrared, gamma and X-rays – and of course, UV rays.
The majority of the time that we or our surroundings are exposed to UV rays is due to sunlight. While sunshine is essential for our health, as the American Cancer Society tells us, it also happens that the sunlight is the main source of UV rays.
This can be quite problematic for our health. UV rays damage the DNA of skin cells, and are the reason why exposure to too much sunlight can lead to skin cancer. Did you know, however, that UV rays also have a damaging effect on the health of natural stone?
UV rays can cause yellowing of stone
Most stones are unaffected by UV rays. But certain stones and coatings can be turned yellow over time by exposure to UV rays.
This problem is compounded by topical sealers. Low-quality topical sealers that are applied to protect stone can also yellow in the long term, a somewhat self-defeating outcome – after all, the sealer is meant to retain the look of your stone. This can be especially problematic if you have a limestone patio, for example, as it will receive a great deal of UV ray exposure during the day.
Impregnating sealers are the solution. As the Marble Institute of America points out, because impregnators are absorbed beneath the surface where light won't be able to penetrate, this keeps your stone safe from yellowing. This is particularly the case with Dry-Treat's INTENSIFIA™, which is particularly resistant to outdoor UV light.