What do we mean when we talk about a breathable sealer?
They’re impregnating, which means they don’t simply sit on the surface of the stone, but penetrate deeply into it for maximum surface protection. They’re also invisible, which means applying them to a surface won’t alter the appearance of that surface – particularly important when it comes to something with the beauty of natural stone.
As well as all this, they’re also breathable sealers. But what exactly does this mean?
Sealing is all about preventing the incursion of water and other substances into a particular surface. But some sealers don’t just prevent water from going in – they prevent it from going out, too. These sealers are known as ‘non-breathable’.
As you might have guessed, a breathable sealer, by contrast, allows water vapor and other substances to pass back out of the stone. This is crucial for the health of your stone.
Moisture doesn’t simply enter a surface from above, like a burglar breaking into a house. There is also such a thing as groundwater, and the soil beneath our feet also holds a significant amount of moisture – moisture that attempts to escape out to the surface as water vapor.
Water, therefore, isn’t simply an unwelcome intruder jimmying a lock – it’s also the monster in the basement, threatening your from inside where you think you’re safest.
The benefits of breathability
This can be highly detrimental to the stone. If water vapor is unable to pass out through the surface of a stone, once the temperature drops, it will freeze. And dedicated Surfacepedia readers know what happens when moisture freezes: It expands, pushing stone particles apart, and causing spalling.
That’s why you always want to seal your stone – whether marble or concrete – with a breathable sealer. Be sure before you buy that the product you’ve selected does indeed qualify, or you might end up with a serious case of buyer’s remorse.
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