Whether you are completing a new stone veneer installation or are maintaining previously installed stone veneers, you may wonder whether sealant is necessary and how much you should apply to your veneers to keep them safe and looking new. While sealant can bring out the features of your stone veneers and protect them from damage, applying sealant is not mandatory in every situation. This is because quality stone veneers are colored all the way through and should chip and wear without much visual change. Below are five situations when you should make sure to use veneer sealant, though.
The Stone Veneers Are Placed In a Wet Environment
Although small amounts of water will not ruin stone veneers and should not cause any visible discoloration, if your stone veneers are placed in an area where it is regularly wet, you may want to seal them to protect them from water penetration. For example, if you have a long rainy season and are using stone veneers on an exposed wall or patio, you should consider sealing them.
You should keep in mind that most stone veneers are not meant for wet usage. This means that they should not be installed underwater or near constantly running water, such as in or around decorative fountains, pools, or ponds. Constant exposure to large amounts of water can cause the veneers to wear quickly.
The Stone Veneers Will Get Dirty Often
If your stone veneers will get dirty often, because they are placed near a gardening area or in a mud room, you should consider sealing them. This is because the extra water and abrasion from regular cleaning will make the surface of the veneers wear down quickly. Additionally, some debris may cause staining if it is allowed to sit on the veneers for a long period of time.
You Are Placing the Stone Veneers In an Area Where People Smoke
Pollutants in the air can cause staining and discoloration of stone veneers. If you are installing the veneers in a room or on a patio where people regularly smoke, you should seal your veneers to prevent penetration of the smoke and allow for easier cleaning of any residue or buildup. If you are installing the veneers near a barbecue or fireplace, you may want to consider sealing them as well.
You Want to Create a Wet Look With Your Stone Veneers
There are a variety of sealants available and many of them create a dark, wet look on the surface of your veneers. If this is the style you want in a particular area, you should use a sealant that is designed to look wet when applied. However, you should keep in mind that you will have to regularly reapply the sealant to keep the look even and fresh. How long one application of a sealant lasts will vary according to how much water exposure and abrasion the area receives. You should periodically check your sealed veneers for areas that appear less glossy than other areas and reapply sealant when you notice significant changes.
You Want to Enhance the Color Variations In the Stone Veneer
Many sealants come with a color enhancer. These sealants will help emphasize the variations in your stone veneers, making them look bolder and more visible. For a more extreme look, you should specifically apply a sealant that is combined with a color enhancer. However, you should make sure that both the sealant and enhancer are made for use with stone veneers. You can ask your supplier for sealants that are compatible with their particular veneers.
Sealing your stone veneers can be a good way to protect your investment. While in many situations the effort is unnecessary, it is important to make sure that you seal your most vulnerable stone veneers.
For more information and tips on sealing stone veneers, talk with a company that sells veneers, such as Harristone Pre-Cast - Merrillstone Natural Stone Products - G. S. Harris Co., Inc..