While sealants protect concrete from the outside elements and other factors that tend to degrade and damage it, they do pose an environmental issue. Many traditional sealers use volatile organic compounds, also known as VOCs. These are chemicals that are harmful to the environment and human health. Thankfully, you can still protect your concrete surfaces by switching over to the new water-based sealers and coatings.
Although water-based sealers will still have some VOCs, the levels will be considerably lower than what traditional sealers contain. In the water-based options, acrylic polymer particles get dispersed into water. Once the sealant is applied to a concrete surface, the water evaporates and the polymer particles start getting closer to each other. Once all the water has evaporated, the particles have completely fused together, establishing a clear coating.
Solvent-based sealers do not need to be used now that there are water-based alternatives. The process releasing the most harmful toxins is the drying portion. Sealers that are not water-based release lots of VOCs instead of evaporating water.
The carbon-based compounds released during the drying process of solvent-based sealers can also cause serious health risks in humans. Some of the biggest and most common issues of the VOCs released by solvent-based sealants are kidney damage, liver damage, central nervous system damage, and brain damage. Mild exposure to these solvents will cause issues such as headaches and irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat.
There are other reasons why you should use water-based sealers and coatings. They are more cost-effective than solvent-based ones. Applying them costs less because they can simply be sprayed on using a simple sprayer intended for a garden hose. You also get to avoid any type of flash drying during hot weather.
Another benefit is the lack of bubbles or roller marks that you can potentially get with solvent-based sealants. This makes for a more homogeneous coating of the sealant on your concrete surface.
A big visual benefit to water-based sealers is that they do not darken concrete surfaces like traditional ones do. You get to enjoy a more natural surface than you would have had if you went the solvent-based sealer route. When dealing with decorative concrete, this is a huge benefit.
These are all of the main benefits you receive from using water-based sealants. However, there are a few more that may sweeten the deal for you. These are sealants that can actually be more durable than the solvent-based kind. Also, you have the option of getting them in either a high-gloss or matte finish, depending on your personal preference.
With the increasing number of regulations protecting the environment and health of people, anything containing high levels of VOCs, such as sealers and coatings, is being phased out. The safety risks alone are cause for opting for water-based protection of your concrete surfaces. Opt for using water-based sealers and coatings to enjoy all of the benefits and advantages described earlier.
Stone looks exceptionally great, especially in places like countertops and floors. However, it needs to be properly sealed, given the porous nature of stone. All sorts of nasty and unwanted things can seep through stone, including bacteria, food, and liquids. The most affected stone surfaces are those that receive that highest amount of foot traffic and use.
Wear and tear will make stone even more susceptible to various foreign elements negatively affecting it. If you want to ensure that your stone stays strong and looking great, you will need to seal it. Protect your investment by taking this simple step for your stone surfaces.
Different types of stone are affected in different ways. When you have marble, onyx, and limestone, you are dealing with stone that is vulnerable to being scratched, stained, and damaged by acids. The presence of acids on any of these types of stone will be especially problematic, given that it leaves light and dull spots all over. This is something you will definitely want to avoid, as it can become costly to repair and potentially replace.
Given the porous nature of marble, onyx, and limestone, you should get them sealed approximately every half year or so. Furthermore, you should make sure that you are cleaning them using solutions that have been specifically designed for those types of natural stone. You never want to clean these with vinegar, for example. Maintaining your floors, countertops, and other stone surfaces, along with keeping them sealed, will ensure that they will stay looking stunning and undamaged for a long time to come.
There are other types of stone which are not as porous as the three mentioned earlier. Two common types used, especially for countertops, are granite and quartz. Since they do not have a high level of porosity, they do not need to be sealed as often as marble, onyx, and limestone.
Sealing them once a year will be enough to keep them protected. Besides only requiring to be cleaned once a year, you do not have to use any special cleaners on them. All it takes is some good old fashioned soap and water to clean these types of stone, after which you can wipe them down.
Sealing all of these types of stone will not cost you that much. You can either attempt to do the job yourself or hire professionals to take care of the sealing for you. Whichever decision you choose to make, you should also keep in mind that there is no sealer that will completely prevent damage done to it. This is why you should still incorporate sound practices, such as using coasters for drinks and quickly cleaning up after spills.
Stone surfaces are a beautiful way to bring additional charm and character into a home. To protect your investment, you should make sure to seal all of your stone countertops, floors, and other surfaces. This will ensure you have great-looking stone for a long time to come.