Simple idea; big reward. Factory sealing—meaning that your natural stone paving arrives pre-sealed onsite—is a service that seems to be unique to London Stone. And it's incredibly useful.
From a contractor's point of view, it goes some way to saving you time and trouble, enabling you to move on faster to the next job. Recently designer Laura Gompertz told us she'd found it a real benefit because, once her stone had been laid, it would have been difficult to find the time to seal it.
Laura Gompertz Project using pre-sealead Jura Beige
Advantages of Factory Sealed Natural Stone from London Stone
- Reliable products. We always use Dry Treat sealants which, after working with a number of other products over the years, we've found to be by far the best. They penetrate at least twice as deep as the other products we've tested.
- Weather-proofing. When we seal natural stone at the factory we have the enormous benefit of doing the work under a roof, so we can seal all year round without worrying about that torrential rain heading our way. The stone remains bone dry, which is exactly what it needs to be for sealing to be successful.
- Experience. Our guys at the factory seal stone all day long. They've been doing it for years and, more than anyone, they know when the stone is fully cured and how to get the best results. This can be tricky for the less experienced. We always recommend that you leave stone for six hours once sealant is applied, but the temptation to lay stone before that—when perhaps it looks ready but isn't—will result in fingerprint marks and a patchy finish.
Why we recommend that stone is sealed
Of course, there are plenty of reasons for sealing natural stone, whether it's done in the factory or onsite. We always recommend it for sawn sandstone and limestone, as it makes cleaning so much easier, and you shouldn't think twice about sealing light colours. This is why.
- No stain can become permanently engrained. Coke, red wine, tomato sauce, sausage grease—all the dangerous ingredients of a barbecue will be far more easily removed if the stone has been sealed. The same applies to organic stains—grass cuttings, the brown marks that occur when leaves break down on the surface. Again, these won't penetrate permanently.
An oil leak from a car would prove more problematic, even with sealing, but if the stone had been treated, this would help massively in getting a good result when taking remedial action.
- Efflorescence is prevented. This can happen to any stone, as salts migrate to the surface. Sealing works in two directions, so not only preventing stains from soaking in, but salts from rising up.
- Picture framing is prevented. This occurs where unsealed, dry stone sucks moisture in from the newly applied mortar. There's nothing you can do about it because, once the stone is dry, the pigment drawn in alongside the moisture sets solid and won't be shifted. Extreme examples occur when coloured mortar is used with light-coloured stone. Result? One very unhappy client.
Sealing prevents this nightmare scenario because it doesn't just affect the surface of the stone; it soaks into the sides, too, and to the same depth, so pigment can't penetrate.
- Sealed stone generally repels dirt, reducing the need to clean. Our own Chris Durnford recently installed pre-sealed Sawn Grey Yorkstone. “When it rains,” he said, “the water runs off easily and takes some of the dirt away with it.”
So, there you have it. We're just going to have to point out again that we don't know of any other company that offers a factory sealing service. With high-quality products that mean the sealant will last for at least fifteen years, we help you give clients peace of mind that their investment is protected, as well as the chance to enjoy their outdoor space without the need for extra care or extra work.
For more information, give us a ring or click on Live Chat at the top of the page.