Stone Maintenance

Topical Sealers and Impregnators

Topical sealers are coatings designed to protect the surface of stone against water, oil, and other contaminants. They are formulated from natural wax, acrylic, and other plastic compounds.

Impregnators (Penetrating Sealers). Impregnators penetrate below the surface and become repellents. They are generally hydrophobic (water-repelling). Impregnators keep contaminants out, but do not stop the interior moisture from escaping. These sealers are considered “breathable”, meaning they have vapor transpiration.

Treatment Type. The type of treatment (i.e., impregnator or topical sealer that is applied to the stone must be determined by the type of stone and the environment of the application. All treatment must be applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

When to Use. A treatment may be used when a defined benefit can be determined. Situations in which a benefit may be derived from the use of surface treatments include:

  • Where the risk of staining is present.
  • As an aid in daily maintenance procedures.
  • Where a coating may help to preserve the stone finish in excessively high wear conditions.
  • Where weathering has or may affect the integrity of the surface of the stone.
  • To prolong the aesthetic beauty of the original is high.
  • Where the risk of graffiti or other vandalism is high.

Source: Marble Institute of America – Cleaning and Maintenance