Granite, concrete, and natural stone can make a beautiful addition to your home as a countertop, driveway, or outdoor hardscape. To keep your stone looking its absolute best, you’ll want to stay on top of your sealing schedule. But you may find yourself wondering, “How often should I seal my natural stone?”
Granite and most other decorative stones are slightly porous, which means they need to be sealed regularly to avoid damage to the stone. If left unsealed, water and small debris can slowly erode, permanently stain, or cause cracks in the stone.
Most of the time sealing your stone is a relatively simple process, though if you’re unsure how to seal the stone properly it’s best to call a professional to avoid damaging the stone.
When Should You Seal Natural Stone?
To make things as easy as possible, we’ve put together this helpful schedule to help you keep tabs on that lingering question – how often should I seal my natureal stone?
Sealing Your Concrete Driveway
Concrete driveways are often forgotten when it comes to sealing. It’s easy to tell when an asphalt driveway needs sealing because you can see the color lighten over time. Concrete can be more difficult to tell when it needs sealing.
Concrete is extremely durable, so it doesn’t require frequent sealing. Most experts recommend resealing your concrete driveway once every five years or so. Depending on your climate, you may be able to wait a little longer than five years. If you start to notice cracks developing, call a professional to assess whether or not it’s time to reseal.
Sealing Your Granite Countertop
There’s an easy test that will tell you if your granite countertop needs a new coat of sealant. You can test the absorption rate of your granite to determine how much and how often you should seal.
Pour a ¼ cup of water onto your granite countertop and note how long it takes to absorb.
If water absorbs immediately, you should apply a few coats of sealant each year and be quick to wipe up spills to avoid staining.
If it takes 5 – 10 minutes for the water to absorb, you should still apply several coats of sealant, but you can reapply every 3 – 5 years.
If it takes 30 minutes or more, your countertops are well sealed and you don’t need to do anything!
Sealing Your Natural Stone Outdoors
Many people wonder how often should I seal my natural stone outside. Natural stones, such as flagstone, limestone, or slate, are used for all manner of indoor and outdoor construction. Usually, these stones are incredibly durable, but it’s important to seal them every few years to ensure that they stay looking their best.
When sealing outdoor stone it is important to apply a water repellent to the grout between the stone as well. Grout and mortar are often more susceptible to water and ice damage than the stone itself. If the grout is left unsealed, it can crack, crumble, and in serious cases expand and push the stone apart.
Sealing Your Shower Grout
Sealing the grout between your shower tiles is incredibly important. Unsealed grout can crumble away and lead to disgusting mold in your shower. Most experts recommend that old tile work is cleaned and resealed each year, and new tile work should be resealed every six months to a year.
We hope this helps next time your wondering, “How Often Should I Seal My Natural Stone?”