Natural stone cladding and gneiss in particular is used for various purposes: for exterior and interior walls, for fireplaces, columns, fences, chimneys, etc. It has become very popular recently and many people decide to do the installation on their own. That is not an impossible task, but very often in such cases people forget something very important, namely to seal the already installed cladding. Sealing will guarantee protection against mould, stains and others.
The difference between sealed and unsealed cladding can be spotted easily. Sealed cladding is slightly more shiny and bright.
Here is some advice which will be of use, if you decide to seal the natural stone cladding on your own:
Do not apply the sealer immediately
He first rule which you should neglect under no circumstances, refers to the time of applying the sealer. Wait for four week after the installation, otherwise the cladding will retain moisture, and this undermines the very purpose of the stone cladding.
Choose an appropriate sealer
There are different sealers that can be found on the market and they meet the specific needs of the client. The sealers that penetrate the surface of the stone protect it from water and dirt. They do not make the stone more slippery and are therefore preferred in a number of cases. Another sealing is necessary in about 5 years’ time, which makes the maintenance extremely easy.
There are stone sealers for permanent sealing, which are usually used in combination with penetrating stone sealers. These sealers, too penetrate deep into the stone and protect it from water and all kinds of contaminants. Moreover, they strengthen the mortar, in case you have used some, and prevent it from crumbling. After that the other sealer is applied and it provides even greater protection.
Read the directions
It is very important to follow closely the directions for applying the sealer you have chosen. Pay attention to how many layers should be applied. If the directions say two layers, it is obligatory that you wait for the first one to dry off completely. Then leave all layers to dry off as much time as recommended.
If you have already sealed the stone cladding before
In such cases you need to clean the cladding in a way, appropriate for the particular type of stone. Only after that can you reapply the sealer.
This video will help you visualize the whole process of sealing.
Finally it can be pointed out that natural stone cladding sealing is the last step that follows the installation of the cladding. It will give a finished look to the cladding, will preserve the beauty of the natural stone for longer and at the same time will make the maintenance easier with respect to the cleaning and protection against contamination.