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The use of granite as kitchen countertops has become more popular now than it ever was among people doing home improvements. Almost every home’s kitchen countertops are made of granite because aside from the fact that granite is a natural stone that forms over time, it is also a very strong material that is scratch and heat resistant. A lot of people have been using granite as it is easy to clean and is also stain resistant. Moreover, granite is available in many different colors and patterns. With its durability and beauty, it is no wonder that granite has become one of the most popular choices for home improvement projects.
However, without proper care of it, granite can become stained and scratched. Unlike the usual tiles, granite requires maintenance. One important step in granite maintenance is sealing the stone. But what is a granite seal and is it necessary? In this blog post, we will try to explain what a granite seal is, why it is important and how to tell if granite is sealed and share some tips on how to seal it if necessary. Stay safe and happy renovating!
What is a Granite Seal?
Granite seals or sometimes referred to as “granite impregnators” is a clear, protective coating that helps to resist staining and scratching. Granite sealers are available in both water-based and solvent-based formulas. Water-based sealers provide good protection against staining but may require more frequent reapplication than solvent-based sealers. Solvent-based sealers provide excellent protection against staining and scratching but should be used with caution due to the strong fumes.
This resin-like element is spread throughout the granite acting as its cover. After a significant amount of time, the resin is absorbed into the pores of the granite making it stain or dirt resistant, thus keeping your granite looking new for years to come. Granite sealant also helps to repel water and other liquids, making spills easy to clean up. That is why if you are using granite as a kitchen countertop, it’s important to make sure that it’s sealed properly before and after installation.
Is It Necessary to Seal Granites?
While granite is a durable material, it is not totally immune to damage. One of the most important things you can do to protect your granite surfaces is to seal them on a regular basis. Granite sealer creates a barrier that helps to repel water, oil, and other liquids that can cause stains,discoloration and dulling off its shine. Without this barrier, liquids can penetrate the pores of the granite, causing permanent staining. In addition, unsealed granite is more susceptible to scratches and chips because the sealant protects the granite from being damaged by water, oil, and other liquids. When these liquids seep into the granite, they can cause the granite to crack or chips. Also, unsealed granite is more likely to harbor bacteria and other contaminants. By sealing your granite surfaces, you can help to keep them looking new for years to come.
As a result, sealing granite is essential for protecting your investment. There are many different types of granite sealers on the market, so it is important to choose one that is right for your needs. If you are unsure whether your granite is sealed, below we will enumerate the 6 ways to know if your granite is sealed.
How to Tell if a Granite is Sealed?
As discussed above, it is important to have your granite sealed so as to keep its beauty for long. Sealing helps to protect the stone from stains and makes it easier to clean. Granite that has been sealed will have a consistent color and texture throughout. If you are unsure if your granite is sealed, there are a few simple tests you can do at home.
1. Look for a Change in Color in the Granite
If the granite looks darker or shinier than usual, it has probably been sealed. You can also sprinkle a few drops of water on the surface of the granite. Sealed granite will darken in color when wet, while unsealed granite will absorb the water quickly. Sealed granite will also have a more uniform color, as opposed to the natural variations in color that you would see in unsealed granite.
2. Feel the Surface of the Granite
First, wipe the surface of the granite with a damp cloth. If the water beads up and does not penetrate the surface, then the granite is sealed. Also, if the surface of the granite feels smooth and slippery, it has likely been sealed. Unsealed granite will have a more porous surface, which means it will be more rough and absorbent.
3. Place a Drop of Water on the Surface of the Granite
Water is an effective indicator is a granite is not sealed as water will create discoloration in unsealed granites. If the water beads up and stays on the surface of the granite, it has been sealed. If the water is absorbed into the granite, it has not been sealed.
4. Use a White Rag to Test for Granite Sealant Residue
Rub a white rag along the surface of the granite. If you see any black streaks on the rag, this indicates that there is sealant residue on the granite.
5. Test for Granite Staining With Iodine
Place a drop of iodine onto the surface of the granite. If the iodine is absorbed into the granite, this indicates that it is not sealed and is therefore susceptible to staining.
6. Consult With a Professional Granite Installer if You’re Unsure
If you’re still not sure whether or not your granite is sealed, you can always consult with a professional stone restoration company or stone fabricator
Do Granites Need to Be Resealed?
Granite is a beautiful addition to any home, but it does require some upkeep in order to keep it looking its best. Depending on the type of granite you have, and depending on your cleaning habit, you may need to reseal your countertops every 6 months to 2 years. You can tell if your granite needs to be resealed by doing the seal tests enumerated above.
There are several granite sealers available at most hardware stores.Some sealers need to be reapplied regularly, while others can last for years. When resealing granite tiles, be sure to use a sealer that is specifically designed for use on stone. Applying the wrong type of sealer can damage the granite and void any warranties that may be in place.
How to Seal Granite
If you see the need to reseal your granite counters, there are several granite seals available in the market. However, you have to choose the best quality as applying the wrong and substandard sealer may do more harm than good.
If you’ve chosen the best product in the market, here’s how to seal it so that it lasts for years.
1. Choose the Right Granite Sealer
There are many different types of granite sealers on the market, so it is important to choose onethat is specifically designed for granite. Granite is a porous material, so it is important to choose a sealer that will be able to penetrate the surface and fill in the pores.
2. Clean the Surface of the Granite Countertop
Before applying the granite sealer, it is important to clean the surface of the granite. Use a mild soap and warm water to remove any dirt or debris from the surface. Be sure to rinse the soap off completely and allow the granite to dry completely before proceeding.
3. Apply the Sealer on the Granite
Once the granite is clean and dry, you can begin to apply the granite sealer. Apply a small amount of sealer to a clean cloth and rub it into the surface of the granite in a circular motion. Be sure to cover the entire surface evenly.
4. Allow the Granite Sealer to Dry
After you have applied the granite sealer, you will need to allow it time to dry. Depending on the type of sealer you are using, this could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours. Once the sealer is dry, you can proceed with using your granite countertops as usual.
5. Reapply the Granite Seal as Needed
It is important to reapply the granite sealer every few months in order to keep your granite countertops protected from stains and other damage. You may need to reapply more frequently if your countertops see a lot of use. Sealing your granite is a quick and easy process that will protect it from staining and fading over time. So be sure to do it regularly for maximum benefits!
Common Mistakes in Sealing Granites
1. Not Testing the Granite First
One of the most common mistakes people make when sealing granite is not testing the stone first and checking whether it needs sealing or not. Before you seal your granite countertops, it’s important to test them first. Some granites are more porous than others, and some may not need to be sealed at all. To test your granite, you can follow the steps above or simply apply a drop of water to the surface and see if it beads up or is absorbed into the stone. You can test the granite by applying a small amount of sealer to an inconspicuous area and then wiping it away after a few minutes. If the sealer darkens the granite, it is absorbent and will need to be sealed.
2. Applying Too Much Granite Sealer
Applying too much sealer to the granite is also among the common mistakes people make in sealing granites. When you apply too much sealer, it can leave a residue on the surface of the stone that will be difficult to remove. It is important to follow the instructions on the sealer bottle and only apply a thin layer of sealer to the granite.
3. Not Letting the Granite Sealer Dry
Another common mistake people make when sealing granite is not letting the sealer dry completely before using the countertop. The sealer needs time to penetrate into the granite and form a protective barrier. If you use the countertop before the sealer has had a chance to dry, you will decrease its effectiveness.
4. Not Reapplying Granite Sealer Regularly
One of the worst mistakes people make is not reapplying sealer regularly. Granite should be resealed every 6 months to 1 year in order to maintain its protection against stains and scratches.
5. Using a Low Quality Granite Sealer
Using an inferior quality sealer is another common mistake people make when sealing granite. Inferior quality sealers may not provide adequate protection against stains and scratches and may need to be applied more often. It is important to use a high quality sealant that is specifically designed for use on granite.
6. Not Cleaning Up Spills Immediately on the Granite
Not cleaning up spills immediately is another common mistake people make when sealing granite. When liquids are allowed to sit on the surface of the stone, they can penetrate into the pores and cause stains. It is important to clean up spills as soon as they occur in order to prevent staining.
Sealing your granite is an important step in preserving it and keeping it looking new for years to come. By using a sealant, you’ll protect your countertops from staining, etching, and general wear and tear. Not only will your counters look great, but they’ll be easier to clean and maintain with less hassle.