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When in doubt seal – it is less expensive than the cost of removing a stain (which is never guaranteed).
There are however instances when you do not need to seal, when NOT in doubt. If your stone has been resonated you will not have to seal it. Resonation is a process the granite slab manufacturers developed to enhance the strength and flexibility of their slabs so that they were less likely to do damaged in transit as they crossed the ocean. The side benefit is that when they vacuum the resin literally through the stone they are also filling in the stones pores. This process is common with slabs under 5 years of age, however there are no guidelines or requirements that a slab disclose whether it has been resonated or not, as such even the fabricator may not know. In some instances you can tell if you see exuded plastic like gold or translucent beads on the back of your slab (check under the sink), however not seeing this does not mean it has not been resonated. As the tests for resonation today are destructive, there is little you can do to assess this. As such the opening comment, when in doubt seal.
Staining occurs when a colored product is allowed to be absorbed by the stone. The most common culprit is cooking oils and human skin oils (leaning against the counter). These will appear as an area of darkened surface that does not respond to cleaning. A poultice laced with a chemical designed to dissolve the staining material is employed to draw the material out. Unfortunately, this process requires 24 hours for each application. It may require the use of volatile, smelly solvents, effectively shutting down the area around the stain (often the kitchen) for days at a time, with no guarantee that it will come out 100%. The result is a beautiful kitchen marred by an ugly stain. Replacing the slab is expensive, and being a natural product, may be close but likely just a bit off in color. Replacing a kitchen counter is typically measured in thousands of dollars, whereas stain removal is measured in hundreds to thousands to have an outside craftsman oversee such a project. For this reason, MARBLELIFE is more than willing to teach a home owner how to remove the stain themselves. This saves them money and reduces the risk of dissatisfaction if the stain fails to respond. A far better solution and a far less expensive one, is simply to spend the 30 minutes it may take to seal your counters every other year. Your biggest risk is forgetting and being late in your application. The cost is typically less than your last dinner with a friend or spouse.
They say, no one wants insurance until they need it, when it becomes one of your best investments. Similarly, no one wants to seal, until something is spilled. In the kitchen, no matter how careful you are if, oils or fats are involved then staining material is splattering about. Its either seal or eat out.
MARBLELIFE offers MARBLELIFE STONE SEALER for marble and large surface areas such as floors, and GRANITE COUNTERTOP SEALER in a spray pump for ease of application. Quick, easy and inexpensive. Best insurance your counter ever saw.
Call MARBLELIFE at (888) 524-3372 or visit us online to secure your FREE ESTIMATE at www.MARBLELIFE.com or to www.MARBLELIFEPRODUCTS.com to secure the care products appropriate to your surface, and your desire for an easy effective cleaning solution.