Natural stone is one of the most attractive and commonly used building materials available, so it’s surprising how misunderstood materials such as sandstone, marble, granite and slate can be. Ok, so they may be pretty darn durable, but they have their weaknesses as well as their strengths. And to help them maintain their timeless quality, sometimes they need special treatment too.
To ensure that you get the best out of your internal and external stone surfaces, here are a few common myths surrounding natural stone, debunked once and for all!
1. It’s all the same
What might be true for limestone may not be the case for sandstone or any other type of natural stone. Each type has totally different origins and properties, from sedimentary rock formed deep underwater to metamorphic rock that has been exposed to immense heat and pressure over time. It’s therefore essential that each type of stone is used and treated with an understanding of its individual properties.
2. It’s Waterproof
Solid and dense, you’d be forgiven for thinking that a stone wall would protect a property from wet weather. However most types of natural stone are porous, and when not properly cared for can suffer from damp or structural damage. When water freezes and thaws in stonework, it can even lead to cracks. To prevent this from happening, external surfaces should be regularly maintained with stone sealing and pointing.
3. It’s Expensive
Not necessarily. Like any building resources, natural stone prices can fluctuate greatly from year to year. And due to its timeless and durable nature, many consider it to be an investment that can boost the value of your property substantially. What’s more, natural stone can have different grades of pricing depending on the quality and origins, so it’s worth shopping around or enlisting the help of a stone specialist when buying building materials.
4. It’s Stainproof
From natural stone walls to granite and marble worktops, dirt, grime and grease can build up over time on any natural stone surface. Sealants can increase the resistance and longevity of your stonework, reducing the risk of staining and dulling by protecting it from pollution, spills and stains.
5. It’s irreparable
When your stonework gets chipped, broken, scratched or cracked you may think that the damage is permanent. However there are a variety of ways in which stone can be repaired with the right skills and equipment. Done properly, the results can be seamless. So if your stone feature gets damaged, it’s worth investing in professional stone restoration.
From installing natural stone, to restoring dull or damaged stonework to its former brilliance, it’s important to separate facts from fiction when dealing with this valuable building material. Although natural stone is incredible robust, a little extra care and maintenance can ensure that it stands the test of time for years to come. By doing so, your stone features and surfaces will retain their natural wow factor.
I hope this has helped you understand natural stone and it’s benefits.
This article is written by Kelly Gilmour Grassam, a Yorkshire lass who likes eating out in interesting places. You can follow her on Twitter @KellyGGrassam. Kelly was provided with helpful information for this article by Henley Stone.