But none of us were born Einstein. It is never too late to learn. So let’s come from scratch and start with the basics.
Impregnation. If at this point each of us tried to find one synonym for this word, what would it be? After searching various sources, we can learn that impregnation means: to soak, to wet, to saturate. Antonyms, on the other hand, are: dry, dried.
According to Wikipedia, impregnation is: “the saturation of materials (wood, canvas, paper, concrete, plaster, leather, etc.) with solutions of resins, dissolved wax and other chemicals. The process is to strengthen and protect the substrate or material from the harmful effects of moisture, mould, insects, fire, etc.”
Hence, we can see that most of us have somewhat misinterpreted the word and its meaning. We still have a lot to learn. For a start, I think we should talk more often about the “care” of stone rather than about impregnation itself.
Let us, therefore, see how to care for the stone step by step. There are 5 basic procedures:
It is of great importance because it protects against the penetration of dirt. We apply it on the underside of stone, tiles, slabs of absorbent materials. This treatment prevents salts, tannins and iron compounds from penetrating the layer under the material and efflorescence on its surface, preventing streaks and stains.
2.Cleaning after laying:
It is essential as it allows the removal of cement, adhesive and grout residues to ensure that subsequent impregnation and maintenance is carried out correctly.
Prevents the penetration of dirt and the formation of water or oil stains.
Protects the material from wear and tear, also allowing a different aesthetic effect to be achieved. For this treatment there are, for example, protective waxes with different finishing effects.
A regular operation on a daily basis that strengthens the protection and removes surface dirt.
Of course, theory is theory. However, we need to keep one more thing in mind. And this is climate. It has a colossal influence. There are impregnates that we can or must apply twice. The leaflet says that the drying time is 8 hours. The substance was manufactured, tested, packaged and labelled in Italy, for example. The Mediterranean climate is slightly different from ours, and our winters are also slightly different from those in Italy. So remember not to stick up to leaflet schemes. Every product is different. Every stone is different. How about extending the waiting time to 20 hours instead of 8 hours to avoid sticking surfaces?
Natural stone has to make a long and complicated journey before it gets to becoming the table top in Mr Kowalski’s living room. First, it is quarried using heavy equipment somewhere in the hills of the Apuan Alps. Next, it is placed on a spinning wheel and properly cut. Then it is processed and transported to a stone workshop, which grinds, cuts, trims and refines every detail. The only thing left is the installation. And that’s no problem regardless of whether or not the customer lives on the 5th floor of a block of flats without a lift.
So we can see that proper handling of natural stone is incredibly difficult, hard in the literal sense of the word, but gives a lot of satisfaction at the same time. It is no wonder that we treat stone care a little bit neglected and we do not pay much attention to it. After all, what is so complicated about rubbing a piece of stone with water and some liquid?
I am leaving this somewhat rhetorical question open for you, dear readers, and at the same time encouraging you to make mistakes, to learn from those mistakes, to make attempts, to ask questions. Let us allow ourselves a little ignorance, which will bring us better skills in the future.
Poorly executed impregnation:
Living room table – satin marble.
A solvent-based impregnator was used,
which must not come into contact with water
8 hours after its application.
The stone was left outdoors,
and it rained immediately after impregnation.
Source: Kurier kamieniarski
Author: Dominika Grabiarz | Published: 13.05.2021