Limestone, brick, concrete and natural stone can all be sealed to stop water penetration. If they are not sealed, they will eventually break down and deteriorate. This deterioration results from two principle causes: Water penetration, in combination with freezing weather, cracks concrete, brick and stone; salts introduced by rain, acid rain or sprinklers penetrate the structure. These salts will cause the calcium in the stone to melt - speeding up the natural deterioration process.
There are several different processes available to slow this deterioration. The examples cited below leave the structure with its original appearance and seal out moisture.
We saturate the surface with a product called Tuff Stuff 101. Tuff Stuff is a eloxien siloxine rubber product designed to stop water penetration. It is a clear liquid that is slightly thicker than water. The poreso ordinary concrete, for example, are large enough to allow water and waterborne contaminates to penetrate deep into the substrate. The tiny Tuff Stuff molecules deliver protection deep into the substrate, but their small size still allows pores to breathe. When applied to any surface, Tuff Stuff follows the path of the water to the bottom of the cracks and then gels, causing the water to bridge over the leak and not penetrate. It will stop water penetration through holes up to 1/8 inch in diameter or cracks up to 1/6 inches wide. Tuff Stuff does not stain. When concrete, stone, brick or limestone is saturated with Tuff Stuff, it no longer gets wet. Tuff Stuff lasts ten times longer than older silicone products and is unconditinally guaranteed to repel water for 20 years.
Another process that we use changes the molecular structure of water and draws it deeply into the concrete, brick or stone mass. The process prepares the substrate to accept layered applications of a special carbon-polysilicate compound. The compound reacts with dormant calcium hydrate to form a glass-like gel. the chemical process also expels contaminants through the surface. The added benefit of this system is that it actually increases the internal strength of the structure by an average of 30% and increases surface hardness. The surface preparation makes penetration of up to eight inches of brick, concrete or limestone possible.
The process recommended depends upon the condition of the structure, the material to be treated, the time available and the desires of the client.