Frequently Asked Questions
Many of our customers have specific questions about our services. Here are just a few of the frequently asked questions we hear.
Stone, Paver & Tile Sealing FAQ’s
Which sealer should I use?
All porous mineral building materials will benefit from being sealed. Inclusive of stone, masonry, tile, concrete and grout.
Topical sealers- provide a thin film over the surface which in turn will darken the treated surface. These coatings wear quickly and can make the surface slippery when made wet. A topical sealer must also be stripped off when time comes for re-application. These coatings will also block the pores of the surface and can trap salts and water just beneath the surface which may cause the coating to peel or go cloudy.
Impregnating sealers – There are impregnating sealers that repel water and those that repel both water and oil based stains. Impregnating sealers usually will not alter the appearance and not make any change to the slip resistance of the surface but will not completely stop dirt and rubber getting into the open pores of the surface. When you make comparison to similar sounding impregnating sealers, the two most important questions are: how long will it last and how deep does it penetrate into the surface? The deeper the penetration, the better the sealer. Drytreat sealers are the best on the market. Don’t just believe their website and guarantees, check out sealing forums from around the world.
Should I use a water or solvent based sealer?
Sealers need a carrier to evenly spread and take the active ingredients onto or into the surface. This carrier is either water and/or a non-water based solvent. There is no doubt that “water-based” sounds like a more desirable product but this term can be misleading.
Many water-based impregnators still contain a considerable amount of solvent such as n-butyl acetate. As a general rule, non-water based sealers are more effective than water-based sealers. The main reasons they perform better include: they are able to wet and penetrate into the surface – this gives the sealer protection from weathering, cleaning, traffic, freeze-thaw, picture framing (critical on kitchen counter tops where water may by-pass any surface treatment) and efflorescence.
Non-water based sealers can also be used over a previously impregnated surface and are suitable to treat resin treated stone, which is the norm for granite kitchen counters.
Are there any special requirements for sealing around my pool?
Yes. Especially if you have a salt water pool with sandstone, travertine, limestone etc it is imperative that you seal with an impregnating sealer with hardening properties that will help solidify the particles in the stone and stop any chance of salt spalling and disintegration of your stone.
If you have a mineral or chlorine pool, a standard impregnating sealer is still recommended for protection against staining.
How do I know if I need to reseal my surface?
Place about 15-20 mls or a tablespoon of water on the treated surface and leave for 20 minutes. Then soak up the water with some paper towel or a tissue, pressing hard to soak up any water in the pores of the surface. If the water has absorbed into or leaves a dark mark on the surface, it requires more sealing.
What is efflorescence?
Efflorescence is a crystalline deposit on surfaces of masonry, paving or concrete. It is whitish in appearance, and is sometimes referred to as “whiskers”. It is the migration of a salt to the surface of a porous material, where it forms a coating. The essential process comprises the dissolving of an internally held salt in water, or occasionally in another solvent. The water, with the salt now held in solution, migrates to the surface, then evaporates, leaving a coating of the salt.
In what has been described as “primary efflorescence,” the water is the invader and the salt was already present internally. Some people describe a reverse process, where the salt is originally present externally and is then carried inside in solution, as “secondary efflorescence.” However, others would give this latter phenomenon another name entirely.
Efflorescence can occur in natural and built environments. On porous construction materials it may present a cosmetic outer problem only (primary efflorescence causing staining), but can sometimes indicate internal structural weakness (migration/degradation of component materials).
The answer is to seal the surface with a high performance sealer as soon as is practical after the building material is installed. The sealer must be deeply penetrating, able to withstand the highly alkaline environment found in cement based-materials and be completely breathable so moisture cannot be trapped below the surface.
Once the surface is sealed a deep water-repelling layer is formed. This layer will prevent water and dissolved lime compounds from reaching the surface where efflorescence could occur. At the same time the sealer stops further water soaking into the surface and so breaks the cycle of efflorescence.
The unused lime compounds are left harmlessly immobile in the core of the building material with little contact with carbon dioxide. Since the sealer can breathe, sub-surface moisture can escape as water vapour rather than in a liquid form.
What is “Picture Framing”?
Picture framing is best described as a discolouration that occurs to the outer edges of the surface of the paver. Main causes are seepage of grout into the paver, an uneven curing (if cement based) of the cement in the paver or water. Picture framing is usually irreversible and it is best to prevent it from occurring. Preventive measures include pre-sealing the upper-surface of the sides of the tile.
Is frequent cleaning of my surface still required?
Sealers will make the surface water and stain resistant, but not dirt resistant. The sealed surface should be cleaned as regularly as a non-sealed surface. If tree leaves, sap, bat droppings and other foreign matter falls on to your surface, it will still be difficult to clean off, but should not permanently stain the surface.
What is the best way to maintain my sealed pavers?
Remove spills immediately, use diluted bleach to remove marks and routine cleaning and scrubbing of the surface with a neutral pH cleaner will keep surfaces looking good for longer. The majority of tile stores stock neutral pH cleaners.
Glass Coating FAQ’s
What is Nanokote?
Nanokote is one of the products in the family of easy-to-clean coatings for a variety of surfaces. There are different materials for different applications.
What is the difference between Nanokote and other coating systems?
Nanokote creates an extremely stable, easy-to-clean surface and is water, dirt and oil repelling. The highly UV-resistant materials can be used on glass, ceramics and enamel. The coated surfaces are not slippery and do not appear oily.
What is the difference between Nanokote and self-cleaning coatings?
Nanokote creates a surface that is easier to clean than an uncoated surface. It is not a coating that has never to be cleaned. In the manufacturer’s opinion, self-cleaning coatings still do not exist. Every coating has to be cleaned regularly. The only thing that can differ is the frequency of a regular cleaning. The word “self-cleaning” often raises expectations that can not be delivered.
Are there permanent evaporations or odours?
No, there are no odours caused by the coatings.
Is Nanokote stable against UV-radiation?
Nanokote is stable against UV-radiation due to its specific ingredients. This was tested by accelerated weathering using special test equipment (UV radiation in combination with cyclic rain).
Is it necessary to clean the coated surface again?
It is an easy-to-clean, not a never-to-clean coating. Regular cleaning with a mild cleaner is still necessary. Our current customers are indicating their cleaning times have been reduced by 90%. Use of aggressive cleaners is not necessary.
Will the surface get extremely sticky or slippery?
No, the surface will not be modified. There is no danger in slipping on horizontal surfaces and no problem when carrying coated glass in production.
Is it possible that the surface changes colour after a while?
No, the coating is extremely UV-stable und won’t change colour.
Will sealants adhere on the coated surface?
Not all the sealants will adhere on the coated surface. Coatings with a long lifetime use the same sticking mechanisms that the sealants normally use. As a consequence, a compromise between adhesion of the sealant and durability of the coating must be found. The manufacturer has developed special systems that allow adhesion of special sealants. Do not hesitate to ask us for the coating material and the compatible sealants.
Will fittings or stickers adhere on the coated surface?
Fittings or stickers will adhere on the coated surface but the exact properties should be tested as the case arises.
Is the coating visible?
No, because of the coatings’ small thickness, just a few nanometers (1 nm = 10-9 m) it is absolutely invisible for the human eye. Only the easy to clean effect by contact to water is visible.
Is it possible to use the coatings for outdoor and indoor applications?
Nanokote can be used for outdoor and indoor use. Nevertheless there are special products developed for different fields of application. We can advise you in using the optimal product for your application.
What are the requirements for preparation of the surface?
The surfaces have to be clean, silicon-free and non-oleaginous. To prepare the surface, special cleaners are used e.g. Nanokote pre-cleaner.
Where can I use Nanokote?
Nanokote can be used on glass and ceramic surfaces. It is not useful to use the material on acid-irritable surfaces. Plastics-surfaces can get stress ruptures. For frosted glass surfaces special products have to be used.
Will the surface be damaged by the coating?
Glass and ceramic surfaces won’t be damaged by Nanokote. It is not allowed to coat acid irritable materials.
Is it possible to recoat defective coatings on-site?
Sure, the distributor offers professional-kits. Trained staff are able to coat glass and ceramic surfaces on-site.
What are the climatic requirements to the environment?
The application of room-temperature-curing coating-systems can be performed on temperatures between + 5 and + 35 °C. It is possible to adapt the coating process and/or the material to higher temperatures.
Is the quality of the consumer-kit-coatings as good as the quality of the OEM coatings?
The coating-quality made with a consumer-kit can normally not reach the OEM-coating-quality because indoctrinated employees and optimised processes are necessary for a good coating quality.
Is it necessary to remove the flawed coating before recoating?
No. Simple cleaning of the partial coated surface is sufficient. Only the flaws will be rebuilt.
Will a new layer build-up while repolishing with the consequence of a visible coating?
No. The result is a coating similar to the original one.
Is there professional coating-equipment?
Yes. The distributor offers different coating-technologies and coating-equipment adapted to the specific amount.
What happens if I don’t clean the treated surface for a few weeks or months?
Depending on what’s in your water, it may require a scrub with a specific Nanokote cleaner or equivalent. It left too long, the silica content in the water will bond to the Nanokote and glass surface making it difficult to remove. If failure to clean regularly as per our care instructions your warranty will be null and void.
Are there special maintenance cleaners to protect the coating?
The distributor offers special maintenance cleaners that support a long lifetime of the coating. Glass manufacturers can order these cleaners from the distributor and sell them to their customers.
Is it necessary to use special cleaners?
Usually standard mild or acetic-acid-based cleaners will suffice. We recommend not to use highly alkaline or abrasive cleaners as well as disinfecting cleaners.
Can I use microfiber cloth to clean coated surfaces?
There are many types of microfiber cloths available. While it is no problem to use some of them, others are very abrasive and can reduce the easy-to-clean effect when they are used for a longer period of time. As there is normally no need for highly abrasive cleaners, there is also no need for highly abrasive cloths.
How can I remove the coating easily and cleanly?
The coating is evolved for high abrasion and high chemical stability. As there is normally no need for removing the coating, it is difficult to remove. If the coating has to be removed, the distributor offers a special material on request.