River Rock is a popular stone used for pathways, patios and waterfalls. The rock is composed mainly of phosphate and is obtained from stream beds. River rock is available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors. Sizes range from large rocks to pebbles and the most common colors are gray, black and white. They are usually worn and rounded from erosion. River Rock is set in an epoxy base and troweled over a concrete substrate. It can be applied as thick as desired to meet structural or aesthetic requirements and offers up to twice the strength of concrete. Regular maintenance is required to protect and preserve its appearance.
Vulnerabilities of River Rock
River Rock is commonly used for driveways and porches, and its non-slip properties make it a favorite for pool decks. It is highly versatile and inexpensive,
allowing it to be used for a variety of surfaces. Like other natural stones, river rock is vulnerable to weathering from the elements. Over time, the stones can degrade from exposure to wind, rain and abrasive soils. Chlorine used in pools and fountains as well as some types of cleansers may also cause chemical degradation. Since the stones are set in an epoxy binder, as the epoxy wears down, the stones may come loose.
Staining is another weakness of river rock. Furniture, grills or tools left on the surface may rust and stain the rocks. Rust stains may require rust remover or other harsh chemicals to remove. River rock is also susceptible to staining by green algae, especially in humid climates where the area is shaded. Algae stains can typically be removed with household cleansers. Black stains may appear on stones as a result of fungi and cyanobacteria. Growths such as these can also cause the stones to break down more rapidly whereas their penetrating veins allow water to be more readily absorbed by the rock.
The Benefits of Sealing River Rock
Exterior surfaces composed of river rock are exposed to a harsh environment. Over time, wind, rain and UV rays from the sun can degrade the stones. Sealing river rock will prevent damage from the elements and prolong its beauty. It also protects the stones against staining and allows them to be cleaned easier. In addition, sealant guards against wear from foot traffic and helps prevent the stones from coming loose from the epoxy base. Sealants are available in both matte and gloss finishes to enhance the appearance of the river rock. To seal river rock, you’ll need to make sure the area is clean and free of moisture. The best type of sealant for river rock depends on the type of resin your stones are set in, as well as the environment and traffic area they are currently in. Call us or shoot us an email with more details to get more specific answers about sealing your stone.
Cleaning and Maintenance
After the river rock has been sealed, it requires periodic cleaning and maintenance to retain its natural splendor. Dirt and grease can build up on the surface over time and make the finish appear dull. Sweeping the river rock will remove loose dirt and debris. Set in dirt, mold or mildew can usually be removed by pressure washing. Black and green algae stains left behind after pressure washing may require scrubbing with a 50 percent bleach solution. Spills should be dried immediately. If the sealer has maintained its integrity, the liquid should not penetrate the stone and can be cleaned easily. Stains caused by oily foods can often be cleaned with a dilute degreaser. Make sure you have you clean river rock patios or sidewalks with only mild detergents as not to damage the rock or resin.
In order to maintain the luster of your river rock, it usually requires resealing every year or two. The further south the location, the more frequent the rock needs resealing. Texas Stone Sealers provides a three year limited warranty on their natural matte and glossy finish sealers. If for any reason the river rock needs to be resealed during that time, we will reseal it once at no additional cost.
Protect, Clean & Seal Your River Rock Today!
A professional river rock sealant application will protect your investment and reduce the risk of costly repairs. It will guard against weathering, prevent staining and prolong the river rock’s longevity. Call Texas Stone Sealers today for a consultation with no obligation. We can be reached at 888-275-5354.