Coral stone, also referred to as coralina fossil stone and keystone, is comprised of coral and shell fossils, sand and limestone and has taken thousands of years to form. It has a unique fossil pattern and is found in a variety of colors including white, beige, yellow and pink. Yellow coral stone has the highest density and strength, and pink coral stone obtains its color from the iron oxide with which it is amalgamated. Most coral stone is acquired from Florida or the Caribbean. Coral stone is temperature resistant and remains cool even when exposed directly to the sun’s rays. This coupled with a slip resistant surface makes it a popular choice for patios and pool. It is also frequently used for pool copings and fountains.
Vulnerabilities of Coral Stone
Coral stone is formed in marine environments, where it is naturally strengthened to withstand salt water, pool chemicals and heavy foot traffic. Although it is most often used in tropical climates, it is capable of enduring the freeze-thaw cycles of northern environments. However, coral stone has a high porosity and is susceptible to staining. Food and oils will darken the stone and leaves, moss and algae may leave green or brown stains. Rust stains are also a common problem, resulting from metal furnishings, flower pots or hardware left on the surface. Coral stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate, leaving it vulnerable to organisms that feed on calcium granules. If left untreated, mold and other microorganism residing within the porous structure may decompose the material. Acids and harsh chemicals should be avoided when cleaning coral stone.
The Benefits & Process of Sealing Coral Stone
Sealing coral stone will prevent staining and make it easier to clean. The sealant enters the pores to prevent the absorption of moisture, oils and debris that can discolor the stone. Coral stone sealant helps maintain the natural color of coral stone as well. It can also protect against harmful microorganisms that degrade the stone and prolong its life. A sealant application can reduce the cost of maintenance and preserve the stone’s natural beauty. Sealants are available in a matte finish to provide a natural appearance as well as glossy for added shine.
Maintaining and Cleaning Coral Stone
Coral stone requires regular maintenance to preserve its appearance and protect its integrity. Cleaning coral stone can be a little tricky, so make sure you read up about what type of products to use and how often before giving it a try.
Natural or mildly alkaline cleansers should be used when cleaning coral stone. If unsealed, steam cleaning is recommended every three months to kill microorganisms colonized within the stone. Spills should be cleaned immediately by blotting with a paper towel. Avoid wiping the area to prevent spreading the spill. Stain removers or mineral spirits can be used to remove most oil stains. Stains caused by algae, moss, mildew or fungi can usually be cleaned with a dilute hydrogen peroxide solution.
Coral stone discolorations resulting from leaves, tree bark or plant growth can also be cleaned with a hydrogen peroxide solution but are often bleached out by the sun and rain. A poultice is typically needed to remove rust stains from unsealed coral stone, and deep-seated rust may leave a permanent stain.
In order to ensure optimal protection for your coral stone, it should be resealed every three or four years. The frequency often depends on the application and the types of chemical and physical stress the stone is exposed to. Texas Stone Sealers provides a four year warranty on matte finishes and a three year warranty on their glossy finish. If resealing is required for any reason during that time, they will reseal it once at no charge.
Protect Your Coral Stone Today!
Sealing your coral stone will protect against staining and decomposition from harmful microbes. It simplifies cleaning and helps minimize the cost of maintenance. A sealant application will keep your coral stone beautiful for years to come. Our coral stone sealing professionals are standing by in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth, Texas.
Call Texas Stone Sealers today for a professional consultation with no obligation. We can be reached at 888-275-5354.