Flagstone is almost always a Sandstone. Flagstone refers to the cuts and the installation with large irregular shaped pieces of stone and large grout lines.
Any stones can be cut and installed as a Flagstone pattern. Sandstone is a sedimentary stone that is deposited as mountains are turned into sand grains by erosion. After a time, the sand grains are compacted together and bonded together by calcium carbonate “travertine” to form a solid rock.
There are several different types of Sandstone depending on where it is mined from the earth. All Sandstone is extremely porous and susceptible to staining, water erosion, mineral deposits on the surface, and efflorescence from within the stone.
The most common uses for Sandstone installed in the Flagstone pattern: Swimming pool decks, patios, outdoor barbecues, and interior floor coverings.
At Baker’s, We pride ourselves on providing our customers with honest & reliable information on natural stone care. Many distributors and installers will tell you that your flagstone should not be sealed, which is far from the truth. Their reasoning behind their statements for many reasons. There are two types of sealers that can be utilized for natural stone care. There are issues with each kind of sealers, let’s discuss why both have a bad reputation in the market.
Any use of topcoat sealers can damage your flagstone and can be costly to remove when they fail. Any sort of topcoat sealer, including enhancers that are overapplied, causing a buildup on the surface. sealers can be damaging to the stone because they do not let the stone breathe. Coating sealers trap water which becomes a corrosive solution that will break down the bonding molecules that hold your sandstone together.
Sandstone is sand bonding molecules and air.
Several sources of corrosive minerals can be dissolved by water. Some of these sources include:
Calcium Oxide. Calcium oxide can come from the bonding molecules of sandstone itself. These bonding molecules are actually travertine. The chemical formula of travertine is CaCO3. When travertine breaks down, the carbon atom takes two of the oxygen atoms, which is carbon dioxide disappears into the atmosphere. This leaves behind CaO3 “Calcium Oxide”. Calcium oxide can come from many other sources as well. Tap water & water utilized in landscaping as well as Granite Landscaping rocks can break down and release dissolvable corrosive minerals. The longer a corrosive solution stays in the stone the more damage it can do.
Water can enter the stone is from the side or anywhere the patio is in contact with the following:
- Swimming Pool Coping
- Overwatered Planters or Pots
- Leaky Garden Hoses or Hose Reels
Once your patio has reached its tipping point, replacement is the only option.
Tom & Amy Baker personally do all the estimates and can work with you to find the best solution for restoring your flooring and help locate the areas that may be causing damage to your flagstone.
The other family of sealers with a bad reputation are penetrating sealers. Penetrating sealers are the opposite of a topcoat sealer and are designed to soak into the stone and provide protection by repelling water. If you choose to utilize today’s technology available, the best quality penetrating sealer would be your best choice. The problem with choosing penetrating sealers is that sandstone is so porous that even with the most expensive penetrating sealers your stone will only be protected for a short period of time.
Even the most expensive penetrating sealers, also known as “solvent-based enhancing sealers”, have a very limited ability to protect your sandstone.
For years, I passed on doing flagstone patios because I knew topcoats were bad and did not believe in penetrating sealers to do the job and keep my customers happy with our work. So many of my customers that believed in our ability continually asked for our assistance in protecting their patios from deterioration. After trying the most expensive penetrating/enhancing sealers and even having our own manufactured to ensure there was nothing better out there.
It was obvious that just sealing was not enough to withstand the severe weather of Arizona and did nothing to address spalling. Spalling is when your sandstone begins to flake apart. Especially after spalling had already started.
I was determined to find an answer to protecting flagstone patios. Then I did a lot of research and experimenting and came up with our Stone Densifier. After extensive testing under the elements, with sandstone and several other types of stone, we finally found the best solution for protecting flagstone patios. We started offering this treatment in 2010 with great results. Over the years, I have worked with 3 different chemist and multiple manufacturers to ensure we are leaving no stone unturned. (no pun intended).
How it works~
- Stone Densifier penetrates deep into the stone, and chemically attaches to the bonding molecules which makes them less susceptible to decay.
- What makes our Stone densifier different from other sealers is that It helps to seal the the stone by occupying voids between the sand preventing water from getting in and causing damage. This leaves your patio less porous overall and more resistant to spalling and flaking.
- If you patio has not hit its tipping point or the damage is too deep, Our stone densifier can actually help to rebond the top layers that are close to spalling or flaking.
- VERY IMPORTANT: The stone densifier breaths! Allowing moisture, liquid or vapor to permeate through the stone while reducing its corrosive ability. This can be proven by observing water evaporating out of the stone and efflorescing lime on the surface. Our service does not stop efflorescence it reduces the damage done while the lime is in liquid form.
After the Stone Densifier we soak in an Enhancing Penetrating sealer to help slow water absorption. This product becomes more effective when used in conjunction with the Stone Densifier. The colors will be slightly enhanced, keeping it very natural looking.
PROPER CARE FOR YOUR FLAGSTONE
Your flagstone investment is just as important to us as it is to you. This video shows how regular maintenance to your flagstone and proper sealing is such a priority for preserving the life of your patio and flooring. Our unique cleaning and sealing process prevents deterioration seen in this video. Don’t let your natural stone patios take a beating after being “promised” lasting life by other natural stone care companies. Trust BTPC to keep your flagstone looking the way you have always wanted!
OUR FLAGSTONE CLEANING PROVEN PROCESS
We are the Flagstone cleaning experts. We understand the complexities of sandstone and the Flagstone pattern. Because the grout lines are thicker than those of other types of natural stone, it’s important to hire the experts to come clean and seal your patio or interior flooring. We provide a comprehensive evaluation of your Flagstone and go the extra mile to make sure that you can enjoy your Flagstone patio or interior for years to come.
POWER CLEAN PROVEN RESULTS
ABOUT THE BAKERS
Our focus has always been to provide the best service, using the best tools, at a fair price, and always with honor and honesty.
Baker’s Travertine Power Clean has proudly been in business since 1988. Starting out in carpet cleaning, we evolved into tile cleaning/repair and then transitioned into Travertine and natural stone finishing. Not satisfied with the standard and available products and tools to finish marble and almost nothing available specifically for Travertine, we researched and developed our own unique abrasive system. Our system and powerful quality equipment provides great results in sometimes less than half the time than our top competitors.
Quality Care & The Best Customer Service Are Our Top Priorities. See For Yourself.
We were stunned at how beautiful our tile looked after Baker's finished!!! Unbelievable!! And the team that came to our house was, hands down, the best! We will use them exclusively for this service. They also cleaned our tile in the shower, the bathroom vanities (his and hers) and the jacuzzi tub deck! They are fantastic! There are not adequate words to describe what a great service they performed!! Thank you Baker's!!!!SHARON C.Travertine Semi-Gloss - Scottsdale, AZ
I was very concerned to have a large flagstone patio refinished but could not be happier with the job, My flagstone was 20 years old in bad condition and now looks like new. Work crew was very courteous and gladly answered any of my questions or concerns. There were numerous pots and plants on the patio which they moved off without any damage. Better still, they put them all back where they were before. I would definitely recommend this company without hesitation and will use them again.DIXI R.Flagstone Cleaning & Refinishing - Scottsdale, AZ
Baker's Slate Power Clean sealed my slate floors when they were new and have maintained them for several years. The slate floors are in extreme traffic areas but have preformed excellent because of the original sealing process from the beginning.I am so happy that I found such a specialized company that was able to handle this ongoing project.The Venue of ScottsdaleSlate Cleaning & Sealing - Scottsdale, AZ