Beautiful architecture needs protection from the elements – especially when the building has been designed with hand-carved porous stone. In order to stand the test of time, natural stone must be treated with professional quality care products. CUSTOM’s Aqua Mix® sealing solutions were chosen to protect the carved stone treasures at two unique houses of worship.
Ultra-Solv®: Protecting a Masterpiece
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chino Hills, Calif. is an exceptional architectural achievement. The exterior of the intricately carved Hindu temple is made of sandstone and the interior is white marble. It took 7,000 carvers over six years to prepare the intricate design – known as “poetry in stone” – that includes over 400 statues. Construction and carving of Mandirs as places of worship and inspiration is a tradition going back over 8,000 years.
In 2013, this distinctive stone temple was nearing completion and needed sealing treatment to protect its beauty. The light-colored sandstone contained many subtle variations and the builders wanted to retain this delicate character.
They sought the guidance of Kevin Breen, technical advisor at MS International, the largest stone importer in the U.S. Based on the needs of the project, Aqua Mix® Ultra-Solv® was chosen to seal the stone while staying true to its original color.
Aqua Mix® Ultra-Solv® is a professional quality, no sheen sealer that allows moisture vapor transmission from the stone. It provides a natural look while delivering maximum stain protection to the extensive sandstone exterior of the temple. Aqua Mix® Ultra-Solv® is a polysiloxane impregnator with 50% more actives than most comparable sealers. This provides the highest level of protection and superior stain resistance with fewer coats compared to typical sealers.
A second carved Mandir temple, located in Chicago, also chose to apply Aqua Mix® Ultra-Solv® for weather protection. “Knowing the success of the treatment in Chino Hills, the Chicago builders decided to use Aqua Mix® Ultra-Solv® when their stone needed resealing,” said Rod Sigman, business development manager at CUSTOM.
Enrich‘N’Seal™: Long-lasting Enhancement
A second temple, the Jain Center of Southern California in Buena Park, has an exterior of unusual carved yellow limestone. During construction back in 2004, this temple’s builders had also asked Kevin Breen to advise them on the right care products. Since it is so susceptible to staining, the limestone needed a high quality sealer for protection against pollution and graffiti in an urban environment. Breen assessed the stone and suggested Aqua Mix® Enrich‘N’Seal™ from CUSTOM.
Aqua Mix® Enrich‘N’Seal™ was selected to deepen and bring out the rich color of the limestone as well as protect the temple from the effects of weather and vandals. Its formula penetrates the surface to enhance and highlight the beauty of natural stone. “Aqua Mix® Enrich‘N’Seal™ is simply the best enhancer on the planet,” said Breen.
The original treatment has stood the test of time since 2004 and still keeps the stone looking pristine. “The stone looks exactly the same today as the first day we applied Aqua Mix® Enrich‘N’Seal™,” said Breen in 2014. “Most sealers do not last ten months – let alone ten years.”
Aqua Mix® Enrich‘N’Seal™ is the only 100% solids polymer-based sealer and enhancer available, so it gives unmatched performance in key areas such as fade, stain and chemical resistance. Contractors know it will provide the deepest enhancement to stone with fewer applications, providing savings and the longest lasting treatment.
Other monumental projects have similarly used Aqua Mix® Enrich‘N’Seal™ and Aqua Mix® Ultra-Solv® to protect their installations for years to come. Builders at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, applied both of these Aqua Mix products on over half a million square feet of stone.
Both the Mandir and Jain temples have become sites of pilgrimage where the sacred architecture inspires both spiritual and scholarly pursuits. CUSTOM is proud to earn the trust of these faith communities by protecting the legacy of their unique and beautiful houses of worship.