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Absorbency refers to the degree to which a surface or marital takes in liquids.

Materials with high Absorbency such as matte painted walls, plaster and untreated wood (especially softwoods) take in liquids easily. As a result, this can make them prone to staining, mould and frost damage. Materials that aren’t absorbent like plastics, treated wood, glossy paint and tiles do not take in liquids easily, if at all. This makes them more resistant to staining, mould and frost damage.

Materials such as: sealant, paints, grout and cement/concrete transition from high Absorbency to low Absorbency when they have dried or cured.

So when using these materials it’s important to be conscious of what moisture or liquids get absorbed as this can affect the drying/ curing time and its finish. Along with the same principle, surfaces can be treated to change their Absorbency. Primer is used on a surface to provide a non Absorbent layer before painting and wood Varnish creates a non Absorbent shell protecting the wood.

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