Manufactured stone veneer has become one of the most popular finishes both for interior and exterior house surfaces. It is highly resistant to damage and very easy to maintain. However there is one threat that stone veneer faces, and that is water.
There are two primary factors to consider when it comes to preventing moisture and water damage on any stone veneer surface: installation of the veneer, and proper sealing once installation is complete.
How Moisture Damage Can Affect Custom Stone Veneer
If Custom Stone Veneer is not installed correctly, a real danger is that water can become trapped between the stone and the wooden framing and interior drywalling of your home. If this happens, the outside surface might look dry and normal, but inside the wood is wet and it will inevitably start to rot.
One of the problems is that older building methods did not use airtight methods to create “building envelopes.” While insulation and energy efficiency wasn’t great, the system did allow building components to dry out naturally without undue damage if and when they got wet. Modern building methods are energy efficient, but if not done the right way can result in the building’s “envelope” absorbing water that not only doesn’t dry out, but also provides a stimulus for fungal growth.
Experts warn that if a building isn’t weathertight without Custom Stone Veneer, then it won’t be weatherproof once the veneer has been installed. Common problems include a lack of drainage and incorrect flashing. There must be weep holes at the base of walls to prevent water from pooling between the frame of the wall and the veneer, and flashing must lead water away from the house.
So the first step is to ensure that the core building is built to the strictest specifications; the second is to ensure that a reliable professional installs the manufactured stone.
The other issue is that all manufactured stone is relatively porous and will therefore retain moisture if it is not properly sealed. This must be done once building is complete.
How to Prevent Moisture Damage on Stone Veneer
Once a Custom Stone Veneer has been installed it should be coated with a good quality product that will repel water and oil. If this is done efficiently it will also prevent staining.
Native Custom Stone has developed a product that does just this. Called Natural Shield, the coating bonds to substrates chemically and mechanically and acts as a natural defense against water damage (including chalky efflorescence that forms on stone and masonry surfaces), biological growth, freeze and thaw damage, stains, and even cracking and accumulation of dirt.
Although it is easy to apply, if an older stone veneer surface is dirty or stained, it might need to be cleaned first with Native Custom Stone’s Neutral Detergent. Once the surface is clean and dry, Natural Shield may be applied according to the label instructions using a brush, roller, or some sort of spray method. Very porous surfaces and older installations will usually require more than one coat.
Natural Shield takes 24 hours to seven days to cure, depending on the temperature, relative humidity, and airflow. Once curing is complete it will repel water and prevent the surface from future moisture damage. It really is an excellent way to protect your investment and keep your home looking its best.