Natural stone is a material characterized by the geological circumstances of its formation and methods of its quarrying and shaping. Mineralogy and physical composition contribute to properties of strength, density, porosity, water absorption, freeze-thaw resistance, and durability to weathering. Siliceous stones, or those comprised primarily of minerals like silica, quartz, and feldspar, include granites, basalts, and sandstones. Calcareous stones, comprised primarily of calcium carbonate, include limestones and marbles. Some stones are uniform in their properties and aesthetics, while others vary in uniformity. Secondary minerals, for example, can contribute to aesthetic characteristics like veining, while other intrinsic properties like the orientation of bedding planes and fissures can affect performance and durability.
Exterior natural stone is seen as large units in load-bearing mass wall construction, as smaller units that comprise a cavity or transitional wall assembly, or as a thin veneer in barrier wall systems. Existing wall assemblies include different types of anchors, configurations, movement accommodation, and water management details depending on the materials used and the era it was constructed.
Interior natural stone panels, both historically and today, are installed vertically to provide finish to walls and showers and horizontally as floors, stairs, soffits, and countertops. It’s typically anchored or adhered to a substrate depending on the overall dimension, thickness, weight, and configuration. The wide variety of stone available domestically and internationally have long made the opportunities for a unique aesthetic endless.
Historically, cast stone and engineered stone have also been used in interior and exterior settings, with the latter often relegated to interior surfaces. Cast stone is typically comprised of natural mineral aggregates in a cementitious binder. Engineered stone, on the other hand, while also containing natural mineral aggregates, can be manufactured with a resinous or cementitious binder.
For successful historic and existing projects, it is important to prioritize repairs based on the structure’s conditions and project team goals. Project strategies differ per project and can be selected from a variety of repair options. Visit our restoration best practices page for additional information and resources. Below, find stone repair and restoration options for consideration on your project.
Stone damage, such as spalling and cracking, that is too great to repair in situ may need full replacement. In cases where a portion of the stone is damaged, it may be able to be partially replaced with a dutchman repair. In both cases, it’s critical to understand the type of stone, its minerology, secondary minerals, properties, and inherent variability in its properties. Replacement stone or stone dutchman should have similar compatible properties to the original stone. Replacement stones that are stronger and denser, or have lower porosity and water absorption, can cause premature future failures of the historic or existing stone wall assembly. Testing and mockups are important to ensure compatible materials that aesthetically match are selected.
In the case of thin dimension stone veneers, where damage is due to the existing stone panels having properties not appropriate for the thin application, (for example, white marble that has undergone hysteresis, bowing, and failure at anchors), a more robust replacement material should be selected. Historic buildings will need an alternative replacement material that has higher strength and density, while matching aesthetically. This situation can be challenging, requiring a close review of the material properties and potential upgrades to the anchorage systems.
For successful historic and existing projects, it is important to prioritize repairs based on the structure’s conditions and project team goals. Project strategies differ per project and can be selected from a variety of repair options. Refer to our restoration best practices page for additional information, details, and resources. Below, find stone finish repair and restoration options for consideration on your project.
Stone damage, such as spalling and cracking, that is too great to repair in situ may need full replacement. In cases where a portion of a stone unit is damaged and the stone is hard to match, it may be able to be partially replaced with a dutchman repair.
Why settle for anything less than the best when it comes to the installers on your project? BAC craftworkers train throughout their careers to become building enclosure experts and masters of their craft.
When you want to have confidence that you’re working with qualified, experienced crews on your project, you can specify for well-trained craftworkers.
Here are some of the training, certificate, and certification programs you may want to specify for stone restoration.
Traditional craft skills and contemporary repair techniques are critical to the preservation of historic buildings and structures. This in-depth certificate gives BAC craftworkers integrated knowledge of historic masonry preservation.
Proper flashing is one of your building’s best defenses against moisture. BAC craftworkers stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and building code requirements with IMI’s Flashing Upgrade Training Program.
Grouted and reinforced masonry provides added strength to your building. BAC craftworkers learn the latest advances in grouting procedures and code requirements in this course.
IMI’s free project support, technical assistance, and education is here to help you at any stage in your building’s lifecycle.
Our multidisciplinary team draws on decades of experience developing solutions for high-performing masonry and tile projects.
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