Maintaining stone veneer

15 Dec, 2020

One of the best reasons to choose a stone veneer for your home is the ease of maintenance after installation. Stone veneer is a sturdy, natural material that is virtually maintenance-free, but there are still steps you can and should take to keep your stone veneer looking fresh and new. Regular inspections will alert you to any potential problems before they become real problems, and a little attention will go a long way to making your natural stone veneer looking its best and lasting a very long time. 

 

Inspect your stone veneer

If your stone veneer is outdoors you should inspect it once or twice a year, as often as you check your gutters, windows and the rest of the exterior of your home. Look for cracks in the stone and loose mortar. No matter how resilient stone veneer is, it can still be damaged, and if it is damaged then catching it early is the best way to fix the problem the right way. It’s easier to repair a small crack early than it is to deal with a big problem caused by one years down the line. 

If your stone veneer is indoors inspecting it for damage will be easier. Just keep an eye on it when you clean your kitchen, bathroom or whichever room in your house you’ve installed the stone veneer in, and follow the instructions below for how to clean your stone veneer.

 

Repair any minor cracks in the mortar of your stone veneer

For minor cracks in your stone veneer, you can use the same kind of mortar as is used to repair driveways. It is infused with vinyl, so it is a great choice for sealing and small cracks that have formed over time and keeping water out from behind your stone veneer. This is called repointing. It’s not uncommon for masonry work to require a bit of repointing after a few years, but if there are more than a few cracks to fill in the grout of your stone veneer you shouldn’t do it yourself. Severely damaged grout or cracking stone could be a sign of a larger problem in need of a professional.

 

Cleaning your stone veneer

Because stone veneer is a natural material, it’s important to remember that some types of stone can be damaged by harsh chemical cleaners. Avoid products with acids, ammonia, bleach and other harsh cleaning products. At best, they could strip the colour from your stone veneer, leaving it looking lifeless and dull. At worst, you could do irrevocable damage to your stone veneer and need to replace some or all of it. Stick with a mild dishwashing detergent, or a mixture of warm water and vinegar, in a bucket. Don’t use a pressure washer on your stone veneer, or a wire brush. Use a soft-bristled brush, a sponge or a soft cloth to scrub your stone veneer clean, and rinse until no soapy residue remains, and that’s it. Cleaning stone veneer is really that easy.