Stone is one of the most appealing materials that homes and other structures are built with. Notorious not only for its sturdy and long-lasting nature but also for its wide appeal and aesthetic beauty, stone is a common building option that you may have in spades in and around your home. However, even the most resilient stone must still put up with the forces at work in nature, especially if your stonework is on the exterior of your house.
From sun and rain to cold weather and even freezing, your stone has already been through a lot and may be starting to show signs of wear and tear. However, cracks on stone masonry are not the end of the world, and a careful patch job can properly repair them. Not only will this prevent the issue from getting worse, but it will restore your surfaces to their former beauty and keep your building safe and sturdy for years to come.
Identifying The Source Of The Crack
In order to determine how to repair cracks on stone masonry, you must first be able to identify where the crack is coming from. Repairing a crack is not as simple as noticing one and filling it in with material; in fact, the precise location of the crack and what other areas it touches will all determine how you approach the repair. Many cracks are located on the masonry itself, which is to say that the crack is occupying a flat surface comprising stone.
However, some cracks can creep into the mortar joints, which are the spaces between bricks or stones that are filled with mortar. The joints need not be corners of the building; anywhere where the crack is interfering with the mortar will be approached differently than a crack that is impacting only brick or stone.
Cracks In The Masonry Itself
For cracks in the actual masonry that do not extend into the mortar in between, start by cleaning the crack as thoroughly as possible with a wire brush. This includes scraping-out both large chunks as well as fine particulates, which you can blow out with an air hose so that the incoming material for your repair clings cleanly to the underlying surface. Then, using a trowel, apply vinyl concrete patch material.
Do not leave excess; keep it as similar to the surrounding area as possible, including in color, which may mean that you need to work with the supplier of the material to stain it to match your home. Most patching materials will require at least 24 hours to cure, after which you can do any sanding required to make the new surface match your home in texture so that it does not stand out.
Cracks In The Mortar Joints
If you have experienced cracks within the mortar joints themselves, your building is likely distributing pressure unevenly among its bricks since the mortar is not doing its job properly. Clean the mortar crack like you would a crack in the masonry, but be sure not to dig so aggressively that you remove more than about a third of the depth of the joint itself, for structural reasons. Mix your mortar, which should take the consistency of a ball that holds its shape once you are done.
The mortar must be left to harden a bit, but it should remain pliable so that you can work; most commonly, an hour or so should suffice. Wet the mortar and then push it tightly into the crack so that no air remains within the material. It is best to work in smaller segments and keep adding more slowly so that air does not build up. The mortar must sit for approximately 30 minutes before you can begin cleanup, which most commonly requires no more than simply smoothing it out and brushing it to remove any residual particles. This process is often referred to as tuckpointing.
Trust The Experts To Repair Cracks Professionally
If you have damage to your home’s stone masonry, you may be worried about how complex the issue is to fix. The good news is that masonry can be repaired, but you need not tackle this project on your own. To ensure the structural stability and integrity of your building, it is wise to leave tuckpointing and similar projects to professionals who have years of experience.
The experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration are familiar with how to restore your masonry, no matter where it is cracked or how deeply. Reach out to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment to discuss your issue.