Stone Veneer Falling Off!!!

barbcollinsApril 18, 2011

One of the things I liked about the foreclosure we bought was that that previous owner had done a stone veneer on the front of the house and on the foundation.

But, now some of them are falling off. Just on the edge of the front porch. Initially it was above the step, and I thought it was due to the weight bearing when people step there. But now more are falling off on the right.

Do you think it is because:

A. He used the wrong mortar/glue (what is correct to adhere these?).

B. Not enough surface on the edge of the porch to adhere them to?

C. Water getting behind them due to the run off on the porch. (When it rains and the wind is blowing sometimes their is water on the porch).

How should we fix this? We have plenty of stone left (he left about a 1/2 pallet under the porch). Would it be possible to ever get them to stay up against the porch edge?

I am planning on painting the porch floor. Am I better off taking the rest off the attaching a board across a paint it to match the floor?

Any help would be appreciated. This is new for me.

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Looks like lack of flashing and no provision to drain moisture. Water gets behind the veneer; when it freezes, it pops off the stone. It also looks like the veneer is set right against the ground, so it will absorb moisture too.

Is there any better prep for the rest of the stone facade? You can't tell and there's nothing you can do about it now anyway.

Here's an example of the best kind of detailed installation procedures. It involves as much work that is unseen as that which is seen.

If there's a heated basement under the porch, the veneer may also be trapping water vapour there in the winter, leading to mould problems.

I have pics of a new house that sold for a tad under $2 million. Nice looking stone veneer. Terrible prep. But it could be 20-30 years before the stones start falling off.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 12:02AM
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Would it be possible to ever get them to stay up against the porch edge?

For awhile.

I am planning on painting the porch floor. Am I better off taking the rest off the attaching a board across a paint it to match the floor?

And how will you flash that board to prevent it from rotting. Since you've got so much extra, it may be simpler just to replace the missing pieces and consider it regular maintenance.

If there's anyway to ID the stone, you may be able to Google up the manufacturer's instructions.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 12:19AM
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barbcollins

Thanks Worthy,

I'll read through the info from your link and try to learn more.

No there is not a heated basement under the porch, it is open for storage.

I don't want a temporary fix because we plan to sell the house. Don't want to pass down a problem to the next owners.

Good idea about looking for the manufacturer. Next time I go, I'll look on the backs for a name.

As far as a board, I had not thought in detail about that yet. Was thinking either pressure treated or one of the expensive composition boards that won't rot.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 8:13AM
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brickeyee

The stone hanging in space without support below is never going to stay in place long term.

Even just thermal cycles (let alone any freezing) are going to make the joint holding it attached fail.

Stone (and mortar) are strong in compression, but very weak in tension, and those joints are loaded in tension.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 10:26AM
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barbcollins

Hey Brickeye,

I buy and fix up a lot of houses....

What would you do?

DH thinks I should knock of the rest of those on the edge and parge or paint the edge of the porch. I guess that would mean trying to chip off the mortar without damaging the concrete.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 8:39PM
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ron6519

It would help if you stated where you live. If you live in a freezing zone, the stones will pop off forever.
Water will roll off the porch and infiltrate behind the stone. Once it freezes, it pops off.
Ron

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 8:59PM
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Don't want to pass down a problem to the next owner

So you're going to correct any subpar repair or improvement you come across? I don't think so.

When I bought old houses to rent or reno I assumed there was lots wrong--inevitably all the "improvements" over the years. And I did what was necessary to make the house more presentable, not to remedy every defect to the highest standard.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 10:54PM
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barbcollins

Hey Worthy,
Yes, we have already corrected a lot of subpar repairs we came across. I guess I should have said "Don't want to pass down a known problem to the next owner". Yes, in a 110 year old house there will be other defects that will get passed down. But this one is pretty blatant if the stones start falling off within a year of settlement.

Hey Brickeye,
Sorry, I was on my way out the door when I typed my last message to you. When I said "I buy and fix up a lot of houses...." I meant to say "I think you buy and fix up a lot of house... What would you do?"

We've only done 3 before this one.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 8:08AM
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brickeyee

If you want to keep the stone at the edge figure out a way to get some support under them.

The 'ultimate' fix would be to either thicken the lower stone to create a ledge for the upper stone, or install a steel ledge.
If you install it so the vertical section is behind the edge stone the only thing that would show is the front edge of the steel, and you could even cut the back edge of the stone to conceal that.

Just putting some wood trim in place of the stones would be a lot easier and should look acceptable if it matches the other trim.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:48AM
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renovator8

Is it a stone veneer cavity wall, thin stone adhered to a substrate, or a synthetic cladding?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 7:40PM
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barbcollins

The foundation for the porch is made of cinderblocks and is about 8 ft high (you can walk under the porch on the right side) The porch floor is a concrete slab about 3 to 4 inches thick.

I think this is probably contributing to the problem since the cultured stone is about 5-6" thick. Only about 1/2 of the stone is adhered to the side of the porch floor. The other half is left dangling.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 10:15PM
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brickeyee

"Only about 1/2 of the stone is adhered to the side of the porch floor. The other half is left dangling."

Even if all of it was attached it would still be a problem.

Mortar is very weak in tension.

The edge stones need something solid to rest on.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 5:08PM
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brickeyee

"Only about 1/2 of the stone is adhered to the side of the porch floor. The other half is left dangling."

Even if all of it was attached it would still be a problem.

Mortar is very weak in tension.

The edge stones need something solid to rest on.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 5:09PM
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barbcollins

Came up to the house tonight and did some more investigating. Haven't found any brand name yet, but will look more in the tomorrow.

It appears that the mortar is adhered to the back of the stones but not the edge of the concrete. When I pulled this stone off (wasn't hard, just tapped it with my foot), the mortar all came away with the stone. Does this change anything?

The bottom of the edge of the porch is very rough. I can see some of the gravel that was used when they poured it.

Any suggestions on how I could get a finished edge if I don't use the cultured stones? Is it possible to trowel on concrete or parging to get a smooth edge? Getting the mortar off is no longer an issue.

I tried to take a pic with my camera phone. That is the back side of the stone I knocked off.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:10PM
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brickeyee

"When I pulled this stone off (wasn't hard, just tapped it with my foot), the mortar all came away with the stone. Does this change anything?"

Not really.
It is a bad design and will fail over and over until the stone is supported from below.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:53AM
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barbcollins

Yeah I kind of thought you would say that.

We were in Lowes this morning, and I was looking at the PVC boards. Not cheap, but would never rot.

I should have looked at the Trex while I was there. There might be an option there so it wouldn't have to be painted.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 11:25AM
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