Through excessive rain, freezing conditions and poor maintenance, stone can deteriorate and cause substantial damage to the building structure.
Stone absorbs water and then dries. How much depends on how porous the material is but this absorption and drying process is referred to a ‘breathing’.
With global warming causing more mild yet wet winters, the need to maintain the stonework of your building and ensure that this breathing process works properly.
Problems that can cause stone defects
Bad Repair Jobs
Cement used to repoint stone is a clear sign that a builder does not know what they are doing. Cement between sandstone can prevent it from breathing and cause the stonework to dissintegrate. Cement was often used for other repair jobs but cement tends to be hard and ‘plastic repairs’ used over the face of a sandstone section can trap water in side the sandstone beneath which through freezing and expanding can seriously damage the stonework.
Leaks in gutters and moisture unable to escape from the stone are two common reasons for stone decay. While general weather and ageing will over time wear away softer stones like sandstone, poor maintenance and care are the primary causes of stone decay. A leaking gutter will saturate a sandstone wall and it will never be able to dry out properly.
The growth of moss and other plant life can cause damage to sandstone. Windblown seeds can easily lodge into difficult to access points of a building structure and the root growth of these plants can cause severe damage to a properties stonework.
Beneath the stonework of a building runs metal support structures. While generally protected by the sandstone surrounding them, if that sandstone becomes overly saturated, the metal cramps, staples and beams can begin to rust. As metal rusts it expands and this can break apart stone from the inside.
Find out more
If you would like to know more about stone defects and how Balmore Specialist Contracts can help you with your building repairs, please contact us today.