Regularly inspecting your stone buildings for wear and tear is the first step in commercial stone restoration. There are several common issues, such as crumbling mortar, cracking stones, weakening walls, and moisture damage that must be found and fixed to ensure the long-term beauty and integrity of stone buildings. The good news is that with constant vigilance and expert help, these repairs are easier to conduct.
Well-constructed stone buildings can last for hundreds and, as history has shown, even thousands of years. However, even though the mortar holding the stones together crumbles, the building itself may remain standing. Crumbling mortar needs to be replaced as soon as it is discovered. Replacing crumbling mortar involves the process of repointing. New mortar should be installed by only the most experienced professionals.
Stones will, given enough time, also begin to crack. Stones that crack are considered to be spalling. Freezing temperatures during the winter trap sources of moisture inside the stone. This moisture is released in warmer weather. Although stone will normally “breathe” moisture in and out, too much moisture harms the stone.
Walls are another area of the building where stones could weaken. When stones begin to weaken, the walls themselves weaken as well. If the walls are beginning to bow or even collapse, it is a potential disaster for the entire building. One possible cause of walls weakening can be water damage from unaddressed roof leaks. Another possible cause is the foundation of the building weakening as well. Weakened walls and weakened foundations will need to be rebuilt to save the building.
Moisture damage can cause a wide variety of structural problems. For instance, one such problem is known as efflorescence. When efflorescence occurs, natural salts present in the layers of stones and layers of mortar break down. The result is a telltale powder that can be resolved with the assistance of experienced professionals. Once the root cause of efflorescence is dealt with, however, it is relatively simple to remove its traces from the stones of your building.
- Use a hard brush and some water to lift the powder.
- Use the same brush and detergent to clean any remaining powder from the stone and restore its original look.
Additional environmental issues that can be made worse by moisture damage include accumulation of dirt, the growth of moss, and infestations of mold. Although rain can wash away some of these issues, the same rain that cleans the stone can also damage it. It is better to use specialty cleaning products formulated to eliminate dirt, moss, and mold.
Commercial Stone Restoration from Del Prete Masonry Will Rejuvenate Your Buildings
If you are looking for commercial stone restoration, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.