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Should Your Precast Stone Be Replaced or Repaired?

delprete masonry precast stone replaced or repaired

Should your precast stone be replaced or repaired? Look for these signs.

Precast stone is popular for many architectural projects due to its durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal. However, like any building material, it can show signs of wear and tear over time. Property owners must decide whether to replace or repair the precast stone when these issues arise. At DelPrete Masonry, we help you make the best choice for your property by assessing the condition of your masonry and recommending the most appropriate solution. Here’s a guide to help you determine whether your precast stone needs replacement or repair.

Signs That Your Precast Stone Needs Repair

Minor Cracks

Minor cracks are a common issue in precast stone surfaces and can often be addressed with repairs:

  • Hairline Cracks: Small, thin cracks less than 1/8 inch wide are typically superficial and can be repaired using stone filler or sealant. These repairs can prevent further damage and extend the life of your precast stone.
  • Shrinkage Cracks: Cracks that occur due to the natural shrinking of the stone as it cures are usually not structurally significant and can be easily repaired.

Surface Discoloration

Discoloration can occur due to various factors, including weathering, chemical exposure, or improper curing. If the stone is still structurally sound, the surface discoloration can often be remedied:

  • Staining: Applying a stone stain or dye can refresh the appearance of discolored surfaces, giving them a new lease on life.
  • Cleaning: Professional cleaning services can remove surface stains and restore the stone’s original color and finish.

Spalling and Scaling

Freeze-thaw cycles, de-icing chemicals, or poor stone mix typically cause spalling (flaking or chipping) and scaling (surface peeling). Minor spalling and scaling can often be repaired by applying a resurfacing compound to the affected areas, which restores the surface and improves durability.

Signs That Your Precast Stone Needs Replacement

Major Cracks and Structural Issues

When cracks are wide, deep, or run through the entire piece, they may indicate more serious structural problems:

  • Wide Cracks: Cracks wider than 1/4 inch can signal underlying structural issues and may require total replacement to ensure safety and stability.
  • Settlement Cracks: Cracks caused by uneven settling of the stone can compromise the structure’s integrity. In such cases, replacing the precast stone may be necessary.

Extensive Spalling and Scaling

When spalling and scaling are widespread and affect large areas of the stone, repair may not be sufficient:

  • Deep Spalling: If the spalling penetrates deep into the stone, it can weaken the piece and reduce its load-bearing capacity. Replacement is often the best solution.
  • Widespread Scaling: Extensive surface scaling can expose the aggregate, leading to further deterioration. Replacing the stone ensures a more durable and long-lasting solution.

Water Damage

Poor drainage and water damage can lead to significant damage that may necessitate precast stone replacement. Stone that has been severely compromised by water damage, such as extensive erosion or sinking, often requires replacement to address the root cause and prevent future issues.

Making the Right Decision

Determining whether to repair or replace your precast stone involves evaluating the extent and cause of the damage. Here are some steps to help you make an informed decision:

  • Inspect the Damage: Carefully assess the extent of the cracks, discoloration, spalling, or scaling. Note whether the damage is localized or widespread.
  • Consult a Professional: Seek the expertise of a professional masonry contractor who can evaluate the condition of your precast stone and provide recommendations based on their assessment.
  • Consider the Long-Term Benefits: While repairs may be less expensive initially, replacing severely damaged stone can offer long-term benefits, including improved safety, durability, and aesthetics.


Whether you are ready to start your next masonry project or are still hesitant and have questions, Del Prete Masonry is here to help. We have the experience and expertise to get it right the first time. Questions? Want to visit some of our residential or commercial projects? Ready to set up a consultation? Feel free to give us a call at 410-683-0650 or visit us online. We are happy to serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and to keep up with our new and exciting projects, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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