By: Rebecca Reilly

Stone elements are often the most notable building features, often defining a building’s style. Similar to all other building elements, stone pieces require proper repair and maintenance. Since there are various options to consider when developing a plan to restore stone, it’s important to hire experienced mechanics to ensure that stone elements remain attractive and safe features.

Since patching materials are usually less expensive when compared to other materials, patching is typically the most cost effective option to restore stone. Patching is usually performed at small spalls or cracks. Material manufacturers, such as Jahn and Edison Coatings, offer matching services to ensure that the color of the patching material closely matches the existing stone. Color matching, along with the proper installation by skilled masons, are necessary to make any patch repair less visible. Patching may not be an option if the existing stone is extensively deteriorated.

Dutchman repair is another technique performed on deteriorated or damaged stone. It involves removing the faulty portion of stone and installing a new piece of stone material in its place. Experienced masons take specific care to make the seams between the existing stone and new stone tough to see.

When stonework is severely deteriorated or damaged, stone replacement may be the only viable option. Contractors can replace the deteriorated stones with new stone elements, fiberglass elements or precast concrete elements. Once again, the stone replacement should be a close match so it blends well with the existing stone. Due to the cost of materials and installation, stone replacement is typically the most expensive restoration option.

Breathable coatings designed specifically for use on stone are sometimes recommended after stone restoration work is performed. As stone ages, deteriorates and becomes more porous, it’s less able to resist moisture and shed water. Since the breathable coating helps repel water while allowing moisture within the stone to evaporate, it can extend the lifetime of the stone unit. Aesthetically, applying a coating over restored or repaired stone helps make the repair locations less visible.

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