If the stone or brick siding on the front of your home has broken, you may be wondering how to repair stone siding so that it looks like new. Stone siding is not only attractive it is very durable, easy to maintain and doesn’t often require repairs, according to Home Guides. However, the mortar that holds the stones and bricks in place may develop cracks, which will allow the stones to fall out. The stones may be made from concrete or other material or may be natural stones. They are attached to the wall on a layer of mortar that is spread on the whole wall, and then grout is applied to hold the stones in place. If the mortar, grout or stone become damage, you’ll need to repair the whole area.
Stone siding may become damaged from earthquakes, water seepage behind the surface and improper installation. Unless the siding is faux stone, which is very light, natural stone will require a solid support on the side of the house. If this is the case, you’ll need to make sure the support is also in good shape before replacing the stone. However, you can learn how to repair stone siding yourself without calling a contractor.
Some Tools You’ll Need
No matter what area is damaged, you’ll need the following tools to make the necessary stone siding repairs:
• Protective eye equipment and gloves
• Replacement bricks or stones that match the remaining undamaged stones
• A stiff metal brush
• A mixture of concrete mortar
• A stiff nylon brush
• A trowel
• A joint tool
• Grout mixture
• A Grout bag
• A putty knife and putty
Start with the Cracks
The first thing to do is look for other minor cracks that are so small they won’t damage the structure, but may look ugly, according to Do It Yourself. These cracks are easy to fix and could prevent more damage later.
Mix the stone putty with the putty knife according to the instructions making sure it matches the existing putty in color. Apply the putty to these small cracks, making the surface as smooth as possible. When the putty is completely dry, you can sand it gently to the level of the stones.
If stones or bricks have fallen off the siding, they need to be replaced. Either the same stone can be put back or a new, matching stone can be used.
First, you can gently remove any stones or parts of stones left in the area. You can use the stiff metal brush to clean the exposed area of wall as well as the stone that has fallen out. Then, mix a small amount of the concrete motor mixture in the wheelbarrow and buckets. Before applying the mortar, moisten the damaged area of wall. The area should not be dripping wet, but you shouldn’t set dry stone. If the damaged surface is dry, it will absorb moisture from the new mortar, causing a weaker bond.
The mortar can be applied with the trowel in the exposed area at about 1/8 inch thick. While the mortar is still wet, the replacement stones can also be slightly moistened. About ½ inch of mortar can be applied to the back of the stone before it is put into place. Make sure the entire back of the stone is covered with mortar. While you are putting it into place, you can twist and wiggle it to make sure it is securely fixed and level with the surrounding stones.
Before the mortar completely dries, any pieces that protrude past the stones should be removed with a tool.
You can apply the grout by putting it into a grout bag and squeezing it between the stones. You can smoothen the joint with your joint tool when the grout mortar has started to dry but not while it’s still wet. The grout mortar should be hard enough to keep its shape, but soft enough to hold your thumbprint.
Clean the stones with a stiff nylon brush, but don’t brush the joint lines because the mortar is still soft enough to retain brush lines. The stones can also be wiped with a damp rag to make sure they are completely clean. No grout mortar should be left on the stones, because it is very difficult to remove once it is completely dry.
Related Resource: Installing Stone Siding
Stone siding needs to be properly installed from the beginning to ensure the least amount of repair needed later. It shouldn’t be too close to hard or graded surfaces and should have a 3/8 inch gap from a different material such as a wood or aluminum window or door or roof shingles. Dryer vents, faucets and lights need proper sealant, so they are not imbedded in the mortar holding the stone siding. Now that you know how to repair stone siding, you can examine you home for any possible problem areas.