Stacked stone is extremely popular for a variety of exterior applications including wall clad, retaining walls, water features and porch columns. Stacked stone consists of tight-fitting, dry stacked stone, often with projecting edges. The stones used for construction are usually different sizes and shapes. Stacked stone can be constructed from any number of stone types in a variety of colors, allowing it to complement virtually any architectural style. It is quite versatile and used for aesthetic and insulative purposes as well as to prevent soil erosion. Like other natural stone structures, stacked stone requires periodic maintenance to ensure longevity and preserve its aesthetic qualities.
Vulnerabilities of Stacked Stone
Stacked stone is a favorite for gardens and courtyards where it imparts rustic charm to privacy walls, columns and man-made waterfalls. The number of color and stone options available offer innumerable design opportunities. The natural stone of a stacked stone structure is porous and the number of protruding edges makes it more susceptible to damage from the elements than most other stone constructs. Moisture and heat act to fade the colors of the stones while cyclic temperature extremes can create fissures in the stones, facilitating rapid deterioration. In high temperatures, moisture is evaporated from the stones and carries lime and calcium to the surface where it leaves unsightly residue.
Staining may occur as atmospheric dirt and other pollutants become trapped within the pores of the stones. Green stains from algae are also common on stacked stone constructed where there is little direct sunlight and high humidity. Fungi and cyanobacteria may leave black stains on the stones. These growths are particularly problematic since they permeate the stone, allowing more moisture to be absorbed. Stacked stone can be damaged by exposure to chlorine, salts, corrosive cleaners and other harsh chemicals. When used for exterior wall clad, stones may become stained by rusted hardware on the roof or other adjoining structures.
While we normally think of natural stone as an exceptionally hard material, its porous nature makes it susceptible to damage from a variety of environmental factors. The exterior surfaces of stacked stone are subjected to pollution, acid rain and harsh heat from the sun. Over a prolonged period, this can weaken the stone’s structure and compromise its integrity. Colors can become faded, and the stones will take on a dull appearance. Sealing stacked stone will prevent the absorption of contaminants that can compromise the structure of the stones. It prevents staining and makes it easier to clean. Seal stacked stone to prevent colors from fading and enhance the natural beauty and color variations of the rock.
Cleaning and Maintenance
After sealing the stacked stone, it will need to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the build-up of dirt and maintain its beauty. Dust and debris will collect on the surface and make it appear dingy. Rinsing the stacked stone with a water hose regularly will keep the surface free of dirt. Heavily soiled stones may be cleaned with non-corrosive and non-acidic cleaning agents. A low grade pressure washer may also be used at an indirect angle to clean the stones. Stacked stone should never be sprayed directly with a pressure washer and never from a distance closer than 5 feet away. Spraying the stones up close with high pressure will corrode them, so hiring a professional who knows how to clean stacked stone is highly recommended.
To protect the stacked stone and keep it looking beautiful, it should be resealed every couple of years. Depending on the climate, it may require resealing more frequently. High humidity and heat tend to cause most sealers to break down more rapidly. Texas Stone Sealers provides a three year warranty on both their natural matte and glossy finish sealers. If for any reason it needs resealing while under warranty, we will reseal it at no cost.
Protect, Clean & Seal Your Stacked Stone Today!
Sealing your stacked stone will prevent premature aging and keep it beautiful for years to come. In addition, it simplifies cleaning and helps minimize the cost of maintenance. Call Texas Stone Sealers today at 888-275-5354 to get a free estimate.