Common Methods of Cast Stone Repair
Cast stones have been used as early as the 12th century to replicate the look of natural carved stones. Now, cast stones are fabricated in many ways for use as ornaments and trimmings for buildings and outdoor structures. Cast stone repair is a necessary process as these stones are bound to deteriorate over time.
One of the most common signs of deterioration is the separation of the core and facing layers. Deterioration may also be observed in eroded aggregate and cementing matrix, as well as corroded steel reinforcement, cramps, and anchors. If any of these damages are observed, cast stone repair is in order.
Cast Stone Maintenance
The maintenance of cast stone is required to prolong the life of these masonry installations. Two of the most common methods of care are cleaning and repointing. Cleaning cast stone installations is done with the use of alkaline pre-wash or special acids, especially if the stone is made up of limestone or marble aggregates. Otherwise, acidic cleaners used for sandstones and natural granites are used instead. Cleaning may also involve sandblasting or wet grit blasting, especially if tenacious soiling has already occurred. However, these cleaning methods should only be done by a cast stone repair professionals as they may cause serious damage to the surface if not done properly.
On the other hand, repointing pertains to the replacement of the historic mortar performed on cracked and open joints, with the exact color of the sand and cement matrix painstakingly matched. However, unnecessary repointing may cause significant damage. It is best to consult with a cast stone expert prior to doing anything related to this task.
Cast Stone Repair
Weathering is one of the most common issues with cast stones. Some of the most common repair methods include securing separated surface facing, which in some cases have to be done by an art conservator if historic elements or structures are involved. Otherwise, the use of special grout and resin adhesive will suffice.
Another popular method of repair is spall reinforcement. Mechanical damages eventually occur in cast stones and if they do, composite repairs are necessary. Examples would be damaged corners, drilled holes, and rusting reinforcement bars. However, this job should only be done by an experienced mason so as to adequately resolve the problem instead of compounding it.
Surface finishing is yet another popular method of restoring damaged cast stone. While this method involves tooling and grinding, masonry stains and silicate paints may be used to restore the original patterned pigmentation of the surface. A special type of surface coating is also added to trap in moisture and prevent deterioration.
Consult With Experts
The meticulous job of cast stone repair warrants the services of dedicated professionals. When projects of this nature arise, consult only with the experts. You should get high-quality services as the aesthetic and structural integrity of the structure is in question here. Find experts in your area and make sure that you consult only with cast stone repair professionals with decades of experience in the field.