Water intrusions are the most common cause for natural stone veneer installation failures in Denver. Most contractors already know the importance of properly installing proper flashing, weep holes, and about using foam backing rods at vertical transitions between natural stone veneer and other siding materials, windows, and doorways. However, ProCoat Systems of Denver knows every project is different, and some provide for trickier detailing problems than do others. This article is a reminder to the contractors we work with that water pooling behind installations of natural stone veneer has to be prevented at all costs to ensure the longevity of your work.
There is nothing more professionally embarrassing than to see your natural stone veneer work in Denver being “corrected” by a follow on crew. This type of work can also see an unsatisfied client going after your bond to pay for it. When in doubt about preventing intrusions, or providing ways for water intrusions to escape from behind the installation, more is always better than less.
Windows, Doors and Other Siding Materials
At the vertical transitions between natural stone veneer and any windows, doors, or other siding material, a minimum 3/8” joint must be maintained between the two materials. Then a foam backer rod must be emplaced and the joint properly sealed to prevent moisture intrusions behind the natural stone veneer.
Flashing—Bigger Is Better
The relative thickness of natural stone veneer, as compared to stucco or EIFS installations, means that kicker or diverter flashing needs to be bigger too. The flashing material, especially at the top of installations where blown moisture most readily attacks it, absolutely needs to be able to transport water beyond the plane of the natural stone veneer. Denver climate with our occasional driving monsoon rains is especially critical of this. If the flashing is too small, it may actually only serve to dump water behind the installation, which will wind up sorely testing any drainage you have provided.
Weep Holes —When in Doubt, Provide One
Weep holes are a necessary last line of defense in a natural stone veneer installation, especially in Denver. If anything, stone veneer retains water longer and in greater amounts than stucco systems do. Even if you have painstakingly waterproofed the wooden wall, that is nothing you wanted tested indefinitely by trapped water. Even if rot doesn’t materialize, such a situation is the beginning of every mold complaint ever heard. Anywhere you think providing a weep hole is a good idea, it’s worth the trouble in the long term.
For more expert advice on natural stone veneer installations in Denver, contact us.