There are many steps to a successful stone veneer installation in Salt Lake City and at ProCoat Systems in West Valley City, we provide the product and the technical assistance to ensure a job well done. However, no matter how careful your surface preparations, no matter how well installed your weeps and drip screeds have been installed, if you or your crew misapplies the mortar joints, it is all for naught.
Common mortar problems seen in unsatisfactory stone veneer installations are mostly the byproduct of a lack of attention to detail. Starting from the outside in, let’s go over some of these mortar issues.
No Mortar Left Behind
This is strictly a cosmetic issue, but it is one that leads end uses to question the soundness of the entire installation. Simply put, don’t let stray mortar dry completely upon the stone face. Any stray mortar has to be removed with a trowel or a bristle brush while it is still in its crumbly state. Mortar adhered to the surface overnight is not only unsightly, it becomes way tougher to remove. Never use a wire brush to clean off mortar because this tool may score the finish of the veneer.
Do not wash off stray mortar with clear water. This will leave a chalky residue behind on the surface of the installation. If a spot or section doesn’t clean up well with a brush, use a mild vinegar and water solution to remove any remaining mortar smears. Loose mortar and mortar smears should not be allowed to dry overnight on the surface of the stone veneer that was applied for that day.
After the grout bags have been unloaded into the joints to fill the gaps between the pieces of the stone veneer installation, it is critical that after those joints have firmed up that wood or metal strike tools are used to push the mortar into any remaining cavities or voids on the perimeter of the veneer pieces.
Even the smallest gap left in the mortar can be exploited by water, or allow pests to find refuge behind the installation. Therefore, always ensure that the grout has set up properly before beginning to strike it. If the mortar is pushed to soon, it can smear and become too thin, creating a future weak spot in the coverage.
If you ever have a technical question about stone veneer installations in Salt Lake City, our contractor desk is always willing to provide guidance and technical information. Call us 801-410-4345 to discuss your project specs, or visit our online contact form.