Stone veneer, or manufactured stone, has the appearance of natural stone but is made of concrete. The cladding has increased in popularity in recent years among builders and home buyer’s as it provides an upscale look. However, I routinely see incorrect installations that can lead to water penetration and concealed structural framing damage. The Masonry Veneer Manufacturer’s Association (MVMA) has very specific installation procedures that if followed, will result in a cladding that will last for years.
Here are five of the more common installation mistakes:
1. No visible weep system or flashing:
a. at the base of wood frame walls or horizontal transitions.
b. above doors and windows.
c. where the stone veneer is installed above or near the roof covering.
2. No sealants present at the perimeter junctions between the stone cladding and siding, trim, windows and doors.
3. Visible metal lath, indicating the proper base coats of mortar were not applied prior to installing the stone cladding.
4. Proper clearances between the stone veneer and the finished grade (4 inches) and/or paved surfaces (2 inches) are not maintained so as to prevent wicking and frost heave.
5. Proper clearances between the stone veneer and the roof covering (2 inches) have not been maintained to allow for proper drainage and future roof replacement.
If you have adhered masonry stone veneer installed on your home, I strongly suggest to have the installation evaluated by a licensed home inspector to determine if installed correctly and inspected for possible water penetration issues. For more specific information about proper installation please visit http://www.masonryveneer.org/