The Value of Stone Veneer Siding for Your Richmond Home
Stone veneer siding is made out of pieces of stone that have been cut very thin and that are adhered to the side of your home. You can find the actual stones in several shapes and colors, and they are able to be arranged in several patterns with different grout colors available.
The base of most of these are made from a lightweight concrete, though some use clay. From here, polymers and pigments are added, polymers for strength and to weatherproof them, and pigments to achieve the desired color. Occasionally paint is used for color, but pigment is considered more desirable due to its improved durability.
Once this is done, the mix is poured or squirted into molds that were made from real stone, so the final look is natural. This process has evolved for a long time and the resultant products are nearly indiscernible from real stone.
There are a couple types of stone veneer. Both come with L shaped corner pieces that are installed first. Once this is done, the remaining space is filled in with the center pieces.
The first type is stone veneer siding panels, typically two to eight square feet per panel. These are a bit easier to install. The panels are screwed into the side of the house, some requiring mortar while others have it included when they were made.
The second type are individual pieces of varying sizes and coloration that come in a box. They are all the same style and look good together. The pieces are attached to a metal lath that the adhesive is placed on. Often the spaces between the veneer stones is filled with mortar at the time of manufacture. The layout of the veneer stones on the side of the house is up to the installer. This takes more time since decisions must be made about each panel.
This material helps you create a mosaic of man-made or natural stone on the exterior of your home. You can find stone veneer in two style options, including manufactured stone veneer or natural stone veneer. With natural stone veneer, you have materials that are made of quarry stone, and artificial or manufactured stone veneer is usually made of concrete or another cost-effective, affordable material that looks like natural stone.
When you choose this siding option, you ill find that you have a low-maintenance option for the side of your home. When installed properly, this siding option can also last for many years, without having to be painted or finished. While some basic care and maintenance will be necessary, this option is much lower maintenance and more affordable than most of the options available today. This has made it a very popular option for new home construction and home remodels across the country.
Regarding installation, great care must be taken to insure moisture has a way to escape from behind the panels. The cement base will absorb some moisture that will find its way toward the framing of the house. The first step in mitigating this is to install a proper moisture barrier behind the siding. Typically space is left between the siding and the wood frame, or weep holes are placed to allow the water to run out without getting trapped. This is crucial to insure no water remains for any length of time, or mold will develop resulting in expensive problems.
A skilled installer can insure a quality and problem-free installation with a full understanding of the pitfalls and how to mitigate them.
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Here are some advantages we have found with stone veneer siding.
First, it created a stunning look of beauty for just about any home. It looks like natural stone for a fraction the cost and gives the house a strong, solid, and eye-catching look.
These come in a large variety of sizes and color to achieve any stone look you want.
Since they are relatively lightweight, they are easier to install than stone and do not require footing modifications.
They require very little maintenance and are extremely durable.
They cost much less than natural stone, and are comparable in pricing to wood, premium vinyl, and fiber cement.
They are environmentally friendly and can be recycled.
The disadvantages are:
As with any siding requiring mortar, the mortar can crack if exposed to tremors and vibrations caused by heavy equipment or natural conditions.
Installation must be done very carefully or by a professional to avoid the moisture issues mentioned above.
Harsh chemicals can change the appearance.
Stone veneer is not as strong as real stone, but is comparable to wood or vinyl.
If you opt for the painted rather than the pigmented variety to save money, you risk premature fading and wear.