Stone Veneer - Ready Stack Tacoma - Mountain View Stone

Does Exterior Stone Veneer Need to be Sealed?

Manufactured stone veneer has become a popular choice for homeowners and builders due to its aesthetic appeal, durability, and cost-effectiveness compared to natural stone. However, one question that often arises is whether this type of exterior cladding needs to be sealed. In this post, we will delve into the reasons for and against sealing exterior manufactured stone veneer and provide guidance to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding manufactured stone veneer

Manufactured stone veneer, also known as faux stone, cultured stone, or stone veneer, is made from a mixture of cement, aggregates, and iron oxide pigments, which are molded and colored to resemble natural stone. It is designed to offer the look and feel of real stone but at a fraction of the cost and weight.

Benefits of sealing stone veneer

1. Protection from moisture: one of the primary benefits of sealing manufactured stone veneer is the protection it offers from moisture. Even though the veneer itself is non-porous, the grout and mortar used in installation can be susceptible to water penetration. Sealing helps prevent water from seeping through these materials, reducing the risk of freeze-thaw damage and efflorescence, which is the white, powdery substance that can appear on the surface of masonry.

2. Stain resistance: sealed stone veneer is less likely to absorb stains from dirt, oil, and other contaminants. This is particularly important for exterior applications where exposure to the elements and environmental pollutants is high.

3. Ease of cleaning: a sealed surface is easier to clean because it repels dirt and grime. This means you can maintain the aesthetic appeal of your stone veneer with less effort.

4. Enhanced durability: by providing a barrier against harsh weather conditions, sealing can extend the life of your stone veneer, maintaining its structural integrity and appearance for a longer period.

Arguments against sealing

1. Maintenance and reapplication: sealants can wear off over time, especially in areas with extreme weather conditions. This means that regular reapplication is necessary, adding to the maintenance cost and effort.

2. Aesthetic changes: certain sealants can alter the appearance of the stone, giving it a glossy finish that may not be desirable. It's essential to choose a sealant that meets your aesthetic preferences.

Best practices for sealing manufactured stone veneer

If you decide to seal your exterior manufactured stone veneer, follow these best practices:

1. Choose the Right Sealant: opt for a breathable, water-repellent sealant designed for masonry. These sealants allow moisture to escape while preventing water from penetrating the surface.

2. Test First: before applying the sealant to the entire surface, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it does not alter the appearance of the stone in an undesirable way.

3. Proper application: follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Ensure the surface is clean and dry before application, and use appropriate tools such as brushes, rollers, or sprayers.

4. Regular Maintenance: inspect the sealed surface regularly and reapply the sealant as needed, typically every few years, depending on the product used and the environmental conditions.

Does exterior stone veneer need to be sealed?

Whether or not to seal exterior manufactured stone veneer depends on various factors, including your local climate, the specific product used, and personal preferences. Sealing can offer significant benefits in terms of moisture protection, stain resistance, and ease of cleaning, but it also requires maintenance and can potentially alter the stone's appearance. Carefully weigh the pros and cons and consider consulting with a professional to determine the best course of action for your specific situation. By taking these considerations into account, you can ensure that your manufactured stone veneer remains beautiful and durable for years to come.

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We look forward to working with you on your upcoming project.

The Mountain View Stone Team

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