Stone Maintenance

Moisture Damage

Efflorescence.  Water penetrating exterior wall cavities through defective flashing or unsealed joints can cause efflorescence, a mineral salt residue left on the surface of masonry when water evaporates. In addition, condensation in wall cavities prevented from reaching the exterior surface because of blocked weep holes can dislodge masonry in a freeze-thaw climate.

Moisture coming up through a floor slab seeks the easiest possible pathway to evaporate into the atmosphere. Often, the veining or micro cracks in the structures of some stones provide that path. The moisture dissolves all the salts from the ground, the substrate, and the stone, carries them to the surface, and deposits them as the moisture evaporates, giving the appearance of a faulty stone. Steps to eliminate this moisture can be implemented during the installation process.

Source: Marble Institute of America – Cleaning and Maintenance