There are so many reasons that architects, designers, and homeowners are choosing to incorporate stone veneers into sidings and other exterior and interior projects. Over the last 20 years, the look of manufactured stone has gone from obviously fake to almost completely realistic. As compared with natural stone, manufactured stone is lighter, more affordable, and easier to install. Color choices are at once more varied than natural stone and yet are still authentic looking.
Stone veneer siding is growing in popularity at an astounding rate. While veneer siding is significantly more expensive than vinyl siding, it will set you back only half as much as natural stone siding, and that puts the look of stone within reach for many more than otherwise would be able to afford it.
How Long Does Manufactured Stone Veneer Siding Last?
Composed mainly of concrete, stone veneers have tremendous ability to stand up to the elements, whether your home is in a blistering hot desert climate or a damp and rainy one. Assuming that the job is installed properly, most veneer manufacturers will guarantee their products for 50 years. By comparison, the warranty on vinyl siding is typically just 20 to 40 years.
Until recently, standards governing the makeup, characteristics, and performance of stone veneers were loose and uncodified, leading to unreliable results for consumers. As of 2013, however, the ASTM standards have set expectations for masonry professionals and end-users alike, and have led to the manufacture of a higher-quality product. The 2013 standards establish:
Minimum requirements for constituent materials: Materials used must be lightweight in order to ease installation, create a strong bond when set, and minimize load on the underlying structure.
Sampling and testing criteria: These ensure that standards are adhered to.
Requirements for minimum compressive strength, minimum freeze-thaw durability, minimum bond strength, maximum drying shrinkage, and physical dimensions: All such standards help installers to know the characteristics of the materials they are working with in order to achieve the best outcome. Standards for thickness and dimensions of each unit help control weight, and these include the saturated weight to simulate the performance of veneers that are exposed to weather conditions. Freeze-thaw performance was also established.
Quality standards: No more than 5 percent of a shipment of veneers may contain nonstandard units, such as those with defects or protrusions, chips, or other imperfections. It should be noted that many such units can be cut to fit into odd areas or utilized in other ways, and thus are not necessarily waste.
Today’s stone veneers are composed of a mix of concrete, small stones, and mineral oxide color pigments and admixtures that create a hardier product. Because color is incorporated thoroughly into the base materials, veneers maintain their look for decades, weathering similarly to the way natural stone does.
In order to maintain the quality surface of stone veneers, it is important that they are installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Should efflorescence or other damage occur (usually due to moisture accumulation through incorrect installation), cleaners or other chemicals should not be applied to stone veneers as this may cause further damage. Contact the manufacturer or your installer for information on how to resolve the issue.
Made for a Tight Fit
Because veneers are a manufactured product, they are designed with specific qualities and materials that increase their durability. They can be used successfully with a variety of structures, from masonry to wood to metal. The back surface of each brick is designed with installation in mind, and special shapes are fabricated to fit areas such as corners or windowsills, allowing the soundest installation possible and thus extending the useful life of the siding.
Correct flashing and water diversion processes will help to eliminate the threat of efflorescence, which can occur with any concrete product.
Long-Lasting Results with Fizzano Brothers
Fizzano Brothers Concrete Products has been serving the Mid-Atlantic region for nearly a century. Stone veneer has been a core product of ours since it was first introduced. Not only do we sell the best of natural and manufactured stone options, but our staff are experts in these materials and their closest competitors. That means that we understand every project—from outdoor patios and fireplaces to a complex façade restoration—from A to Z.
We manufacture as many as 80,000 masonry units every day! In addition to our own products, we are dealers of all of the major veneer manufacturers, and we will give you an unbiased evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of each. That level of experience is something that is simply unmatched among our competitors.