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Stone Cladding

Ways to protect the external stone cladding from discoloration

Any home owner who has installed natural stone that ends up being discoloured knows how big of a nuisance and disappointment it can be for everyone involved. The hired contractor worked hard to make sure the product reflects well on the company’s image, the owner was looking forward to an attractive front cladding that complements their home or commercial structure. But when the natural stone turns out to be patchy and uneven in colour it causes damage rather than enhancing the property’s aesthetic appeal. Sad, as it sounds, everyone wants to know why the discoloration takes place and how it can be avoided or corrected.

Stone discolouration is a very unwanted occurrence and tricky at the same since many factors can contribute to the problem. However, stone discoloration, whether occurring in a single placement or sequential natural stone placements, generally comes down to one major cause: inconsistency. This can be an inconsistency in materials or in workmanship.

Stone Cladding

The other factor that can contribute to the discoloration of stone cladding is salt deposition on the surface. The porosity of the stone allows salt from water to get deposited on it and harden over a period of time. Now this deposit can do more damage than you think. The usual way to remove salt is to bleach it or use an acidic cleaner but this can damage the stone also.

Source:http://artmar.com.au/150/travertine-wall-cladding-silver-stack-stone-rockface.jpg

To ensure your natural stone products will provide you with a lifetime of aesthetics and utility, a proper maintenance program is crucial. Natural Stones are porous by nature and require a bit more of a skill in maintenance than traditional ceramic tiles.

Many of the cleaners acceptable for use on ceramic tile can cause adverse effects like stain, damage or dull stone. The presence of dirt and dust will

cause scratches on the surface of stone. Therefore, stone floors/cladding should be vacuumed or dust mopped frequently to remove abrasive agents from the stone surface. Natural stone should be cleaned with cleaners which are neutral in nature, devoid of any reactive elements. Stone cleaners should never contain acid or bleach. Even a mildly acidic solution of vinegar and water, will etch and eventually damage natural stone.

Now doing all this may sound a little too troublesome for you. In that case you can opt for Roff Stoneguard – a simple water-based stone sealer which seals all the pores of stone and guards it against water, salt and other external agents. The transparent nature of the sealant retains the colour of natural stone and a mild lustre to it. This way you can make sure your stone cladding stays healthy and shiny for a longer time.

About Sumil Dutta

sumildutta@happyhomes.in'

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