Protecting And Maintaining Masonry/Stonework: Important Do’s And Don’ts

Masonry and other stonework can add a great deal of beauty to your residential or commercial property. Unfortunately, masonry can also be quite delicate, especially as it ages. For this reason, it's imperative that you understand how to properly clean, maintain, and protect any stonework on your property to avoid costly repair or replacement costs.

DO Spot Test New Cleaners

When buying chemical cleaners, always purchase ones that are specifically formulated for use on stone. Different chemicals can have serious reactions to the minerals found in some types of stone, and the last thing you want is to destroy the beautiful look of your stonework. Try to stick to more natural cleaners, and always spot-test a new cleaner on an inconspicuous area the first time you use it.

DON'T Overuse the Pressure Washer

A pressure washer can be a great tool to have while cleaning up stonework, but it's important that you know what you're doing and how to properly use a pressure washer so as to avoid damage. Generally, a pressure washer on a low setting should be used to wet the stone before applying any cleaner, as well as to rinse. A high pressure setting could damage the stone--especially older stone that has become brittle or otherwise damaged over time.

DO Know When to Call a Professional

Some stone repairs are best left to a professional, such as a masonry contractor. If you've never worked with masonry before or if you aren't confident in maintaining and cleaning your own stonework, don't hesitate to call a professional to assist you. Most masonry contractors specialize not only in laying stonework, but in cleaning, maintaining, and protecting it as well.

DON'T Ignore Small Cracks and Damage

Finally, remember that it's best to have small cracks, chips, and other damage repaired sooner rather than later. Much like a crack or chip in your car's windshield glass, even the smallest of damage to stonework can quickly spread in a short period of time. Waiting too long could turn what should have been a quick and easy repair into a complicated (and expensive) one.

Taking care of stonework and masonry does take some effort on your part, but with the right tools (and sometimes, with the help of a reputable masonry contractor), you can keep your stonework looking its best for many years to come, thus maintaining your curb appeal and resale value down the road.