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Damaged Dimension Stone Panels

Should damaged dimension stone panels be restored or replaced?

Dimension stone panels are vertically placed, non load-bearing stone slabs, found as an ornamental facing on both building exteriors and interiors, in both new construction and renovation projects. Potential problems with dimension stone panels include chips, cracks, stains, and bowing. This article explains which problems can be resolved by your qualified professional stone restoration technician, and which problems require replacement.

About Dimension Stone Panels

Dimension stone panels are a popular design choices for business centers, corporate headquarters, hotels, educational facilities, hospitals, libraries, government buildings, embassies, airports, churches, and high-end residential properties. Dimension stone panels protect and insulate, but their main purpose is to convey a sense of permanence, stability, and beauty. Because natural stone is a non-manufactured product, it is a very unique and enviable surface material for panels with character. Architects and designers have a wide variety of options with dimension stone, because each slab has its own unique color, grain, veining, and other features. There are also a wide variety of stone finishes include polished, honed, sand blasted, leathered, flamed, and more. Edge options are just as numerous, including straight, smooth, rough split, chiseled, beveled, etc.

Potential Problems

With proper anchoring, most dimension stone is appropriate for interior panels. Although a majority of natural stone restoration services are performed on horizontal applications like floors, countertops, and vanity tops, vertical applications in high-use areas like showers and hallway walls get their share of damage, too, because of exposure to moisture, improper cleaners, or mishaps. Damage may include chips, scratches, dullness, cracks, and stains.

Exterior dimension stone panels are exposed to the elements. Positive and negative pressure from wind, structural settling and concrete contraction (in new construction), freeze and thaw cycles, porosity, and other factors may contribute to damage or even failure. Staining and etching may occur because of environmental pollution. Hard water and mineral deposits from irrigation system overspray can diminish the appearance of dimension stone panels.

One of the most common causes of external panel cracking or failure is thermal hysteresis, where the sun heats the outer layer of stone at a greater degree than the back side. Over time, the stone bows, not only losing its aesthetic appeal, but also posing a dangerous risk if the panels were to fall off. Once a stone panel is bowed, it cannot be restored, and replacement is the only option.

Dimension Stone Panel Alternatives

Modern, lightweight stone panels are comprised of a thin layer of stone reinforced by a fiberglass or aluminum honeycomb backing. Another alternative to dimension stone panels is large-format manufactured porcelain, which can also be reinforced by a honeycomb backing. With these alternative, bowing is not as much of an issue, because the temperature of the material remains more constant throughout, plus the backing material absorbs building stresses that would normally result in damage. Like dimension stone panels, the appearance of lightweight stone panels and large format manufactured porcelain can become diminished for a variety of reasons.

Your stone and tile restoration expert can consult with you about any damage on your dimension stone, lightweight stone, or porcelain panels and advise you on whether problems are cosmetic or structural. Cosmetic damage can most often can be restored with chip and crack repair, honing, polishing, refinishing, stain removal, and in some cases, panel replacement. Structural damage can sometimes be repaired, but is more likely to require complete replacement.

This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

Why Carpet Ripples Happen and What To Do About It

Carpet ripples, also referred to as buckling, wrinkling, or stretching, are loose, wavy areas that appear in wall-to-wall carpeting. Ripples may be temporary or an ongoing problem, depending on the situation. What should you do if your carpet ripples? Here are the details.

Professional Cleaning and Carpet Ripples

Although carpet ripples can appear after cleaning, proper professional cleaning does not cause ripples. Any ripples that appear after professional cleaning are temporary and will settle flat once the carpet is completely dry. If ripples persist, then there is some other problem causing the ripples.

Causes of Carpet Wrinkles

The most common causes of carpet rippling are improper installation, inadequate padding, and adhesive failure. The adhesives that secure your carpet in place are made of materials that can absorb moisture. Properly applied high-quality adhesives will hold up to excessive humidity exposure and professional carpet cleaning, and in some situations, may even maintain integrity after flooding. Other causes of carpet ripples include loss of elasticity in older carpets and tension failure due to heavy foot traffic or dragging heavy items.

What should I do if my carpet ripples?

Even perfectly installed, properly maintained, barely-walked-on carpets can ripple. It is a fairly common problem that can be easily resolved. If you have new or recently installed wall-to-wall carpet, ripple correction may be included in your warranty. Contact your carpet retailer or installer as soon as you notice the problem. Whether or not your carpet is new, in most cases a professional carpet installation contractor can power stretch and secure your carpet to eliminate the ripples. Until your scheduled appointment, avoid foot traffic in the rippled area to reduce the possibility of trip-and-fall accidents and permanent damage to the carpet.

Related Articles: How Improper Installation Complicates Carpet Cleaning

This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.