Many people spend thousands of dollars to get the exact look they want on their home or project and over look the simple requirements of a stone installation. Proper preparation and installation is key for a long lasting Kodiak Mountain Stone project. Water can create long term effects and aggravation if not planned for in advance. Some contractors and “Do-it-Yourselfers” try to save a few dollars by not doing a proper installation and actually violate code without even knowing it. In Canada; water seepage can be worse than other geographic locations due to extreme Freeze/Thaw cycles that can result in stone falling off or even “popping” off. Water damage can cause wood and material deterioration as well as water damage to structural components. There are some simple ways to avoid the nightmares and expenses of correcting a water issue in advance.
Always check local building codes for minimum requirements; jurisdictions vary and some require an inspection prior to installation of your stone. Use proper materials and tools; some people like to overdo a project while others “underdo”. A good reference is the Kodiak Mountain Stone Installation Guide but to be sure, The International Code Council has published “ICC-AC51-ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA FOR PRECAST STONE VENEER” for several years in an attempt to clarify what codes should be followed. If you are installing the stone over wallboard, paneling, plywood, or other rigid woodrelated sheathing, it is necessary to cover the wall surface with a moisture barrier. In most cases, building codes are satisfied by using 2 layers of tar paper or two-ply 60 grade D paper. Be sure that the sheets overlap from the bottom up. Overlap 2 inches on the horizontal seams and 6 inches on the vertical seams. Flashing, weep screed, and appropriate drainage means are required at stoppage points of stone veneer and at any places of potential penetration. When stone is to be installed over clean brick, block, cement board or other masonry surfaces, no moisture barrier is necessary. There are also additional products on the market such as Rainscreen that can be put up over the tarpaper and the wire mesh can be attached over it.
Water barriers and metal flashings are imperative to prevent water penetration below the surface but there are also small steps to help with the stone. One very important step is to always grout all lines between the stones to help avoid water penetration. Another suggestion is to use a sealer, there are many sealers that allow your stone to breath and cure after installation but do not allow water into the joints. Our stone products help enhance your project and by doing things correctly from the beginning; you will have a long term benefit and durability.