For centuries, stone siding has protected homes around the globe. Today, stone siding is offered in natural stone, faux stone panels, or stone veneer panel options. Read on for some of the most common stone siding glossary terms..
Efflorescence: When water seeps into masonry and stone siding, it can soak in several inches deep. The moisture eventually evaporates, but it leaves behind mineral deposits on the surface of the stone siding. Efflorescence typically looks like a thin white powder on the stone’s surface and can signal the beginning of a big problem. To stop efflorescence in its tracks, make sure stone siding is sealed to prevent water from soaking in.
Faux stone panels: This is the most lightweight variation of stone siding. It’s made with polyurethane, but it maintains a natural stone look due to a rock-like coating on the siding. Faux stone panels offer additional insulation, and they tend to look new for several years.
Flashing: No matter what type of stone siding you choose, improper installation can allow moisture to seep in behind the siding and cause water damage and rot. Flashing, or 90-degree metal panels, fit around corners to protect some of your home’s most vulnerable parts. Flashing can be installed over siding, but it’s more effective and looks cleaner when installed under stone siding. Along with water diversion, flashing is one of the key ways to protect a home’s façade from water damage.
Mortar: Similar to concrete, mortar binds siding elements together with water, sand, and a binder like cement or lime. Mortar is a critical component in stone siding, as it holds layers of natural stone or stone panels in place.
Natural stone: Unlike faux stone panels and stone veneer panels, this type of siding is made of stone that has been harvested and hauled from quarries. It’s generally installed as individual stones, which are held together by mortar. Since natural stone installation is so labor intensive and complex, it’s best left to a professional.
R-value: This term refers to a material’s thermal resistance and also provides information about a material’s energy efficiency. Stone siding has approximately the same R-value as wood siding, but thicker stone offers greater insulation power. Thick natural stone has much greater thermal resistance, and thus a greater R-value, than thin stone veneer. No matter the R-value, though, stone siding typically requires additional insulation to provide a home with adequate energy efficiency.
Sealer: This solution provides stone siding with extra protection from moisture, helping to prevent issues like efflorescence. A sealer can also make stone siding easier to clean and perform regular maintenance. Some sealers alter the color of stone siding or add a different finish, so it’s best to know how your particular type of stone siding will react before applying a sealer.
Stone veneer panels: This type of siding has a stone-like appearance but isn’t made of natural stone. Instead, it’s made with a Portland cement mixture molded to look like stone. It’s much lighter and requires a less labor-intensive installation than natural stone.