What do I do if my stone cracks?
Is there anything worse than a crack? It's truly one of the worst things that can happen to your stone.
Think about it: If you leave a mark on your marble, you can still get out your HANAFINN Oxy-Klenza™ and carry out stain removal. In some cases, you might even be able to dab a clean cloth on the mark to get it out.
But with a crack, you'd be hard-pressed to get rid of it by putting a damp cloth to its surface. It's not a cosmetic imperfection, but real, irreversible physical damage. What's a responsible stone owner to do?
How can cracks be fixed?
Unfortunately, the answer to how cracks in a natural stone surface can be remedied is not particularly satisfying, though it does depend on the particular crack you're dealing with.
If you have a Dry-Treat sealer like STAIN-PROOF Original™ handy, it is possible to seal these cracks. This is only the case if you're looking at a hairline crack, however – around 0.0012 inches.
For larger cracks, it's a little bit more complicated. You can fill cracks up with mortar. However, there's a good chance you'll simply have to get the stone replaced, or perhaps shell out money for an expensive professional repair job.
What causes cracks?
Given the difficulty and expense involved in fixing cracks, it's optimal to think about how you can prevent them from forming in the first place. The chief culprit here is freeze-thaw weathering.
Freeze-thaw damage takes place when moisture penetrates the porous surface of stone. When the temperature drops, this water freezes and expands. According to a Princeton University paper by George W. Scherer, water experiences a 9 per cent increase in volume when it turns into ice. This expansion then pushes the stone particles further apart, causing cracks.
This is why you'll want to carry out premium surface protection for your stone, preventing this set of circumstances. Sealers like STAIN-PROOF Original™ repel water, preventing it from seeping into a stone's pores.