LESLIE: Out in Colorado, Paul’s cracking up. Not Paul; the mortar. How can we help you?
PAUL: Hi. I’ve got a problem with the veneer on the outside exterior of my house.
PAUL: What’s happening – it’s the fake rock concrete. It’s the form concrete that looks like rocks; like natural rocks.
LESLIE: Were they actual pieces that went on individually to create the stone look or was it like a …
PAUL: Yes, yes.
LESLIE: … pressed concrete?
PAUL: No, it’s not the poured …
TOM: Oh, OK. So it’s like a stone veneer. And what’s going on?
PAUL: OK, what’s happening is I’ve noticed there’s a lot of fractures starting to appear in the mortar joints and the actual bottom row of the veneer – of the veneer surface – has actually separated and dropped off.
PAUL: So I’m afraid, you know, it’s going to be one row at a time and they’re all going to come down.
TOM: (chuckling) Yeah. Yeah, it sounds like you’re having an adhesion problem. If the mortar or the glue that’s used to attach the veneer to the foundation base is separating and – then that’s not good. You’re probably going to have to tackle this in stages. If it’s a serious enough problem that it continues to happen, then the answer’s not good. You’re going to end up having to redo this.
LESLIE: How long ago was this done?
PAUL: It’s about nine years old now.
TOM: Alright, what I would suggest is a couple of things. First of all, as you see cracks start to form in this mortar, you’re going to want to caulk those with silicone. Because the more water you can keep out of that, the better. As water gets in – especially in your part of the country – when it freezes and expands it can loosen that veneer up and pop it off. Secondly, repair all of the pieces that are falling off now to make sure that you prevent water from entering in, in that particular area. And just maintain this. There’s not going to be an easy way to slow it down. If it’s going to fall off, it’s going to fall off. But by caulking it, it’s going to last as long as it possibly can.