What Is Faux Stone Veneer?
Before digging into what life is like with stone veneer in colder weather, it’s good to know what you are working with. At the same time, a stone veneer is a curated combination of specific stones, while a faux stone veneer is a thick and resistant layer of plastic with foam beneath it. However, there are also manufactured stone veneers that some people label as faux. These are made of cement, iron oxide, and other aggregates to give the iconic stone-like appearance. These combinations allow for a large variety of custom designs with multiple molds to ensure that no two are alike, depending on your style. The low-density foam that certain ones are made with allows for easy installation and customization of the veneer panel. While faux veneer panels do not have the durability of real stone veneer, they are wonderful as decorative pieces for a home.
Customization and Lifespan
Due to the way that faux stone veneers are made, there are many choices to select for your home. From dry stack and multi-surface to classic stone stacks to river rock, homeowners can choose the style they want when decorating their homes. This is a great attribute to consider for those who find themselves changing their minds or wondering if their choice is still going to be in style after a few years. At the same time, since they cost close to a third of the price of traditional stone veneer, the options to switch them out remain viable per your preferences.
While they are easy to change up as desired, they are still capable of lasting anywhere between 20 and 75 years. Their lifespan is not short by any means, assuming they are not roughed up too much in high-traffic areas of the home. While faux veneer is a great alternative to actual stone, it is not very impact-resistant despite being generally resilient. With that in mind, it is still very sturdy and viable as an outdoor selection. However, if your home experiences mild weather year-round, faux veneer becomes a potential candidate for smaller outdoor fixtures like mailboxes, dividers, or stone fences.
Faux stone veneer is a plastic material that universally holds up to different weather conditions. As a sealed material, it does not suffer from the same vulnerabilities that regular stone has unless it is breached or damaged. Specifically, when it comes to the water that seeps in, cracks form on regular stone veneer as it freezes in the winter and expands. This is not a good issue and sometimes requires replacing the panel before the damage spreads too far. While it is still possible for water to get into the faux stone panels, it is unlikely to suffer detrimental consequences.
When the winter season hits and you are wondering about the condition of your faux veneer, it’s a good idea to inspect the panels to ensure it is not compromised. Similar to real stone siding, doing routine and thorough inspections a few times a year helps familiarize you with the condition of your veneer. While winter is a difficult time for siding and roofing, making consistent status checks helps prepare you for any damage that has the potential to get worse.
Repairing Faux Stone Veneer
Nothing is impervious, and every choice of siding is bound to experience some damage at some point. Luckily the process for repairing faux stone veneer is simple and able to be done within an hour, depending on the scope of the damage. One of the biggest worries with faux stone in the winter is that it is susceptible to becoming brittle because of the low temperatures. While this is not the worst thing that happens to the veneer, it makes the already impact-prone material more sensitive than usual.
When cracks in the veneer show for faux veneer made of cement, filling them with mortar is the way to go. Chiseling off the damaged part of the stone and repairing it with some prepared mortar mixture is the best way to seal it and align it with the rest of the panel. The plastic faux veneer is usually harder to prepare for, as it normally leads to a replacement of the attached panel. While using larger panels cuts down on installation time, it sometimes makes repairs and replacements more difficult and time-consuming.
Pros of Faux Stone Veneer
While faux stone is not as sturdy as standard stone veneers, it is still very capable of lasting for a long time, depending on the type of veneer and the level of maintenance. Plastic molds are easy to cut and change out, while manufactured veneers have a similar look and feel and lower overall cost. Both forms are also impervious to rotting and are only prone to natural damage that most other materials experience.
The next time you are deciding on the right kind of exterior home stone veneer to renovate with, it is important to consider its strengths, weaknesses, and types to choose from. It is overall a strong and affordable choice for those who wish to beautify their home without breaking the bank. The more information you have on how your local weather affects your home’s veneer, the better position you put yourself in for your final decision. Hopefully, knowing the effects of winter weather on faux stone veneer and how to maintain it through the season helps you make a decision.