Faux stone has been around a while. So why am I still seeing this?
Over the years I have had many posts about faux stone, and the improper installation thereof. When not installed well it becomes a problem. And it's not a matter of if - improper installation will eventually result in problems, and often serious problems! Water must be drained from behind the product, synthetic stucco or faux stone, and should be kept away from other materials.
Builders get upset when I point out things like this.
They say I, the home inspector, am creating problems!
I AM NOT CREATING ANY PROBLEMS!
As a home inspector I simply observe and report.
There is so much wrong here:
1. You see an obvious hole in the mortar. There were other holes and cracks all over the installation!
2. Mortar is touching the wood framing. These two materials should never touch.
3. I can't see metal lathe under the mortar. That is the material onto which the faux stone is "glued," literally, so it sticks to the house.
4. The mitered joint in the wood trim was never sealed, or primed.
These are not my OPINIONS. These are things I see. They aren't wacky or out of line. It is observation.
Faux stone installers have long history of understanding that this type of installation creates problems. It's sure thing.
So why am I still seeing it? Ignorance or not caring. Get in and get out, quick.
All of that represents a lack of professionalism.
And a lack of professionalism is my biggest beef with new construction. A lack of pride is a lack of pride. It does not matter who the builder is. If it's unprofessional it's not desirable. And I point it out.
Separation of materials, particularly wood and mortar is essential. Drainage behind the faux stone is essential.
How is it done?
Many ways. For example, one product, seen to the right, has been around for years, and provides drainage and a permanent separation that will accept caulking and seal the area. And mortar adheres well to it. This product is produced by Amico Global and is called EZ Bead. Every time I have contacted them they have been very generous with their time and explanations.
This is just one product of many necessary for a proper faux stone installation job. It can also be used with synthetic stucco.
Why did I not see this or another product here? Because this was not a proper or professional faux stone installation! This job is setting the house up for problems. And that is UNACCEPTABLE.
My recommendation: people often ask me if this or that builder is a good one. My answer is that it depends on who the supervisor is on site every day, and who the subcontractors are. The same builder in two different neighborhoods can deliver a different product depending on who is supervising and who the subs are! And that is that! So, hire an informed home inspector who observes and reports. You'll be glad you did.