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-   -   Slate wall cap flaking/cracking... how do I stop it? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f16/slate-wall-cap-flaking-cracking-how-do-i-stop-125389/)

h82diet 12-02-2011 10:08 PM

Slate wall cap flaking/cracking... how do I stop it?
 
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I just bought this house and I noticed all these cracks in the slate (I think it's slate) cap that's on the front porch knee wall. Very large sections of the edge are cracking off like an iceburg. I guess that the water gets in there and freezes, hence the "birthing" of slabs as seen in the photos below. I put quikcrete stone sealer on it and it did NOTHING! The water doesn't even pool on the stone. I particularly brushed a lot into the cracks. What do I do short of silicone caulking all the cracks or painting it? Is there anything I can put on to preserve it and stop it from further deterioration?
Thank you very much.

h82diet 12-03-2011 09:26 AM

Have I posted this in the right place? Any suggestions where I might get a reply?
Thank you!

joecaption 12-03-2011 09:37 AM

There is no "fixing it" it's going to have to all come off. It was installed wrong and is just not going to hold up. Even If you replaced it because there is no overhang to prevent water from getting in behind it and poping it off again.
Looks like someone was trying to just cover up a cracking failing stoop to me.
Slate is one of the most brittle and stainable stones there is.
Looks like the best thing to do is remove and replace those failing steps.

h82diet 12-03-2011 09:40 AM

The slate is a cap on a knee wall. It never gets walked on.

h82diet 12-03-2011 09:42 AM

here's a photo of the wall from a distance
 
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It is a cap on a short brick wall that surrounds the front porch and goes down the stairs under the railing.

oh'mike 12-03-2011 10:32 AM

That looks more like limestone than slate on my monitor--

Some times you get a stone that spalls--The natural layers aren't tight and water get in--freezes and spalls.

You have two choices---live with it--or replace with a stone that will not spall---the stone yards know very well which is which.

Some Welsh slate is so stable that 200 to 300 years is the expected life--and they are reused--often seeing two or three different roofs in their life time.

h82diet 12-03-2011 02:45 PM

I have no idea what type of stone that is but the flaking bugs me. There has to be something I can seal it with... how about something like the stuff granite counter top people use to seal the granite? what about a marine polyurethane with a matte finish?

oh'mike 12-03-2011 04:40 PM

Nothing will work---water is seeping into the tiny gaps between the layers of the stone--it then expands and pops the rock apart--

Sorry---but you have bad stone---

h82diet 12-03-2011 07:05 PM

Arg.... it's been there 111 years... I'm going to figure out something...probably not this winter because it's freezing out already but that spalling is going to STOP! I don't care if I have to paint it with liquid rubber (cringe.) :)

joecaption 12-03-2011 07:12 PM

That stone have not been on there that long, Someone stuck it on there.


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