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rjordan392 03-30-2008 05:43 AM

Pennsylvania Bluestone Treads
I had my front steps completly replaced about 4 years ago and I told the contractor I wanted Pa. bluestone for treads. Soon after, I noticed stains coming up through the treads. I tried cleaners without success. Then I used muriatic acid which worked but it etched the treads. This made them less slippery and it did not concern me.
But soon after, the stains came back and then I decided to use a concrete stain on the treads.
Now for the last three years, small pieces from the sides of the treads and the surface (about 1/16 to 1/8 inch deep) are breaking off requiring me to use a cement mixture to make repairs and then re-stain.
Now I am at the point where I am not sure what is causing these pieces to break away from the sides and surface because I also use salt to melt the ice. What mistakes did I make here and what are my options?
I am also wondering if there is a differant material to use for replacement treads like rough surface marble or granite.

dec-conc-artisan 03-30-2008 07:03 AM

those stains could be from,,,
some substance IN the stone leaching out & its doubtful if they can be eradicated if that's true,,, flagstone is many layers of mtl compress'd over centuries of weight unlike marble or granite,,, much of the stone avail today is very ' reedy ' & doesn't lend itself well to hand-splitting consequently its diamond-sawed,,, also less costly/expensive than hand labor.

since the stone's also porous, the flaking's probably from soaked-in wtr expanding when it freezes & the stone won't have the solid strength to resist the ice's pressure.

granite would be the better alternative - grab up something w/' flamed ' surface for best slip resistance.

rjordan392 03-30-2008 08:35 AM

What type of business would carry flamed granite? There are a few companys in my area that sell brick and there is a Quarry business about 10 miles away but on a recent visit there, I did not see any granite nor do I see it advertized on their website.

rjordan392 03-30-2008 09:59 AM

I found some stores that sell flamed granite treads and will visit them.

dec-conc-artisan 03-30-2008 10:37 PM

either buy 'em,,,
or flame 'em yourself w/either cutting torch or rosebud head,,, can also use std h/o propane or mapp torch.

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