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TECHNICAL BULLETIN—INSPECTION & ACCEPTANCE

 

The following is a recommendation for Inspection and Acceptance of cast stone material.

 

Cast stone material should be inspected immediately upon delivery. All material, on all pallets, should be properly accounted for, and matched up to shipping memos or the BOL paperwork provided within 72 hours of delivery. Notification of any discrepancies should be immediately reported to the manufacturing plant.

 

The inspector should have setting plans and project specifications accessible, and be familiar with them. Plans will have individual piece marks specified on them. Each piece will be labeled so inspector, mason, or contractor can properly account for and install the proper material in the proper location per plans.

 

The inspector should have the proper control color sample on hand to check for color and texture of the material before installation. Depending on the weather and length of time since production, color will vary depending on whether or not the material has sufficiently dried. Wet stone may appear blotchy until it dries. Curing time may be up to 6 months depending on moisture retained within the stone. Color samples that have dried and been stored indoors will most likely be of different color than the freshly delivered cast stone due to the drying time variation.

 

A good rule of thumb to follow in approving color and texture is to verify it under good typical lighting conditions at a ten foot distance. No obvious imperfections, other than minimal color variations, should be apparent when verifying material at a twenty foot distance.

Some projects will have a greater color variation when using grey cement as opposed to white cement or with high amounts of pigments. Special mixes utilizing different multi-colored aggregates can be subject to extreme color deviations.

Color variations within the same stone may be caused by efflorescence, or free lime migrating to the outer surface. Uneven soap washing and acid washing can also create a color variation. Properly washing down the stone can usually correct this. Since washing can change the appearance of cast stone, you should consider washing the entire order of cast stone with the same solution to maintain color and texture consistency. (Testing the solution you use for washing prior to washing all the stone is highly recommended.)

 

Properly performed touch ups and repairs may also vary in color and may take a significantly longer time (months up to a year) to cure for colors to blend. These areas should be left alone to allow for weathering, curing, and blending over time.

 

The inspector should be familiar with the dimensional requirements, joints, and interfaces. Coping, banding, and trim types of cast stone may be manufactured in 24–48 foot lengths as specified in the plans to enable the mason the ability to field cut as necessary. It is suggested that one sufficiently lay out the individual pieces to ensure that dimensions are correct, use of individual piece marks is correct and the individual design, style, and profile of piece marks match. This is especially important for the window and door surrounds and even more so when profiles change amongst the different pieces. Making sure that the correct radius pieces align properly prior to installation will also help prevent disappointing results.

 

Final inspection should be done prior to any application of water repellents. (Refer to the proper bulletin on water repellents for additional information.)

 

It is important to note that careful planning at the start will assist in eliminating disappointment for any homeowner or commercial designer at the completion of the project. One small color sample is only a small portion of what the expected outcome is, thus one should have a broader picture in their mind of this color concept throughout their project. An investment in mockup panes or samples can help ensure that the desired outcome is what one had envisioned from the start.

 

Careful quality assurance and control of the cast stone material on site is important as chipping and cracking will occur if the cast stone are not properly handled. Ongoing inspection at the job site will keep all parties informed of the expectations and progress of the project.

 

There is so little one can do to change the appearance of cast stone after installation, therefore we strongly suggest that careful consideration and planning is executed from the start.

 

TECHNICAL BULLETINS — INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE (PDF)

 

The information within this and all our bulletins has been provided as a guideline and based upon statistical data and prior uses. We always suggest that you consult with your engineer, architect or contractor for the best design and use of cast stone for your project. Our design team is always available to answer any of your questions. We do not accept any liability from damages resulting from your interpretation of the data contained within.