Stone veneer gives a house a cozy, stable feeling and makes the house look like it was constructed from actual stone and not drywall. So when an installer stops installing the veneer a few inches from the ground, you might be worried that this will blow the illusion of a stone-built home. But the installer has very good reasons for not installing the veneer all the way to the ground because if they did, they could end up ruining the veneer and creating a host of secondary problems. Veneer has to stay a few inches above the ground, whether the ground is pavement or soil, in order to protect the veneer and the wall behind it.
Stone Veneer Can Take in Moisture From Soil and Plants
Stone veneer can absorb moisture from the ground and from soil and plants. When you have veneer installed, you'll also have a rain screen installed behind it, which is a barrier that stops rain and other moisture from getting through the veneer to the wall behind it. Moisture that gets through the veneer during rain, for example, can drip down and out since the veneer doesn't touch the ground. However, if you install veneer to the ground, you block off that exit and create a pocket where the moisture can sit.
Moisture That Gets Behind the Veneer Can Ruin It
Once moisture gets behind the veneer, it can create problems when the weather turns cold. If the temperature dips below freezing, the moisture can freeze. If you have ever had moisture freeze in, say, an asphalt driveway, you can guess what's next: The ice expands and causes parts of the veneer to pop out. That moisture needs to have a way out if it gets in, and that exit also prevents more moisture from creeping up in a type of wicking motion.
The Veneer Can Trap Moisture Behind It
Even if the moisture doesn't freeze and expand to make the veneer pop off the wall, it can still cause issues if it becomes trapped. Stone veneer that is installed all the way to the ground and that closes off any escape route for the moisture creates an environment where the moisture can lead to mold formation. Even if you have a great rain screen that stops moisture from getting to the wall of the house, you can still end up with a terrible mold problem that requires replacing or intensely cleaning the veneer.
With proper installation, the stone veneer will not pop out due to trapped frozen moisture and will not promote mold growth. Veneer that is installed correctly looks nice and lasts a very long time. Contact veneer stone installers for more information.