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It’s been a few years since you invested in a new granite counter top. You discover now, seemingly out of nowhere, that some areas are chipping, cracking, flaking, even crumbling. Most likely this is behind the faucet areas, or perhaps on the front lip of the sink.

Right? What gives?

There’s a culprit at play here, and like efflorescence, it is the result of moisture.

I know, moisture?

Yes water. All stone, even granite, will absorb moisture.

In this case, it’s moisture not necessarily sitting on the surface but rather, moisture which is being absorbed sub surface. This is due to faulty faucet gaskets, sink caulking which has seen better days and requires replacing or other unwanted sources of moisture.

spalling

Spalling

It’s that water being absorbed “inside” the stone that works its way through the stone to where it meets a weak point and then cracking or chipping, or flaking happens.

The chipping, flaking or seemingly, peeling away of the stone, is called spalling.

This is usually associated with more sedimentary rock types such as limestone or flagstone. However, any stone (even dense granite) is susceptible under the right conditions such as a constant environment of water absorption as noted above.

spalling

The best preventive measures are to ensure the stone is properly sealed upon installation. You also want to ensure gaskets and caulking (faucet and sink) are performing appropriately or other unwanted sources of moisture are repaired.

Take a few seconds every few months and evaluate your faucets, are they leaking? Inspect your sink caulking: is it getting “moldy”, dark, or missing caulk? If so, get it repaired promptly because if not, it will eventually cause significant damage.

If you are in the Santa Barbara area and are experiencing issues associated with spalling, you’ll find nobody better than the stone technicians at Santa Barbara Stone Masters to address a correction.

Give us a call today we’re here to help!

Skip Jankoski

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