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Pros and Cons of Building Brick Homes

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Why you should – and shouldn’t – build a new brick home.

Is building with brick a good option for your residential construction company? The answer depends on the preferences of your buyers, cost, how durable the home needs to be and more. Here are some of the most relevant pros and cons of building new homes with brick.

The Advantages

It’s low maintenance. Brick doesn’t require painting after installation, and it’s not subject to rot or damage from hailstorms. While homeowners have to replace wood siding and trim from time to time, brick typically remains durable for decades after initial construction, unless it endures substantial damage due to tornadoes or earthquakes.

It is resistant to fire and infestation. While they aren’t totally fire-proof, brick homes are resistant to fire damage. Since it doesn’t aid in the spread of fire, brick can help contain a fire within a home and prevent it from spreading. Brick is also resistant to termite and other types of insect infestations. Unlike wood, it can also withstand damage caused by nesting birds.

It’s eco-friendly. Since it’s made of two of the earth’s most abundant natural resources – clay and shale – brick often appeals to buyers who favor “eco-friendly” and “zero energy” homes. What’s more, if builders have leftover brick after construction, they can use it to line patios or create walls for raised-bed gardens.

Brick provides better temperature control. When combined with quality insulation, brick helps stabilize interior temperature and delay the movement of heat through walls. During the winter, heat stays inside; during the summer, interiors stay cooler. Brick can also block more sound from outside compared to wood and vinyl siding, even with thick insulation as a buffer.

The Downsides

It’s more expensive. Brick homes are more expensive than stick-built homes. On average, brick exteriors also cost around six to seven percent more than vinyl siding. While that might not seem like a big difference, the costs can add up fast depending on the total size of a home. To offset material and labor costs, builders typically have to charge more for a new brick home.

There aren’t that many options. Since brick is made from natural materials, builders only have a few color options to choose from — generally a series of browns, reds and grays. Although brick can be painted, it can be a labor-intensive process. In addition to priming the surface, painters usually have to use brushes and rollers to force paint into tiny holes and cracks, since spray rigs have difficulty thoroughly coating the porous brick surfaces. Homeowners also need to repaint every couple of years to keep brick exteriors from chipping and/or fading.

Repointing is sometimes necessary. Every now and then, homeowners will have to pay to replace pointing (the mortar used to keep the bricks together). While this is less likely if the original pointing is properly performed, it can still happen even under perfect conditions. Since this can be an intensive and expensive repair, some homeowners are leery of brick homes.

You get what you pay for. While cheap, poorly made bricks can save builders money, they are porous. This increases the risk of moisture issues, mold problems and cracks. Since knowledgeable buyers and real estate agents will be wary of such issues, it’s important for builders to make sound buying choices when selecting construction materials.


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Cleaning Interior Stone

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Cleaning manufactured stone veneer is a question that we are asked about quite often. We have a more detailed article on this topic at the following link that can be very useful: CLEANING YOUR STONE

Winter Pearl Frontier Ledge Kodiak Mountain Stone bathroom Lethbridge Calgary A2

I saw something this week that I thought was brilliant and would be worth sharing. I watched someone who has our stone installed around their tub in their bathroom clean it. The stone doesn’t get dirty, so for the most part she just has to dust in once in a while. She has found a tool that does a great job! She uses a soft bristle brush on a tool called a Hurricane Spin Scubber, which is available HERE on Amazon. It seemed to work pretty good, give it a try!



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Proximity Marketing – Innovative Technology, Unlimited Leads, Wherever You Are

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Have you ever wished you could tell everyone near you all about your product or service? Well now you can!

Kodiak GeoGemz make marketing in your proximity, SIMPLE!

With this new Proximity Marketing technology we can now help our masons and home builders grow their businesses. The best advertising is on the job site. That is where the end user sees the quality of work as the job progresses.


What is Proximity Marketing?

Our Kodiak GeoGemz are small wireless devices that broadcast your individualized promotional message to: Every Nearby Android Smartphone!

  1. Set a Promo Message
  2. Place & Activate the Gem
  3. Notify Nearby Customers

Order Your Kodiak GeoGemz


Who Should Use Kodiak GeoGemz?

The easy answer is that Kodiak GeoGemz are beneficial for anyone in business! But there are some specific opportunities closely related to our current industry!










Masonry Companies

The best testimonial for a mason to gain more clients is for the clients to see their work. So of course every project is an opportunity to gain new business. As future clients pass by the job site and think about their upcoming project, your Kodiak GeoGem will share your information with them, including any promotions, if you wish.


Home Builders

The Kodiak GeoGemz help the home builders share their information with future clients as they pass by job sites. They are also great tools for their sales team and their show homes. Each show home equipped with Kodiak GeoGemz will inform and attract more traffic. As the sales team travels throughout the city they’re able to share information about their company and their show homes with everyone nearby.


Who Else?

It’s endless who in our industry could benefit from the Kodiak GeoGemz Proximity Marketing:

  • Sub Contractors,
  • Renovation Contractors,
  • Real Estate Agents,
  • Designers,
  • Architects,
  • Distributors of Kodiak Mountain Stone products, and more!


Order Your Kodiak GeoGemz Here!


Don’t hesitate, customers are waiting…

For more information visit the Kodiak GeoGemz site or contact Jeff: or 801-830-3858












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REPEL 10 (Siloxane PD) Protective Sealer for Your Manufactured Stone Veneer

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There are a number of different sealers that you may use on your manufactured stone veneer products. One of the most common questions we receive is whether or not we have a sealer that will not change the appearance of the stone. Most sealers do either have a high gloss or matte finish that can change the appearance or color of the stone.


Repel 10 (Siloxane PD) from Kodiak Mountain Stone is a high quality sealant that will not change the appearance of your stone.


Repel 10 is a ready-to-use, water-based silane/siloxane water repellent for concrete and most masonry and stucco surfaces. Repel 10 will not impair the natural breathing characteristics of treated surfaces. it helps masonry resist cracking, spalling, staining and other damage related to water intrusion.


Safety Information

Always read full label and SDS for precautionary instructions before use. Use appropriate safety equipment and job site controls during application and handling.

24-Hour Emergency Information: 

INFOTRAC at 800-535-5053


Sealant-Waterproofing & Restoration Institute

Issued to: PROSOCO Inc.

Product: Sure Clean Weather Seal Siloxane PD (Repel 10)

ASTM D 6532: Water Absorption Reduction – Concrete 85.61%

ASTM C 67: Water Absorption Reduction – Brick 91.80%

ASTM C 140: Water Absorption Reduction – CMU 92.22%

ASTM D 6490: Water Vapor Transmission WVT (gains/h ft2) 1.22; Permeance 2.99

Validation Date: 4/3/13 – 4/2/18

No. 413-SPD418



  • Penetrates deeply for long-lasting protection on vertical or horizontal surfaces.
  • Service life is estimated at more than 10 years.
  • Treated surfaces “breathe” – does not trap moisture.
  • Water-based formula minimizes explosion and fire hazard compared to solvent-based water repellents.
  • Appropriate for use on manufactured stone surfaces.
  • Easy cleanup
  • Low odor for safer application to occupied buildings.
  • Alkaline stable – suitable for new “green” concrete, 14-28 days old.
  • Ready-to-use. No on-site dilution required.


  • Will not keep water out of cracks, defects or open joints.
  • Not recommended for below-grade applications.
  • Not suitable for applications to synthetic resin paints, gypsum, or other non masonry surfaces.



Cloudy white liquid,







8.29 lbs




4% ASTM D 5095


<30 g/L Low Solids Coating


>212° F (>100° C)

ASTM D 3278


32° F (0° C)


1 year in tightly sealed,

unopened container


Protect people, vehicles, property, plants, windows and all non masonry surfaces from product, splash, residue, fumes and wind drift. Protect and/or divert foot and auto traffic.

Thoroughly clean the surface using the appropriate Sure Klean® or Enviro Klean® product. Clean newly constructed and repointed surfaces before application. Siloxane PD won’t impair adhesion of most sealing and caulking compounds. Always test for compatibility.

Though Siloxane PD may be applied to slightly damp surfaces, best performance is achieved on clean, visibly dry and absorbent surfaces. Excessive moisture inhibits penetration, reducing the service life and performance of the treatment.

Window Glass Protection

Protect window glass before use. Sure Klean® Strippable Masking is effective protection for use with this product. If protecting windows is impractical, follow these steps:

1. Clean window glass thoroughly before application to nearby concrete or masonry.

2. Don’t use in wind or when air or surface temperatures are hotter than 95°F (35°C).

3. Try to keep Siloxane PD off the glass.

4. After treated surfaces have been protected from water for 6 hours, if product is on window glass, clean as soon as possible with soap and warm water. Alternatively use Enviro Klean® 2010 All Surface Cleaner to remove dried residues within 3–5 days.

Surface and Air Temperatures

Best surface and air temperatures are 40–95°F (4–35°C) during use and for 8 hours after. If freezing conditions exist before application, let masonry thaw. The water carrier may freeze at low temperatures or evaporate in high temperatures. Both conditions impair penetration and results. Cleanup is more diffcult from surfaces hotter than 95°F (35°C).


Recommended application is by high volume, low-pressure (<50 psi) spray. Fan spray tips are recommended to avoid atomization. Do not atomize/vaporize the material.

For small scale application, or when spray application is not appropriate, product may be applied using brush or roller. Contact Customer Care or your local PROSOCO representative for more information.

Storage and Handling

Keep from freezing. Store in a cool, dry place. Always seal container after dispensing. Do not alter or mix with other chemicals. Published shelf life assumes upright storage of factory-sealed containers in a dry place. Maintain temperature of 45–100°F (7–38°C). Do not double stack pallets. Dispose of unused product and container in accordance with local, state and federal regulations.


Read “Preparation” and the Safety Data Sheet before use.

ALWAYS TEST a small area of each surface to confrm suitability, coverage rates and desired results before starting overall application. Test with the same equipment, recommended surface preparation and application procedures planned for general application.

Dilution & Mixing

Apply as packaged. Do not dilute or alter.

Application Instructions

For best results, apply “wet-on-wet” to a visibly dry and absorbent surface.

Vertical Surfaces: Sprayer

Saturate from the bottom up, creating a 4–8 inch (15–20 cm) rundown below the spray contact point. Let the frst application penetrate for 5–10 minutes. Resaturate. Less will be needed for the second application.

Vertical Surfaces: Brush or Roller

Recommended for small scale application or when spray application is not appropriate. Contact PROSOCO for more information. Saturate uniformly. Let penetrate for 5–10 minutes. Brush out heavy runs and drips that don’t penetrate.

Horizontal Surfaces

Saturate in a single application. Use enough to keep the surface wet for 2–3 minutes before penetration. Broom out puddles until they soak in.

Dense Surfaces

Apply a single coat. Use enough to completely wet the surface without creating drips, puddles or rundown. Do not over apply. Test for application rate.

Drying Time

Treated surfaces dry to touch in 1 hour. Protect surfaces from rainfall for 6 hours following treatment. Protect from foot and vehicle traffc until visibly dry. Siloxane PD gains its water-repellency properties in 72 hours.


Clean tools, equipment, and over spray with soap and warm water.

Paint Adhesion

Always test to make sure paint sticks to treated surfaces. Improve adhesion before painting by pressure water-rinsing the treated surface, then letting it dry. Some cementitious coatings, plaster, stucco, etc. may not adhere well to treated surfaces. Install them first and let them thoroughly cure before application. Always test to verify compatibility between Siloxane PD and other proposed surface treatments.


Surface should be clean, dry and absorbent before application. Clean soiled surfaces with the appropriate Sure Klean® or Enviro Klean® cleaner before application. Call Customer Care toll-free at 800-255-4255 for recommendations.

Recommended application for PROSOCO protective treatments is high volume, low- pressure (<50 psi) spray equipment with a fan-type spray tip and adjustable pressure to avoid atomization of the material. For small scale application, or when spray application is not appropriate, brushes or roller may be used. Contact Customer Care or your local representative for more information on brush/ roller application. Protect treated surfaces from rain for 6 hours following treatment. ALWAYS TEST for best coverage rates and to confrm results before overall application. Test using the application instructions included herein. Let the test area dry thoroughly before inspection. Never go it alone. If you have problems or questions, contact your local PROSOCO distributor or feld representative. Or call PROSOCO technical Customer Care, toll-free at 800-255-4255.


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How to Plan Your Next Project

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If you have not tried the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer, you need to!


This is a tool that will help you to visualize your project as you make your plans. The Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer  lets you upload photos of your project and see what it will look like with stone in different places. All of our profiles and colors are not available on the Visualizer, but there are enough to help you to figure out what you want your final project to look like. You can even go beyond the stone and add different siding, stucco, windows, doors and so much more.


This is a great tool for new home construction or a renovation project. It works well for both interior and exterior designs.

Have fun, get creative and let us help you to see your dream come to life!









kodiak-mountain-stone-visualizer-002 kodiak-mountain-stone-visualizer-experiment
































Check out our video tutorial to learn how to use the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer.


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Manufactured Stone – A Good Return On Your Investment

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Remodeling Magazine recently published their Cost vs Value Report


This site compares average cost for 29 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 99 U.S. markets.


Throughout the nation it rated Manufactured Stone Veneer as one of the best upgrades you can choose for the cost vs the value you’re able to recoup in a sale. In fact, the recouped cost in the Pacific Region and East South Central Regions were as high as 106.7% and 106.4% respectively.


If you are looking to renovate or remodel your home, manufactured stone veneer is an excellent choice to include in the project.


If you’re in the planning stages of your project, make sure to check out the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer to help with all your remodeling ideas. Also check out some of our inspirational videos. Seeing what other people have done on their projects is often all you need to come up with the best ideas for your own project.


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Where To Buy Kodiak Mountain Stone Products

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As the popularity of our Kodiak Mountain Stone products continue to increase, we get many inquiries as to where our customers can purchase our products from. Fortunately we have a number of options that allow anyone to have access to our products.


We currently have three company owned locations that we can be found:


Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

2620 2 Ave N
Lethbridge, Alberta T1H 0C2
Phone: 403-388-8948

Products Available: Manufactured Stone Veneer (Kodiak Mountain Stone, Eldorado Stone, Creative Mines), Natural Stone, Brick and Master Wall Acrylic Stucco


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

5432 56 Ave SE
Calgary AB T2C 4M6
Phone: 587- 952-4822

Products Available: Manufactured Stone Veneer (Kodiak Mountain Stone, Creative Mines), Natural Stone, Cherokee Brick and Master Wall Acrylic Stucco


Springville, Utah, USA

399 W 900 N
Springville, Utah
Phone: 801-491-3001

Products Available: Manufactured Stone Veneer (Kodiak Mountain Stone) and Natural Stone


Coming Soon: Queen Creek, Arizona, USA


Our Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer is also available through our dealer network. You can locate a dealer near you on our Dealer Map HERE


We are also proud to be on the Marketplace. Through we are able to ship product all throughout North America. View all the products we have on the Build Direct Marketplace HERE




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RhinoRock Light Weight Concrete Fencing Installation

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With new advances in their system, RhinoRock Light Weight Concrete Fencing is easy to install and is even more durable than before. Check out this installation video:


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Render to Win Contest, April 15-29, 2016

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Your chance to win an Amazon Gift Card from Renoworks!!!


Use the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer to create “Before” and “After” photos of your project, post them on Facebook for your chance to win.


See contest details below.



Click HERE to go to the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer












Share your best work on Facebook for a chance to win one of 3 Amazon Giftcards!

We’re giving away some Amazon shopping sprees for our very first  ‘Render to Win’ contest! From April 15th (hey, that’s today!) to April 29th, share your #RenoworksPro talent on Facebook, and you’ll be entered into a draw to win one of three Amazon giftcards.
Grand Prize- $300 at Amazon | Second Prize- $200 at Amazon
Third Prize- $100 at Amazon

Here’s how to participate (scroll down for pictures):

  1. In a Facebook post, share a ‘Before’ picture and a ‘Renoworks Pro Rendering’ of your remodeling project.
  2. Include the hashtag #RenoworksPro.
  3. Tag us @Renoworks and @KodiakMtnStone to make sure we see your entry!
  4. You can enter more than once: you’ll get one entry for each set of pictures.
  5. You’ll get a bonus entry if you include the real-life ‘After’ photo of your remodeling project.
The winner will be chosen by random selection, so be sure to enter as many times as you can to increase your chances of snagging a gift card!
Contest ends April 29th. Winner announced May 2nd.



Use this video for help on using the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer


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Planning Your Renovation

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The secret to a successful home renovation lies in the careful planning and understanding of what you are wanting to achieve. In many cases, your final specifications will be figured out with the help of your contractor, designer or architect. But the more information that you can provide to them about your vision of the renovation, the better they are able to help you bring that vision to life.


Here are a few things to consider before meeting with your renovation contractor:


  • Do you have a clear vision of the changes you want to make in your home? What is the purpose of your renovation?
  • What are the specific goals of your renovation project?
  • Do you anticipate future changes in your life that could affect what you need in your home?
  • What are the must-haves and what are the nice-to-haves in the vision you have for your renovation?

Once you have spent the time planning through the vision of your renovation you will be in a better position to describe and discuss your ideas with your contractor, designer or architect. What you put into the planning before the renovation begins will make a real difference in the success of your project and your ability to keep within your budget.


For more ideas and tips to help you plan your renovation refer to the resources available through Renomark HERE


In the planning stages of your renovation the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer is a powerful tool to help you see what your project will look like. The Visualizer allows you to upload photos of your project and see what it will look like with different changes made.


Use the following video tutorial to help you understand how to use the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer.

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The Use of Polymer Modified Mortar for Tight-fit/Dry Stacked Stone Veneer Installation

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REGARDING: The use of Polymner Modified Mortar for tight-fit/dry stacked veneer installation


TO: All Kodiak Mountain Stone Dealers, Installers, and Users:


We believe quality stone demands quality installation. Mortar has changed. We ask that you all stress the importance of using Polymer Modified Mortar for tight-figt/dry stacked stone veneer installation. These new Polymer Modified Mortars are more workable, and they bond better.


Type N or Type S mortar should not be used for installing tight-fit/drystacked installations. Polymer Modified Mortar should be used for these tight-fit/drystacked installations. Conventional Type N and Type S mortars are designed for laying up block and brick, and are not required to have high bond strength. Polymer Modified Mortars on the other hand are made specifically for bonding and provide very high bond strength. Type N and Type S mortar are adequate for installing stone applications having grouted joints because the grouted joints provide additional bond to the sides of the stones; and also because the grouted joints act as a secondary attachment. In addition, the grouted joints also seal the stone walls from water accumulation behind the stones which can cause debonding when frozen. But tight-fit/drystacked stone installations don’t have these grout joint “safety valves”.


Thanks for your continued business.

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The Value of a Renovation

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The Importance of picking the right renovation project


Often times whether your home is new or old. There’s parts of it you want to change. Many times even need to change. As much as we would like to wave our magic renovation wand & have it all change right before our eyes we have to weigh the pros and cons of which project to tackle first.

Family needs , esthetics & practicability are all factors that helps us determine which renovations get done when but above all else we want to know that we’re going to see returns on the projects that we’re taking on & that our renovations end up being exactly what they should be…investments in our home.

According to the stats compiled by there are a few that you might want to leave at the bottoms of your list. Some of the renovations with the least amount of return are Sunroom additions with only 48% of your cost recouped. A smidge above this is a master bathroom addition with approximately 53% of your cost returned. The next renovation surprisingly, is a Garage addition with 54%.

If you’re looking for some renovations that offer a little more bang for your buck. Look no further then manufactured stone which is the renovation that comes in just second from the top at offering you the best return at 92%. Second to only replace your entry door recouping 100% of your cost. Some other great options for home renovations are a garage door replacement coming in at 88%. After this replacing your siding offers you an 80% return.

If you’re currently thinking about renovating with any of the many products available at Kodiak Mountain Stone come into one of our showrooms today and we’ll help you get started. If you are interested, You can read the full article here



by Amanda Aiuto from our Calgary AB store

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How to Install Manufactured Stone Veneer

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“How do I install manufactured stone veneer?”


That is such a common question asked at our stores by our customers. Properly installed manufactured stone is an important step in creating a beautiful, lasting project. Our installation guide walks you through step-by-step instructions. Plus, our detailed video is a great guide to help you out along the way.


A vital part of installing manufactured stone veneer or natural stone veneer is having the proper vapor barrier on your project. This video will help to guide you in properly preparing before you begin to install your stone.

Always check your local building codes before starting your project.  


You can find a printable copy of our Kodiak Mountain Stone Installation Guide HERE


Before you begin to install you stone you need to plan your project. Make sure to take advantage of the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer so you can have a clear picture of your final project before you even start. The Visualizer will really help you to begin with the end in mind!


To help you out, we have created an instructional video on how to use the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer:


For more assistance please contact us at 1-877-563-4252 (877-KODIAK-2) or


Or visit us at:


Lethbridge, Alberta

2620 2 Ave N.


Calgary, Alberta

5432 56 Ave SE


Springville, Utah

399 W 900 N




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How To Use the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer

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“I never knew my house could look like that!”


“I can’t believe the difference it makes, it’s beautiful!”


These are the types of comments we hear from people after they first use the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer.  The Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer helps you to see what your house or project could look like with different styles and colors of stone in different places. It also gives you the ability to experiment with stucco, siding, doors, windows, roofing materials and so much more.


If you are renovating or building new, this is a great tool to help you visualize your dream!


All you need to do is upload a photo of your home or project (fireplace, feature wall, etc.) and follow the step by step tutorial.  But to make it even easier, we have provided you with this video to help you out.



Start playing with the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer today, click HERE!

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Manufactured Stone, Natural Stone & Brick Feature Walls

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It is very common to see a new home with a beautiful stone or brick fireplace. But more and more we are seeing the stone and brick go beyond just the fireplace to create amazing accent walls.
Stone and brick can create beautiful interior feature walls.  It’s not a new idea but it’s one we are seeing a lot more of. With a little bit of creativity and imagination you can create some unique designs that make a normal room extraordinary. Making a boring wall the focal point of the entire room.
It’s amazing how a stone or brick wall can change an entire room to fit your style. It can create a warm environment ranging from a country style to a modern one. With all of the different choices in products, you’ll be able to find the perfect option for your home.

Creative Mines Crafted Masonry Veneer - Craft Board Form - Monsoon

These are some of the most popular options:
Manufactured Stone Veneer is a man-made cast product which is produced to replicate real stone. There are a number of advantages of manufactured stone vs natural stone with the top ones being (1) total cost, (2) ease of installation, and (3) weight of the product.
The total cost of the product and installation of manufactured stone is typically a lot less than with natural stone. Because it is a man-made product, it is manufactured for the ease of installation. Manufactured stone is also lighter weight than natural stone. You should always consult a structural engineer before installing brick or stone in your home, but with manufactured stone you typically don’t need extra structural reinforcement in your home to compensate for the weight of the product.
Natural Stone Veneer is exactly what it sounds like, it is real stone that is cut as a veneer to be installed on a wall. Natural Stone Veneer gives an authentic look with all of the unique characteristics of natural stone that cannot be mimicked in manufactured stone. Natural Stone Veneer is heavier than manufactured stone, so it is even more important to consult a structural engineer about your project before you begin.
Our Natural Stone Veneer is collected and quarried throughout the North America.  There are many styles, profiles and colors of natural stone veneer available for you to choose from for your home.
Natural Stone-Wyoming Moss Yogurt Shoppe-WM-1
Most brick that is currently being used on residential interior projects is a Thin Brick Veneer. Thin brick veneer can give your wall the rich, elegant appearance that only brick can provide. Like stone veneer, thin brick veneer is either a cast product or a thin slice of the brick’s face that has been cut from a full brick. Thin brick veneer is installed similar in process to stone veneer rather than how traditional brick is installed.  But when a project is completed, you have the appearance of a beautiful brick wall.
Once you have created a beautiful accent wall in your home with stone or brick help it to become a feature point in your home.
Never neglect skillful lighting.  It will enhance the beautiful textures and features of the brick or stone and will cast shadows that will bring out the unique characteristics of the wall.
For more information on any of these products you can call us at 1-877-563-4252 or visit us at:
Lethbridge, Alberta
2620 2 Ave North
Calgary, Alberta
5432 56 Ave SE
399W 900N
Or, find one of our dealers HERE
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How to Build Your Own Fire Pit

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We deal with a lot of Do-it-Yourselfers (DIY) at Kodiak Mountain Stone and wanted to share these great DIY instructions on “How to Build Your Own Fire pit” from our friends at  Of course, we would also suggest adding some Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone to the project!


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See What YOUR Home Will Look Like With Manufactured Stone Veneer

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Building a home or completing a renovation is a huge commitment.  Before any project can even be started it has to be visualized in someones mind.  When it’s completed, everyone gets to see the final results of that vision.  Kodiak Mountain Stone supplies many of the products that people see when you are done your project.  That is why those finishing touches are so important on a project.  Whether it’s our manufactured stone, natural stone, brick or acrylic stucco, we will help you Finish the Dream!

Kodiak Mountain Stone is excited to introduce the new Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer to help create that dream!




Upload your own picture and experiment by adding our manufactured stone to different areas of your home to see what it would look like.  Don’t like how it looks?  Try another area or a different profile or color.

Currently you can use four of our Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone profiles in select colors to visualize your future home.  If the available profiles or colors are not exactly what you want on your home, you will still be able to have a good idea of where you want the stone and what it will look like.  We have also made available a number of other products that you can experiment with to help you visualize your final project.  Some of the other products available are stucco, siding, doors and windows.  As you use the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer you will see what an amazing tool it is.  Lets see how it works.

As you go through the process when you are using the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer, follow the Guided Tutorial within the program.  Following are the steps that the Guided Tutorial will take you through.





Start by uploading your own photo.












Once you have uploaded the photo of your house you need to Set the Project to Scale.


Tell us how large the subject of the picture is in real life.

Click on a corner of a wall or door on the project to start drawing a measuring line.  Draw the measuring line to another corner of the same wall or door and click to end the line.

Next you will input the true length of this line to set the project to scale.





My New Exterior!




Draw surfaces and features on the picture using the masking tools.  Apply our manufactured stone to these areas in the “visualize” task.


The Guided Tutorial in the Visualizer will walk you through the process



The buttons on the left of your screen let you add surfaces to your photo.  Click “SIDING” to start adding a wall.

  • Surface Outline Starting Point – click anywhere on your picture to define the starting point of the surface outline where you want to apply manufactured stone.


Instructions will appear in this area.  Follow them to draw a wall with four points.  At this point, don’t worry if it’s not an exact outline, you will have an opportunity to make adjustments in following steps.


The buttons at this step will allow you to adjust the outline.


At this point you may also wish to define an additional area to add our manufactured stone or other products more areas on the picture.  Follow the proceeding steps above to add a new area before clicking on “Visualize.”


Ready to Design!


It’s time to add product to the wall!  Click “VISUALIZE” to move to the next step



Select the wall that you just outlined by clicking it (It will light up when your mouse moves over it)



At this point you will be able to see the manufactured stone that you can apply to your wall.  You can keep making selections from this list until you find the profile and color you desire.

Each time you make a selection (Cut Fieldstone for example), a list of available colors will appear.  Once you select a color by clicking on it, the selection will be applied to the area you’ve selected in the picture.

When the stone has been applied, you may click the area on the picture a second time to see the product details or to remove the product.

At this step the options of products to be applied are a selection of Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone as well as some other siding products such as stucco and siding products.

Currently the Kodiak Mountain Stone profiles and colors available in the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer are:

  • Cut Fieldstone
    • Colors: Granite, Quarry and Almond Buff
  • Frontier Ledge
    • Colors: Almond Buff, Colorado Rundle, Glacier, Walnut and Wheat
  • Ready Stack
    • Colors: Almond Buff, Chardonnay, Colorado Rundle, Glacier, Walnut and Mahogany
  • Southern Hackett
    • Colors: Almond Buff, Apache and Granite

*Although the digitized versions of these manufactured stone profiles and colors are as accurate as possible, visit our showrooms to view the actual profiles and colors before making your final selection.

Our Showrooms are located at:


At this point you may select other products and/or colors to see your different options.

In these pictures you can see that a new area has been defined and stucco (another stone profile in the last photo) has been applied to compare with the existing siding. This is your opportunity to experiment and dream.



Congratulations!  You’ve just learned how to mask an area and apply Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone or other products to it.  Now click “Save & Review.”




At this point you can

  1. View your Before & After pictures
  2. Save to a personalized account
  3. Share on Facebook – tag us! @KodiakMtnStone
  4. Share on Twitter – tag us! @KodiakMTN_Stone
  5. Share on Pinterest – follow us!
  6. Print your photo
  7. Email your photo – Send us a copy too

You now have a picture of your home re-imaged!  Your dream is now visualized!





















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5 Ways to Bring That Room Alive

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BY: Jeff “Red” Redford
Operations Manager
Kodiak Mountain Stone®



How to Bring That Room Alive:

Putting up a stone feature wall in your home is great for adding a modern elegant look to a main room. Adding manufactured stone or natural stone to the interior of your house is going to add and create value to the finished product of your home.

Some great areas to add this design to would include:


Kitchen: The Back Splash and/or the Island


Given most people choose to do tile or leave it plain, why not try a stone finish. It’s the area you probably spend the most time in, so why not create that beautiful texture and difference between your home and everyone else’s. The availability of colors is open to suite any of your personal tastes and ability to match your current cabinetry and finishes now.






Winter Pearl Frontier Ledge Kodiak Mountain Stone bathroom Lethbridge Calgary A2

Bathroom: Creating a spa like environment

To finish off that renovation you thought you completed, but it’s just missing that one thing to really make it stand out. Creating that ambiance when you walk in, having a beautiful stone wall, that gives you that benefit of looking around and instantly feeling relaxed after a long day. Soak in your bathtub and just enjoy your finished bathroom in style.




Fireplace – Great DIY project for a long weekendFireplace

Given the amount of accessories Kodiak Mountain Stone carries, we have everything you need to finish this project and make it perfect and to match your vision. Take your tired and worn down looking fireplace and create something that POPS and makes it come to life again. It will be something beautiful to look at for years to come.




Bedroom Feature WallBedroom

Add a twist to the usual look in your master suite; Add stone to a wall to give it a more personalized approach to the space.






Feature wall

Main Living Area – Cover a feature wall

This seems to be the most common approach when it comes to using stone and it is the most modern finish to any home. Given the textures and profiles of stone Kodiak Mountain Stone has to offer, you can really make this your special project. Adding your TV to this specialty wall or just leaving it on its own, will really draw the eye to this area.






Contact us for more information at:

877-563-4252 (877-KODIAK-2)

Calgary Store: Click Here

Lethbridge Store: Click Here

Locate a Dealer: Click Here

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How Do I Install My Kodiak Mountain Stone Manufactured Stone Veneer?*

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We often have customers who are the do-it-yourself type or are at least considering taking on the task of installing their own Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer on their project.  We have an Installation Guide on our website that we keep up to date and try to always improve.  Recently we added instructional videos that have been very helpful to many people.  But after having the installation conversations a number of times with customers today I decided to include it in a blog that we could easily share.


Kodiak Mountain Stone Installation Instructions*


 How Much Stone Will You Need?

Corners (Ordered by the Linear Foot)

  • Determine how many linear feet of 90 degree outside corners you have on the project

Flats (Ordered by the Square Foot)

  • Measure the width and height of the area to be covered in stone and convert it to square feet (width x height = square footage)
  • Figure the square footage of any windows, doors or other areas that will not have stone and subtract that amount from the first figure.
  • Determine the total linear footage of corners that you previously calculated.  Divide that number by two (2) and subtract that amount from the total square footage of flats.
    • Example:
      • Corner linear footage = 20 LF
      • Flat square footage = 100 SF
      • Doors and Windows = 20 SF
      • Flats (100 SF) – Doors and Windows (20 SF) = 80 SF
      • Corners Linear Footage (20 LF) / 2 = 10 SF to be subtracted from total square footage to accommodate corners
      • Total Square Footage Needed 80 SF – 10 SF = 70 SF of flats plus 20 LF of corners
  • We strongly suggest purchasing between 5 – 10% more product than you have calculated


Materials You Will Need


Over Masonry

For installing Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer over existing masonry (brick, block, stucco, or concrete)

Note: concrete must be in sound condition, clean, not painted or sealed, free from oil, dust and dirt

Mortar:  Used to set stones, and to grout the mortar joint between stones.  We typically sell the premix mortar in our stores but you can use premixed masonry mortar or masonry cement and sand.

Masonry Cement: Mix 1 part masonry cement (Type N or Type S) with 2 1/4 parts masonry sand and potable water.

Premix Mortar: Check with the manufacturer to determine if their product is suitable for installation of manufactured stone.

Bonding Agent:  Latex brush-on or integral bonding agent recommended for this application.

Masonry Sealer:  Use a breathable type, non-film forming sealer, which is available from our Calgary and Lethbridge stores.  It is recommended by some experts feel that any dry stack applications (mortarless joint) should always be sealed.



Over Framing

For installation of Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer over framing (wood or metal) with sheathing (plywood, OSB, rigid insulations, gypsum, wall board, concrete board, fiber board)


Water Resistive Barrier:  Used to prevent moisture from penetrating the exterior wall.

Always check with and follow local building codes for your area.  We suggest two separate layers of tar paper (ASTM D226 no. 15 type 1).

Metal Lath:  Used to hold mortar when forming a mortar scratch coat.  Use a minimum of 2.5 lbs self-furring corrosion resistant metal lath .  For metal buildings or open studs, use a galvanized, rib expanded metal lath.  (minimum 3.4 lb/yd2).  Check your local building codes for other acceptable lath or miss.

Fasteners:  Used to attach lath to the framing members to support the stone system.   Use corrosion resistant fasteners (ASTM C 1063) capable of penetrating wood studs 1″ or metal studs 3/8″.

Mortar: Used to make a mortar scratch coat, to set stones, and to grout the mortar  joint between stones.  You may use premixed masonry mortar, masonry cement and sand, or portland cement,lime and sand.


NOTE:  For new construction exterior applications, ensure that all penetrations (doors, windows, etc) are properly flashed and sealed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.



The following video was recorded at our Calgary, Alberta showroom and demonstrates the steps necessary for surface preparation


Stone Application

Setting Stones in Mortar:


  • Completely cover the back of the stone with mortar, at least 1/2 inch thick, and press the stone firmly into the scratch coat to ensure a good bond.  Press hard enough to squeeze out some of the mortar around the edges of the stone.  Make sure you have complete coverage between the mortar bed and the surface of the stone.
  • Corner pieces should be installed first.  Alternate the long and short legs of the corner pieces in opposite directions.
  • After the corner pieces have been installed, apply flat pieces starting at the outside working toward the center of the wall.
  • Cutting and Trimming:  There are a number of methods used to cut, trim and shape stone.  Our suggestion is to use a circular saw with a masonry blade.  When cutting and trimming, ensure you take all safety precautions.  Broken stones should be used to fit into applicable spaces and to fill in gaps.  For the most attractive finished appearance, coat with mortar any cut or broken edges.  Also, try to place cut edges so they are not easily visible.
  • Grouting Joints:  In applications where a mortar joint is used, fill in the joints with a mortar bag, taking care to avoid getting mortar on the stones’ surface.  Joints should be 1/2″ to get the most natural look.  Any accidental smears can be removed with a whisk broom after the mortar is crumbly.  Do not try to remove smears while the mortar is still wet.  Never use a wet brush, wire brush, acid or acid-based products to clean the stone.
  • Finishing Joints:  Proper jointing gives your project an appealing and professional finish.  Before finishing, allow mortar joints to become firm (30-60 minutes, but may vary), then point them up with a jointing tool.  Weather conditions and the type of surface both influence drying time.
  • Brush Joints:  Remove excess mortar and then firmly compress and seal the edges around the stones.  Brush stones and joints with a dry whisk broom to finish and clean the project.
  • Mortarless (Dry Stack) Applications:  In dry stack applications where no mortar joints are used, it is often suggested to add a bonding agent to the mortar mix.  Install from the bottom up and keep joints as level as possible.  Avoid having vertical joints lining up together.
  • Cleaning and Sealing:  Clean Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer products with a soft bristle brush and water.  If stained with mineral deposits or efflorescence, stone may be cleaned with diluted household vinegar solution (7 parts water, 1 part vinegar).  Rinse thoroughly with clean water after cleaning.  Do not use wire brushes or acid to clean Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer.  Seal your Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer products with a breathable, non-filming masonry sealer.  Dry-stacked applications are encouraged to be sealed or any products in harsh environments.


The following video demonstrates the installation process for Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer, brick, thin brick veneer and block.



Clearance Information


On exterior stud walls, weep screeds and other base flashings should be held a minimum of 4″ above grade or a minimum of 2″ above paved surfaces such as driveways, patios, etc.  This minimum can be reduced to 1/2″ if the paved surface is a walking surface supported by the same foundation supporting the wall.


On exterior stud walls where Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer continues down a concrete or CMU foundation wall, and where a weep screed is incorporated into the wall-to-foundation transition, at the bottom maintain minimum 2″ clearance from grade, or 1/2″ clearance from a paved surface.


On exterior stud walls where Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer continues down a concrete or CMU foundation wall, with WRB and lath installed won the weep screed at bottom, maintain minimum 4″ clearance from grade, or 2″ clearance from paved surfaces.


Where Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer is applied over an exterior concrete or CMU wall, maintain 2″ clearance from grade or 1/2″ from paved surfaces.


Over an exterior concrete or CMU wall that is not enclosing conditioned space (e.g. landscape walls, pillars, columns, etc.) maintain minimum 2″ clearance from grade or 1/2″ from paved surface.



  • Packaging quantities vary, contact our stores or call us at 877-563-4252 for information on specific products
  • Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer meets or substantially exceeds the minimum physical requirements specified by the ICC_ES AC51.  View this information at
  • Always use proper safety precautions
  • We recommend you blend stones from different boxes throughout your installation area.  Variations are inherent in all manufactured stone and concrete products.  Questions regarding suitability and/or acceptability must be resolved before installation.  Use constitutes acceptance.  We suggest looking at an actual sample prior to making your final selection.



*a lot of the information in this blog was shared with us by our friends at Veneerstone.  Check out our stores in Calgary & Lethbridge Alberta to see our Veneerstone samples

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How Do I Clean Kodiak Mountain Stone Manufactured Stone Products?

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In an article, “New Rules for Cleaning Contemporary Masonry Buildings,” by Gary Henry (Prosoco), outlines the proper steps to be taken to clean masonry products.

In the article Gary writes about “The New Rules”


1. Know Your Surface

“Concrete brick and simulated stone often look like clay brick and natural stone – that’s the idea.  While these various masonry materials often are created to look similar, each has widely different tolerances for cleaner strength and pressure washer psi.”


2. Always Test Before Overall Cleaning

“Always test, and always clean under the same conditions in which you tested.”


3. Use the Mildest Cleaner and Dilution That Still Gives Effective Results

“Because concrete masonry has some of the same components as the mortar films and smears that have to be removed, cleaners for concrete masonry are gentler than those for clay.  The best concrete and manufactured stone cleaners are precisely balanced — just strong enough to dissolve films and mortar smears that aren’t fully hardened, yet safe enough to do so without harming the masonry.”


4. Clean Early and Quickly

This is a problem we have seen time and again.  After the job is completed the person doing the installation doesn’t get around to cleaning off the smears for too long.  Then when he goes to clean up the job it is too late and he can’t get the stone clean.

Don’t give mortar smears and films time to become as hard as the stone itself — remove it while you can still work with it.  With our manufactured stone you can clean it within three to seven days.  If you are working with small, individual areas that you need to remove small amounts of smears, you may be able to work with it sooner than that.


5. Use the Right Cleaner for the Right Job

Our suggestion is to use a mixture of water in vinegar to clean our manufactured stone.  Some testing may be required but our guideline as rules 3 and 4 state above is (3) Use the mildest cleaner and dilution that still gives effective results, and (4) clean early and quickly.  You can also talk to one of our experts Contact Us Here for suggestions on mixing ratios.


6. Never Clean with Raw Acid

We advise not to use any acids on our manufactured stone products.  Many people ask us about using muriatic acid to clean the stone after installation and our answer is, “no.”


Mr Henry also continues by outlining the basic rules that apply to cleaning masonry:

Don’t Spare the Water

He says, “lots of water is one of the secrets of to a great masonry clean down.”   By pre-wetting the masonry the pores of the stone are filled with water and the cleaner will only work on the surface of the stone.  Additional water should be used to rinse and dissolve the excess mortar and dirt.

Clean Bottom to Top, Keeping Lower Areas Wet

“Unlike many other types of cleaning, masonry clean down begins at the bottom and works up, making it easier to keep lower parts of the walls wet.  Keeping the walls wet stops rundown from penetrating into them.”

Follow All Safety Precautions in the Product Literature

This should be common sense and isn’t as applicable with a diluted water and vinegar solution, but it is obviously something that can’t be ignored.


For more information and to read Mr. Henry’s article, “New Rules for Cleaning Contemporary Masonry Buildings,” visit

He also goes on to discuss cleaning in colder weather conditions and offers great knowledge.

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Brick Product Knowledge

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Brick – Product Knowledge

A brick’s color has a lot to do with the region that the brick is made in and the color of the clay found in that region.  The color of clay can be either left alone as seen in many commercial buildings looks, or the look of the front of the brick can be changed by adding a Portland cement mixture of an additional color.  This face color is called a “slurry”.

Some common brick terminology:

  • Bond: a pattern in which brick is laid. (a half bond, or a third bond)
  • Stretcher: a brick laid horizontally, flat with the long side of the brick exposed on the outer face of a wall.
  • Header: a brick laid flat with the short end of the brick exposed.
  • Soldier: a brick laid vertically with the narrow (“stretcher”) side exposed.
  • Sailor: a brick laid vertically with the broad side exposed.
  • Rowlock or Bull Header[1]: a brick laid on the long, narrow side with the small or “header” side exposed.
  • Shiner: a brick laid on the long narrow side with the broad side exposed




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A Dictionary Definition of “Efflorescence”

1. the state or a period of flowering.

2. an example or result of growth and development: “These works are the efflorescence of his genius.”

3. Chemistry.

a. the act or process of efflorescing.

b. the resulting powdery substance or incrustation.

4. Pathology. a rash or eruption of the skin.

Note that this is a “process”, not the resulting stain.

In construction we tend to use the word “efflorescence” as the definition of the white residue and its chemical component.  Sometimes we jump to the conclusion that any white residue is “that kind of efflorescence”.  It is important to remember that, per the definition above, efflorescence is a process, not a thing.  The typical efflorescence we encounter has the fizzing reaction to acid.  However, the efflorescence process is actually any liquid (almost always water) transporting “any substance “ that can be carried to the surface.  The substance can be a wide range of things, such as iron oxides, concrete additives ( latex, acrylic, epoxy, etc. ).  Many of these substances are white, but some are not.

Therefore, the process of efflorescence could leave a residue of something other that the usual minerals.  This is why it pays to do some testing first.   If there is no fizzing, see the subject of “additives” as it is not uncommon to see that type of residue appear (especially from grout or concrete additives that are “bleeding out”).

This information applies to efflorescence on all surface types,
including brick, block, tile, grout, slate, stone, concrete work, pavers, limestone, marble, granite, etc

Where it comes from! — How to remove it! — How to stop it!

Where does it come from?

Two conditions must be present to create efflorescence:

  1. A source of water soluble salts.
  2. Water moving through the material to carry the salts to the surface. The water evaporates and leaves the white powder behind.

Some surfacing products are more prone to have efflorescence because:

  • They might be more permeable and promote water travel.
  • They might tend to have higher water soluble salts in some batches.

Despite the best efforts of surfacing manufacturers to minimize water soluble salts in their products, they use materials from the earth that can vary from batch to batch.

The causes and treatments of efflorescence are the same, regardless of the material on which it appears. Flooring, roofing, walls and their component materials only vary in the product application technique, as described on product labeling.

Water sources can be:

  • IN/OUT – Entering at the surface (rain or sprinklers), penetrating in a fraction of an inch, then returning to the surface carrying the salts.
  • THROUGH – Entering from behind (bad flashing, caulking, leaks) or underneath (water from the earth migrating up) and traveling through.

There are two kinds of efflorescence.

  1. Regular “powdery” efflorescence as described above and is still gone after “Efflorescence Treatment” dries.
  2. “Crystalline” efflorescence. When powdery efflorescence goes through cycles of being deposited on the surface – re dissolved when new water occurs – drying out – new water – etc. it can form crystals. The crystals become tightly bonded to the surface. The crystals do not have to be thick. A light haze that is still there after using “Efflorescence Treatment” will be light crystal formation and is treated as described below.

How can it be cleaned?

“Powdery” efflorescence only requires a simple application of Vinegar and water with a scrub brush

  • “Efflorescence Treatment” is not a cleaner that must be rinsed or removed.
  • “Efflorescence Treatment” carries the salts below the surface.
  • “Efflorescence Treatment” enhances the surface color.

“Crystalline” efflorescence can not be moved by “Efflorescence Treatment” because of the crystal’s attachment to the surface. That is why you may treat a surface with “Efflorescence Treatment” and it looks great for a few hours. But then, when it dries you can see some efflorescence deposits remaining. They are not new deposits coming out. They were just temporarily disguised by the darkening effect of the initial treatment. The reappearing efflorescence is crystalline and is bonded to the surface. These deposits will “fizz” on contact with a strong acid (pool acid, muriatic acid), but do not use that acid for cleaning. There are products for cleaning.

How it can be stopped!

After treating the surface to restore its appearance, you can prevent future efflorescence by applying a penetrating sealer per directions. This is true even if the water is coming from behind or subsurface and cannot be stopped.  The  penetrating sealers create a barrier below any absorbent surface that allows water vapor to “breathe” out, but stops the water soluble salt molecules from migrating out.

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