Craftsmanship in stone
 and wood since 1981

613-286-9908

SUMMERSTONE.COM  

Flagstone repair and rebuilding policy

At Summerstone , we've done a lot of repair and rebuilding of flagstone entries and patios. We work on things that we built ourselves and things that were built by others. All of our own work is covered by a 5 year limited warranty. Click on the link to see a copy of our warranty and maintenance advice.

As mentioned in that warranty, with exceptions, anything that goes wrong in those first 5 years is covered and we will repair or replace it at our own expense. The main exception, and the one that we have to confront most often is the use of salt or chemical de-icers to melt ice on a flagstone entrance. Few people use salt anymore, but other de-icers still are used occasionally, when a client has forgotten, or the home has been sold and the new owner not advised, but most often it is when the chemicals have been recommended by someone in a building supply store. It gets claimed that they don't harm concrete. Flagstone is actually laid in mortar on concrete. Mortar is much more susceptible to these chemicals than concrete is. If the material is used regularly for several years,there is typically serious deterioration in the mortar. It seems to go from the bottom up with the result that when the problem is finally noticed it may take considerable work to rebuild it. Normally the mortar all has to be replaced, often most of the stones as well. Usually, the concrete base is still sound and can be reused.

Other things that can occur are; a single flagstone could come loose, caulking can lose flexibility over time and need to be redone, mortar joints can deteriorate from the top from normal wear and tear, settling can occur causing uneven surfaces. These are all relatively minor problems and can usually be repaired in a few hours. It is important that these things be taken care of in timely way so that the problem doesn't spread. It would be normal to expect maintenance to be required on one of our stone entrances between 5 and 10 years after it is completed. Caulking, for instance, has a life of about 5 years when used in this situation. It is also normal to see some wear on the mortar joints of a walk near the driveway where salt comes off the car tires and can be tracked on to the walk by people. Patios are usually free of maintenance requirements for many years, mostly because they are usually covered with snow all winter, and so are subject to far fewer freeze/thaw cycles.
Our policy for paid (non-warranty) repairs is this;

For normal maintenance work , we charge by the hour. In 2014, a stone mason hour will cost $80.00; helper or labourer hour will cost $40.00. Materials are charged at our cost (these are usually minimal). There is a minmum charge of 2 hours. Sometimes it is necessary to charge time to pick up unusual supplies, or to charge travelling time, depending on the location of the work. The average total charge per repair for this kind of work in 2013 was about $525.00. Obviously, that can vary depending on how much there is to do. There is a two year warranty on this type of repair work.

For more significant repair or rebuilding, we supply a quotation, give a firm, set price, write a contract, do them in our normal schedule as if they were new work, and supply a 5 year warranty.

Usually, even if a flagstone walk has been abused with chemicals for ten years, the mortar is all in bad condition and most of the stones have to be replaced, it is still less expensive to rebuild the the stonework than to remove the entire walk, including concrete base and replace it with something else altogether. Removing a concrete slab can be a big job in itself. Also, if it is rebuilt, people are able to keep the stone that they seem to become so attached to.

To get a quotation for this kind of work email fredmacmaster@summerstone.com or call 613-286-9908.
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