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Problem and Solution:
This Pound Ridge homeowner hired a respected masonry contractor to correct the effects of time and weather on the bluestone terrace that adjoined a pristine mid-century modern house. The masonry contractor cleaned the stone with muriatic acid and replaced all of the grout with cement. This is the traditional treatment for stained concrete but not appropriate for bluestone, which is a variety of very fine sandstone. The cleaning was inadequate and the homeowner rightly knew that concrete between the stones would not withstand the elements as well as a grout formulated for outdoor applications. The discerning homeowner contacted HartzStone to provide the high quality restoration that they wanted.

Mid-twentieth-century modern architecture places manmade regularity of line in contrast with the irregular patterns of nature. This esthetic employed finished, smooth blocks of fine grained Pennsylvania bluestone set in a running bond to pave both the lower level of this refined home, and to continue the living space outside with a generous terrace. Over time, the elements had obscured the manufactured smoothness and regularity of the terrace stones. Water born stains coursed across the formal pattern of rectangular blocks and the color no longer matched the protected stones inside. The grout had been replaced with concrete with an irregular coloration acceptable on informal and natural installations, but unsightly on the formal grid of grout.

HartzStone executed a plan to return the bluestone terrace to its aesthetic purity and protect it in the future. First the adjoining portions of the house were protected. The entire terrace was thoroughly cleaned with environmentally safe but professional strength cleaners that dissolved moss, lichen and the various discolorations. HartzStone also removed damage left by the muriatic acid treatment and concrete smears that were not cleaned up. The wastewater was continually removed with wet vacuums. The concrete between the stones was carefully removed without damage to the adjacent bluestone slabs. The correct color of replacement grout was installed to correctly adhere to the bluestone and seal out damaging moisture, and the grout was thoroughly cleaned off of the surface of the stone. After the grout had hardened, the entire terrace was again cleaned. As a final step, the stone was sealed to protect it from future dirt and stains.

For more information on bluestone resurfacing and care, contact us at 203.885.3717.

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