Stone Veneers: When to Repair vs. Replace

For many homeowners, deciding between repair or replacement can be a constant internal debate. Whether it’s a malfunctioning appliance or something more extensive, such as your home’s exterior, it can be difficult to know what the right option for your situation is.

If your home’s exterior features stone veneer, you may have encountered issues with it that you are not sure warrant repairing or replacing. To make the best decision for your home, it’s helpful to understand what scenarios typically suit fixing your stone veneer or installing new stone veneer.

Repairing Stone Veneers

Repairs should generally be your first line of defense, especially if the issue is fresh or seemingly insignificant. But what exactly constitutes a minor problem that only requires a simple fix? Consider these situations where a repair might be the right course of action:


While most stone veneers resist staining, they can still be discolored by dirt or grime over time. The good news is that it’s easy to clean many of these stains.

A professional will be able to evaluate whether a stain is too deep to clean. If the staining is too severe, a replacement could be the wiser choice.

Minor Damage

Stone veneers will eventually incur some damage, but not all of it will necessitate a replacement.

It’s helpful for homeowners to learn to recognize the differences between minor and major damage. For example, a few chipped or cracked stones are usually no cause for alarm and could easily be repaired with the help of a professional.

Your Stone Veneer’s Age

Stone and Brick Veneer Installation

If your stone veneer is relatively new, there’s a good chance it’s worth repairing before you opt for a complete replacement. Generally, the newer stone veneers are, the more likely they are to respond well to repairs.

You can check with your manufacturer to see what your warranty covers. A simple fix might be included in your warranty, depending on when you had the stone veneer installed.


Repairs will almost always be less expensive than replacements. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more cost-effective.

If you see significant damage to the veneers, repeated repairs may only waste more time and money. However, if you’re concerned about an expensive replacement, repairs are an excellent option to help keep your structure intact while you plan for a different solution.

Personal Preference

Repairing or replacing often comes down to your personal preference. For example, you may not find it necessary to replace a stone veneer with only cosmetic damage rather than structural, while another homeowner would prefer replacement for any type of damage.

Before making your decision, make sure to check with a professional to confirm whether the damage to your stone veneer is cosmetic or structural.

Replacing Stone Veneers

Investing in a replacement is often left as a last resort. But in some instances, it can be the only option. Before you take action, it’s crucial to know whether your stone veneer is worth saving. Here are some major indicators that having professionals replace your stone veneer may be your best choice:

Water Damage

Water puts significant pressure on individual stones. While you can’t avoid your stone veneer coming into contact with water, you can address water damage the moment you recognize it. Even the slightest amount of water damage can lead to irreparable structural issues later when left alone.

Excessive humidity is another form of water damage that is equally harmful to your stone veneer. Changes in humidity levels cause the stones to expand and contract, possibly shifting the stones or leaving your structure with cracks.

Check for any small cracks that could allow water into the interior of your structure. These cracks aren’t always easy to fix and often mean you’ll need a replacement. Consult with a professional to assess the damage and see what could be salvageable.

Structural Damage

Brick and Stone Veneer House

If your stone veneer has structural damage, there’s often no other option than to replace it. Structural damage can happen in any number of ways, including water-related damage. But regardless of where it comes from, an unstable stone veneer will require a professional replacement.

Structural damage may not always be readily apparent. You may not see any of the signs from the outside. Still, any cracks or shifts in the stone veneer are good indicators that you could have significant structural damage.

Seek advice from professionals who can quickly assess the damage if you’re concerned about your stone veneer being compromised.

Dirt Accumulation

Dirt and other buildup can interfere not only with the look of your stone veneer but also with its structure. Too much buildup can push the stones apart, forcing them out of position. You could see some loose stone joints if you don’t clean the dirt away before the buildup accumulates.

This issue often catches homeowners off-guard, as they usually suspect a little dirt wouldn’t be harmful. Unfortunately, stones that suffer from this type of damage usually need to be replaced. It’s likely these stones could crack or fall out completely, requiring you to spend even more on replacement.

Selling Your Home

There may be nothing wrong with your stone veneer other than needing an update. In this instance, repairs usually will give you less value. Replacing your stone veneer will yield the best results if you plan to sell or update your home. New stone veneer can dramatically increase your home’s value.

The Verdict on Saving or Replacing Stone Veneers

So, should you replace or repair your veneer? Even with the proper information, it can still be a difficult question for a homeowner to answer. And if you choose to replace your veneer, you then have to choose what kind of stone veneer you want: natural or manufactured.

Your best route is to contact professionals who can offer advice or provide you with solutions after evaluating your stone veneer. Their expertise with stone veneers can save you a lot of time and money on services you don’t need.

Whether you opt for stone veneer repair or replacement, the knowledgeable professionals at Friel Plastering can help. We proudly provide top-quality, professional stone veneer remediation, as well as other stucco and stone services, for Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. Reach out to us today to get started!