Cracking in stone cladding...

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Oct 5, 2008
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I can use some input on what may have caused cracking in a stone-cladded pillar in my breezeway. It is only a couple months old. Note the attached pictures. The vertical crack is at the corner and cuts through both the mortar joints and several of the corner pieces. The stone cladding at the bench-portion is not square. I can see where this non-squareness might put some stress on that corner. There is no vertical loading on the stone. There is no sign of anything hitting this corner. Could this be due to the application of the stone?

Thanks for any input you can offer.


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I wouldn't be surprised if just the mortar was cracked, but I imagine there would have to quite a bit of stress to crack through the blocks. What is the column holding up? And are you sure that this is just cladding?
The post is one of two 6x6 posts which bisect and support the breezeway between our new garage and the old garage (converted to a multipurpose room). They are buried about 4-5ft in the ground with rebar extending radially. My first thought was that it might be related to settling, but don't see any evidence around the ceiling or concrete floor. There isn't much of a load on the roof, no living space above. The cladding is not "crushed" vertically, but rather, cracked horizontally. I don't see how the corner stones (90 degree) can be pre-stressed. Is it possible that as the mortar cures that it could cause it to snap?


The corner pieces are not blocks like they appear but are thin and L shaped pieces. Different companies have different thickness they cast the stones to.

The question is what is behind the stone that takes up the space between the pole and the stone. Normally they frame out a box of some kind and cover it with a steel lath. If that structure was able to move with maybe moisture getting in and freezing or the wood expanding and contracting it could break the corners.

At least that is my guess.