Rock as a construction material: durability, deterioration and conservation
The different aspects related to the deterioration and conservation of stone, used as a construction material, are reviewed in this article. The petrographical characteristics and physical properties which control the durability of stone material are stated. The importance of the voids and the properties more directly linked to the up-taking and transfer of humidity through the stone are pointed out. Regarding to the deterioration processes, the role of water, soluble salts and atmospheric pollutants upon the different alteration mechanisms of the building stones is emphasized. Finally, the steps related to the stone conservation, and the methods and products more currently employed to that aim are revised.
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