Rocks are used in engineering works as monument or building stone and as architectural covering stone. As a result, they can be subjected to recurrent cycles of freezing and thawing and will be subjected to heating and cooling. They loose some of their integrity under these cyclic temperature variations and the more frequent and severe these cycles, the higher the integrity loss. However, the rates of progressive disintegration is not the same for different rock types, or even within rock types. This paper presents a mathematical model describing the integrity loss process when a rock is subjected to such recurrent cycles. The model postulates a first order process, and provides meaningful parameters for the integrity characteristic of rocks. The validity of the model has been established by an experimental laboratory study carried out on 10 different rock types. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.