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Archive for the ‘ Masonry Construction ’ Category

4 Common Types of Masonry Materials

Friday, November 16th, 2018

Stone is one of the more expensive masonry materials, known for its timeless look and durability!

Masonry is the act of building and constructing with the use of stone materials. These masonry materials serve as the backbone of many crucial constructions such as buildings, walls, and various pieces of hardscaping.  What masonry materials are the most commonly used and best ones to use for masonry projects? Here are four of the most common types of masonry materials.  

Stone

If you are looking for more aesthetically pleasing masonry materials, then stone may be exactly what you need. Stone is a classic, timeless look for masonry materials, which makes it perfect if you desire stylish masonry materials for your project. It is also a durable, low maintenance material to work with after your project is done. It is damage-resistant which helps with its great durability.

Concrete

Concrete is one of the most common types of masonry materials you will find. For starters, it is among the cheaper masonry materials to work with, which makes it desirable for bigger projects. Concrete also carries with it a high insulation factor, which can help cut the utility costs for the building it is used for. It is also made more common due to the fact that it allows for construction to go along faster that other masonry materials.

Stucco

Much like stone, stucco is one of the most highly durable masonry materials. Its high damage resistance will allow for it to last for a considerable amount of time without worry. However, stucco is not without its drawbacks. There are concerns for stucco that other masonry materials do not need to worry about. For example, there is the concern that moisture could accumulate on downward slopes in the stone. Additionally, construction can very easily get messy when dealing with stucco.

Brick

Brick is another common masonry material that is often found amongst masonry projects. Brick has always been preferred to other masonry materials for well suited reasons. It is a special type of masonry material considering that it has been used for centuries without ever really disappearing. This is partly because it is both wind and fire resistant, as well as controls moisture quite well. It is low maintenance, but it should be noted that when repairs are needed, they can be costly. Their weight can also place quite a bit of stress on the structures they are used for, which you should keep an eye out for.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Construction Project!

If you are ready to upgrade your home or commercial building with professional masonry installation or replacement, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.

 

The Steps to Preparing Your Site for Masonry Construction

Friday, October 26th, 2018

Excavating is the process of digging up any necessary dirt to prepare your site for masonry construction!

A new construction project is a big investment and requires a lot of planning and preparation. A commonly overlooked step in the construction process is preparing the actual site. You may think that starting construction is as easy as picking an empty lot and starting to build, but that is not the case. Here are the steps to preparing your site for masonry construction.

Rough Staking

This is the process of laying out the masonry construction project. This is an important step because it costs money to clear out a construction site, so it will save both time and money to know what needs to be done in advance. Rough stakes look like long sticks that are put into the ground to outline the area where the masonry construction will take place. This gives you and your masonry contractor an idea of what space they are working with.

Clearing

After the site is rough staked, the next step is to clear everything and make room for construction. Trees, roots, vegetation, and anything else that may be in the way need to be cleared. When clearing a spot, you must decide what to do with the debris. The easiest option (also the most expensive) is to hire someone to haul it away, but you could also opt to bury or burn it.

Excavation

If your masonry building is going to have a basement, then the ground will need to be excavated to accommodate for that. You will need to consider what to do with the excess dirt that is dug out of the ground. You may choose to use the dirt to fill in areas on the property that could use more dirt.

Rough Grading

Rough grading is when you shift dirt around to get the desired grade level that you want for your masonry construction project. When you do this, be sure to consider any drainage needs for the building. The best way to do rough grading is to cut and fill evenly in order to avoid those expensive hauling costs. This simply means that you want to use dirt you already need to dig up to fill open spaces and vise versa.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Masonry Construction Project!

Whether you are ready to start your next masonry project or are still hesitant and have questions, Del Prete Masonry is here to help. We have the experience and expertise to get it right the first time. Questions? Want to visit some of our residential or commercial projects? Ready to set up a consultation? Feel free to give us a call at 410-683-0650 or visit us online. We are happy to serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and to keep up with our new and exciting projects, be sure to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Tips for Taking Care of Your New Masonry Structure

Friday, September 21st, 2018

A new masonry structure can add a lot of appeal and character to any building, so you want to keep it looking new for as long as possible!

Getting a new structure built for your home or business is very exciting. Because you are probably going to invest a good amount of money into your new masonry structure, you want it to last as long as possible. The best way to do this is to take proper care of it. Here are some tips for taking care of your new masonry structure.

Cleaning Materials

Your masonry structure does not require extensive maintenance, but cleaning it every so often is a good way to keep it looking new. You want to make sure that you are using mild cleaners that are safe and effective for the masonry materials. Avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning your structure because it can cause it to deteriorate early or become discolored. You also want to avoid things like sand blasters because the impact can cause damage to your new masonry structure.

Patience is Key

The excitement of having a new masonry structure may make you want to clean and care for it every single day. While this is a good mindset to have, you don’t want to overdo it. It is best to wait about a month or so before cleaning the structure at all. This gives the mortar a chance to cure and set completely. If you begin to clean it too early, it can cause joint damage because the mortar will get messed up.

Weather Conditions

It is best to clean your new masonry structure when the weather is warm. Cleaning your structure in the cold weather can actually do a lot more harm than good. If you do need to clean it in the fall or winter, be sure to take the proper precautions. There is an entirely different procedure used to clean masonry when it’s cold versus when it’s warm.

Contact a Professional

If you are unsure of the proper way to clean your new masonry structure, don’t ever hesitate to contact a professional. A professional masonry contractor will have the knowledge and tools required to ensure that your new masonry structure is cleaned and cared for properly.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Construction Needs!

If you are ready to upgrade your home or commercial building with professional masonry installation or replacement, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest

Why Masonry Materials are Best for Your Construction Project

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Whether you want to construct a new building or just a small structure, masonry materials are the best option.

There are many reasons why masonry materials are admired as high quality and high class in the world of construction and architectural design. From its beauty to its structure, these materials go down is history for its use in many famous structures. While it’s true that, depending on the circumstances, it makes sense to use other materials; when appropriate, discover all the benefits of using masonry materials for your construction project.   

Strength

The strength of masonry materials only grows as time progresses. Construction projects that are completed with masonry materials are known for being structurally sound, rigid, and dependable for longer than other options. This isn’t just years down the line; decades later you’ll still find masonry structures maintaining the same amount of strength and integrity. This is even true of structures that have withstood damage from natural disasters. The most disaster-resistant homes and buildings have masonry materials to thank for their resilience. When paired with a poured concrete foundation, the durability is unmatched.    

Beauty

It’s true that many people have different views and definitions of what beauty is, however, masonry materials are known for their timeless charm. In modern day, the trend leans toward using materials that are the quickest to construct and the cheapest to budget. When those projects are completed, the difference is inevitable. Using masonry materials is an investment into the elegance and refinement of the structure.     

Value

It’s often the case that people overlook masonry materials out of fear that they will completely blow their budgets. However, when you think about value, you should consider the larger picture. If you prioritize investing in high-quality materials that are higher priced than other options, that immediately translates into more return for your investment when it’s time to sell. Not only that but because these materials are so dependable, you’ll find that overtime you won’t spend as much in maintenance and upkeep costs.  If you invest more in the beginning, you are more likely to see high dividends and bigger savings in the end.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Next Masonry Project

If you are ready to upgrade your home or commercial building with professional masonry installation or replacement, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest

 

Cement, Concrete, and Mortar, Oh My!

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Cement is an element that is contained in both concrete and mortar and is made up of limestone, clay, shells, and silica sand.

When it comes to masonry construction, there are a variety of different materials used in the process. From the actual building materials to the materials used to hold everything together, it can be really confusing. Cement, concrete, and mortar are terms that are often used interchangeably and they all resemble each other. However, they are very different. Here is the difference between cement, concrete, and mortar.

Cement

Cement is actually a component of both concrete and mortar. It is a binding material that is never used alone and is made up of limestone, clay, shells, and silica sand. These materials are crushed, combined with other ingredients, and heated. The final product is then grounded into a powder that is cement. The most common type of cement is Portland cement, which sets and hardens when combined with water.

Concrete

Concrete is a stand alone building material that doesn’t have to be combined with anything else. It is made of cement, sand, and gravel and is used for things like foundation walls, patios, and other masonry structures. Concrete is more versatile than the other two because it starts as a dry mixture and turns into liquid that can mold into any shape before it dries into concrete. The cement in the concrete is what allows it to activate when mixed with water and binds the mixture together to form one object.

Mortar

Similar to concrete, all you have to do is add water to mortar to activate the cement and allow it to harden. However, mortar is only made up of cement and sand. Because of this, it isn’t as strong as concrete so it isn’t often used as a stand alone building material. Instead, it is more so used as a glue to hold masonry materials together such as bricks, block, and stone. There is a special type of mortar known as thinset that can hold together tiles.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Construction Project!

If you are ready to upgrade your home or commercial building with professional masonry installation or replacement, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

The Different Types of Masonry Walls

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Masonry walls give your building the strength that it needs while also helping to control the temperature inside!

The strongest aspect of a building is its walls. The walls of a building are what keep it standing and give it the strength and durability that it needs. Using masonry materials for walls helps to make them even stronger while also helping to control the temperature inside of the building. Here are some of the different types of masonry walls so that you know which is best for your next construction project.

Load Bearing

These masonry walls are typically made with stone, cement, or concrete blocks. They are made to hold the weight that transfers from the roof to the building’s foundation. Load bearing walls are used for both the interior and exterior of a building and are more economical compared to walls with framed structures.

Hollow

Hollow masonry walls help to keep moisture from getting into the building by putting space between the outside and inside of the wall. The space that is in between the walls keeps heat from getting through the walls, hence helping to better regulate the temperature inside the building. If moisture does get inside the walls, the hollow part will allow it to easily drain downward and out.

Composite

Two or more different units are used to construct composite masonry walls. Typically, a unit is either stone and hollow bricks or bricks with hollow bricks. They take multiple wythes of masonry (a section of masonry that’s one unit in thickness)  and bond them together to form the wall. These walls provide a really nice look and are also economical.

Post-Tensioned

These masonry walls are built to withstand very strong forces and weather conditions such as earthquakes and strong winds from tornadoes and hurricanes. Post-tensioned masonry walls have rods that run straight through the core of the masonry units. Once the walls are finished, the rods are then tensioned and attached to the steel that is at the top of the masonry walls.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Masonry Walls

If you are ready to upgrade your home or commercial building with professional masonry installation or replacement, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

3 Weather Conditions that Can Impact Masonry Construction

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Extreme weather conditions can really have an affect on the quality of masonry construction, so make sure you check the weather in advance!

Masonry construction can be a lengthy process, especially when constructing an entire building. It is important to keep the weather conditions in mind when planning a masonry construction project because the weather can affect the quality of construction. Here are three weather conditions that can impact masonry construction.

Extreme Cold

Cold weather can cause the cement hydration process to stop completely. Mortar needs a certain amount of heat for the cement to hydrate which is important because that’s what gives the mortar its strength. If any masonry materials become frozen, they have to be melted and dried before they can be used. Preheated bricks are a good way to prevent this problem from occurring if you know in advance that it’s going to be cold outside. Freezing temperatures can also reduce the strength of mortar, making it more likely to unbond or allow water into it.

Hot & Dry

The opposite of extreme cold, hot and dry weather can also negatively impact masonry construction. The issue with hot weather is that the water from the mortar may evaporate or absorb too quickly, causing it to settle too soon. This will also decrease the bond strength between each brick and make the masonry more likely to leak. Hot, dry weather can also lead to an accumulation of dry dust, which can affect machinery and the health of the construction workers.

 

High Winds

If it is really windy outside, masonry workers must decide if it’s safe enough to even construct that day at all. Some equipment is only designed to withstand so much wind, so it becomes dangerous to try and use it in extreme wind conditions. Winds can cause cranes to fall over or swing the material away from the crane, which could cause a crash.

Contact Del Prete Masonry For Your Next Construction Project!

If you are ready to upgrade your home or commercial building with professional masonry installation or replacement, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest

The Benefits Of Using Masonry Materials For Your Next Construction Project

Friday, April 27th, 2018

If you want your building to be low-maintenance, protected from rotting, and sound proof, you should use masonry materials!

One of the most important parts of putting together any building or structure is the materials you are going to use to do so. You want your building or structure to be built nicely and last a long time, which is why you should choose masonry materials to do so. There are so many benefits to using masonry materials and while we wish we could tell you all of them, here are a few.

 

Sound Proof

Masonry materials block out noise way better than traditional construction materials. This means that when you are inside of a building that was made with masonry materials, you don’t have to worry about being disrupted by outside noises.

Protection From Rotting

Since there is no wood used in masonry, there is nothing that can rot over time. In addition to this, masonry materials can reduce and even eliminate the amount of fungus or mildew that builds up over time between the walls. These build-ups can lead to foundation problems as well as health problems to people who are regularly inside the building.

Low-Maintenance

When you use masonry materials in their natural form, they generally don’t require much maintenance at all. Aside from cleaning every now and again or replacing the mortar if need be, you don’t have to worry about your masonry for years to come. The natural look of masonry materials also provides a beautiful, elegant look.

Lower Utility Bills

If you choose to use concrete block as your preferred masonry material, you are helping to save money on those costly utility bills. This is because concrete block is very well insulated so it stores more energy. It keeps the heat in during the winter and the cool air in during the summer, which means you can turn your air conditioning and heat down some. Masonry materials are natural, so they are also eco-friendly.

 

Contact Del Prete Masonry For Your Next Masonry Project

If you are ready to upgrade your home or commercial building with professional masonry installation or replacement, Del Prete Masonry has the experience and expertise to get the job done right for the right price. To explore our residential and commercial services and set up a consultation, please give us a call at 410-683-0650 or contact us online. We currently serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and get more updates, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

The Cold Weather Masonry Tips That Could Help

Friday, January 12th, 2018
The Cold Weather Masonry Tips That Could Help

Masonry work is a specialized field already, and it requires incredible attention when the temperatures drop like this.

This week has brought a cold upon us for an extended period of time, and we’ve really never experienced anything like it. Meteorologists are calling it the “bomb cyclone,” which is just a cool name in itself. But what that means is that an unprecedented amount of arctic air has been pushed over the Mid-Atlantic. While temperatures won’t always consistently stay in the teens, we are officially in winter, and the air is as cold as can be. With that said, it’s important to understand how the winter weather can impact masonry. Masonry work is a specialized field already, and it requires incredible attention when the temperatures drop like this. The cold air can cause the mortar itself to expand, and that could lead to cracking. There are plenty of different techniques to follow when it comes to masonry work during this time period. (more…)

What Is Mortar Analysis and Where Is It Used?

Friday, December 8th, 2017
What Is Mortar Analysis and Where Is It Used?

Mortar analysis is used to determine what was used to create mortar at a historic or other site so that it can be recreated.

Mortar analysis is used to determine what was used to create mortar at a historic or other site so that it can be recreated. There are two main types of mortar analysis currently used to determine the components of mortar. (more…)