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Archive for the ‘ Masonry Restoration ’ Category

How Moisture Can Damage Your Masonry

Monday, April 15th, 2019

Leaving excess water can lead to a number of problems.

Although masonry structures can hold up against natural weathering for years, even the most durable structures are not immune to water damage. Moisture accumulation is an issue that is as easily overlooked as it can be fixed. But leaving excess water, whether from heavy rains or leaky pipes, can lead to a number of problems.

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Residential Brick Restoration, What to Expect

Monday, February 11th, 2019

Concerned about the signs of wear and tear in your brick masonry? Here are a few things to inspect when taking these steps to preserve the beauty of your home.

Your beautiful brick home may have been in the family for generations. Or you may have bought a fixer-upper with masonry that had a lot of character and potential. However you came to own your home, you may be concerned about the signs of wear and tear in your brick masonry could lead to larger issues in the future. Fortunately, regular inspections and calling a professional for restoration, or even repairs,  is a simple way to handle issues like worn, cracked brick and crumbling mortar.  Here are a few things to inspect when taking these steps to preserve the beauty of your home.

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How to Tell if a Chimney Needs Repair or Replacement

Friday, January 18th, 2019
How to Tell if a Chimney Needs Repair or Replacement

You may not spend a lot of time thinking about your chimney.

You may not spend a lot of time thinking about your chimney. Even if you do, the average homeowner doesn’t know a lot about chimneys, how they’re built, or when they fail. But if a chimney does fail or deteriorate, it can be a huge safety issue. A failing chimney is a fire risk. So how can you know if it is time to get your chimney repaired, or even replaced if it is needed? Here are some signs that you can be on the lookout for so you know when to call in the professionals. (more…)

Common Types of Masonry Repair

Friday, December 21st, 2018
Common Types of Masonry Repair

Read on to learn more about some common types of masonry repair.

Although masonry is known for its strength, longevity, and structural integrity it does require professional maintenance and inspection. Masonry structures are known for their stately beauty and require regular maintenance and repair. Read on to learn more about some common types of masonry repair.   (more…)

The Dangers of Moisture Accumulation in Your Masonry Structure

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Moisture accumulation can cause serious damage to your masonry structure if the problem isn’t fixed!

Masonry structures are durable and resistant to many common types of natural deterioration, making masonry materials a great choice for strong, long-standing structures. However, moisture accumulation can cause a number of problems in the best structure if it is not properly maintained. Water can penetrate your masonry structure many ways, including through drainage issues or water vapor condensation. This can cause serious damage if left unchecked, so it’s important to stay on top of moisture accumulation. Here are a few issues that can result from moisture accumulation in your masonry structure.

Loss of Appeal

One of the most telling signs of damage from moisture accumulation in a masonry structure is the aesthetic deterioration. For example, when moisture accumulates in masonry materials, it can leave behind mineral deposits when the moisture evaporates. For many masonry structures, this can mean a white crystalline deposit seen on the outside of the stone, called efflorescence. Efflorescence is a sure sign that there is a moisture accumulation issue in your structure, and it can seriously degrade the naturally beautiful look of your masonry structure.

Structural Problems

Moisture buildup can cause the same kinds of damage to structural integrity with masonry structures as it does with other materials. When moisture penetrates your materials, it can freeze or leave mineral deposits that can weaken the structure and cause cracking and crumbling. Depending on the type of structure or masonry walls you have, stubborn excessive moisture can also deteriorate your insulation and even stain interior materials. It’s important to stay on top of moisture accumulation in your structure to avoid large-scale costly water damage or even outright wall collapse that can occur if these issues are left untreated.

Health and Safety Issues

Moisture accumulation is associated with a number of health and safety concerns. Similar to other types of material, masonry structures can be subject to mold and mildew growth due to excessive moisture. This can impact hygiene and even cause health issues in a home if left unaddressed. Bacteria that grow in these environments can negatively impact air quality, sending spores or pollutants into the air that can impact respiratory health and cause nasty odors. By preventing moisture accumulation in your masonry structure, you can keep your property sanitary and avoid serious health issues.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today!

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

 

Masonry Repairs vs. Restoration: What’s the Difference?

Friday, July 13th, 2018

You can choose either masonry repairs or masonry restoration to fix your damaged masonry.

If you are noticing that your masonry is starting to look damaged and worn down, it may be time to invest some money into fixing it. Masonry repairs and masonry restoration are actually two different things. Your contractor will either do one or the other to renew your masonry, depending on your needs. Here is the difference between masonry repairs and masonry restoration.

The Process

Repair: When a contractor repairs masonry, they replace the areas that are damaged with new brick or stone. They will often use caulking to repair any small masonry cracks and use concrete to fill larger cracks.

 

Restoration: With masonry restoration, all of the old masonry is removed and new mortar is put down (a process called repointing). After the new mortar is applied, the masonry is applied again. They will clean the mortar and seal the surface so that the original look of it is preserved, but it will look as if it was freshly built all over again.

Time Frame

Repair: The time that it takes for masonry repairs varies depending on how bad the damage is and how detailed the masonry is. However, repairs are typically done in a shorter period of time than restoration.

 

Restoration: Masonry restoration requires a lot more attention to detail than repairs. This is because the new elements must match the surrounding older materials to make it look as good as new. You want to plan for a longer process when choosing restoration.

Budget

Repair: Because masonry repairs are generally less extensive than masonry restoration, repairs are typically the cheaper option. This is good for those who have a smaller budget, but still want to improve the look of their masonry.

 

Restoration: Masonry restoration requires a larger budget than repairs do. However, the final result is worth the money invested into it. Masonry restoration gives your building a fresh look and may be worth expanding your budget for.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Masonry Repairs and Restoration!

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.

Common Causes of Masonry Cracks

Friday, June 8th, 2018

It’s good to know what caused your masonry cracks so that you know the best way to repair them.

Masonry materials are pretty durable, but they are constantly enduring the various elements of nature. Over time, the masonry can begin to wear down and even crack. There are several different causes of masonry cracks, so here are a few to help you narrow down the cause of yours.

Shrinkage & Expansion

These masonry cracks usually appear within the first year of construction. This is because masonry expands and contracts during the curing process. With concrete block, water evaporates as the block cures, causing it to shrink. With brick masonry, the moisture is absorbed while it’s curing, causing expansion. Joints are typically built in walls to accommodate this shrinkage or expansion, but improper joints can lead to cracking. Shrinkage/expansion cracks typically aren’t serious and widen as they move upward.  

Uneven Settlement

Settlement occurs early after a building’s construction and typically is caused from an improper foundation. This typically occurs in the early years of a building’s construction or if there’s a change in underground conditions. Cracks from uneven settlement typically appear at corners and openings and follow a diagonal line. Bigger cracks can be a problem, but small cracks are only a real issue if moisture can get through them.

Masonry Piers

Masonry piers sometimes rotate or settle differently than when they started. In addition, cold weather can cause them to frost or be damaged by the freeze/thaw cycle. This could lead to the piers themselves cracking. The cracks typically aren’t serious but a shift in masonry piers can cause the wood components of masonry to lose their bearings.

Sweeping/Horizontal Cracks

If you notice these types of cracks, you probably want to get it fixed as soon as possible. Causes of sweeping cracks include things like vibrations from machinery or vehicles that are close by, improper backfilling, or freezing of the soil next to the wall. These cracks are a sign that the foundation wall itself is breaking, so masonry repairs or restoration may be necessary.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Masonry 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

 

Brick Masonry Restoration: Tuckpointing vs. Repointing

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Though often used interchangeably, tuck-pointing and repointing are two different methods of brick masonry restoration!

Brick is a very durable masonry material and can last for years with little maintenance. However, just like anything else, it can start to wear down over time. After a while, you will be in need of masonry restoration. Often times, people interchange tuckpointing and repointing, two common types of brick masonry restoration, but they are actually different from one another.

Tuckpointing

This method of brick masonry restoration uses two different colors of mortar to refill damaged mortar joints or just to give your existing brick masonry a nicer look. The first color is made to blend in with the bricks so that you can’t really see it much at all. The second color is for the mortar joint themselves, so is more of a white color. This method makes the mortar joints appear to be thin because you can’t see the brick colored mortar. People tend to choose this method of masonry restoration when they are trying to mimic the look of high-end rubbed bricks for less money.

Repointing

The main difference between tuckpointing and repointing is that repointing is specifically for damaged bricks. The process of repointing fills in or replaces mortar joints that have been damaged, crumbled, or cracked. Repointing does not give the brick masonry a different look or make the joints appear to be any thinner. The sole purpose of this masonry restoration method is to fix what has been broken.

Signs That You Need Repairs

The mortar joints in brick masonry can start to show damage within 20 to 30 years of being constructed. Here are some signs that your brick masonry may need repairs:

  • Mortar erosion is more than 6mm
  • Crumbling mortar
  • Small cracks in the mortar
  • Cracks or gaps in between the bricks themselves

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today For Your Masonry Restoration

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

Signs That Your Chimney May Need Repairs

Friday, May 18th, 2018

 

If your chimney is damaged, it could lead to water damage and even cause a fire hazard.

You may not check your chimney often, but it is a good idea to do so every now again to make sure it is still in good shape. With varying weather conditions,  you never know when damage could have been done. A damaged chimney can be dangerous and lead to fire hazards, so you don’t want to ignore it. Here are some signs that your chimney may need repairs.

Damaged Mortar Joints

Mortar is what holds bricks together. If the mortar joints are damaged, that could mean the chimney is severely damaged because it exposes the bricks to more moisture. If water gets into the small cracks in masonry, they can become larger. If  you don’t address this problem, your chimney could eventually collapse.

Rusted Firebox

If you see rust on the firebox or damper, that is a sign that moisture is getting to the chimney. If the damper becomes harder to operate, that could be a sign that it is rusting so you want to take a closer look if this occurs. Rusting can lead to the flue tiles cracking, which is very dangerous because it allows more heat to come in, which could cause a fire.

Spalling Bricks

Spalling is when water gets into the brick (or any masonry material) and causes the surface of the masonry to peel off. This is easier to spot than the other signs because pieces of masonry will begin to fall off. You want to address this as soon as you notice it because the chimney will eventually crumble completely.

Cracked Crown

The top of the chimney is one of the most important parts because it is the first layer of protection against the elements. Cracks in the crown allows water to get in and will eventually make the cracks larger, leading to spalling. You can prevent this altogether by waterproofing the chimney crown or the entire chimney.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today For Your Masonry 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.

Tips For Repairing Masonry Cracks

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Masonry cracks may seem minor at first, but they can expand and become a big, costly problem.

Even the most well-made masonry can occasionally crack, and while most of us are content to leave a few seemingly cosmetic issues, it’s important to repair any cracks as quickly as possible. Even the smallest masonry cracks can lead to serious, costly repairs down the line. Why not take a few precautions and save yourself some time and energy in the long run?

Small Wall Cracks

If you have a wall crack of less than 1/16th of an inch, your fix is fairly simple. After carefully cleaning out the crack, use a gel or cream adhesive with either butyl rubber or silicone rubber. These are sold at most hardware stores in tube format labeled as caulking compounds. Using a small brush with stiff bristles apply the caulking mixture straight from the tube, using the brush to ensure that the entire crack is filled.

Medium Wall and Driveway Cracks

When you have a larger crack or one that is frequently walked on, caulking is not the best option. Caulking in high traffic areas can result in the caulking getting disrupted, making it a less than optimal repair method. For these repairs you’ll need to pick up patching cement, which is made from a mix of cement, sand and is reinforced with vinyl. This type of cement is typically sold as a powder to be mixed with water. When applied in layers, this will perfectly patch narrow cracks.

Large Wall Cracks

In the event of a large wall crack, you may want to contact your masonry company for professional help. You will want to ensure your wall is still in serviceable condition before putting forth the effort of patching it. Large cracks can be repaired easily enough, however you’ll want to make sure it’s not indicative of a larger problem before you patch it. Once you’ve had it looked over, you can pick up some sand-patching cement to begin your repair. It’s important to note that areas patched with this method need to be over a half inch deep and of a significant size. To start, clean out the area of the crack. You’ll want to chisel out the interior, removing any crumbling areas, while making the interior wider than the opening so that the cement can get a better grip. Make sure to remove any dirt and dampen the crack before applying the cement.

Large Pavement Cracks

When it comes to large masonry cracks in driveways, steps, or pavement a mix of simple powdered concrete is all you’ll need to make the repair. Simply mix the concrete according to the directions, pour it into the cracked area and use boards or etc. to hold it in place as it hardens.

For All Your Masonry Needs Look To Del Prete Masonry

If you need help fixing cracked masonry, 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.