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Posts Tagged ‘ brick masonry ’

The Top 4 Signs of Brick Masonry Problems

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Vertical cracks are one of the more minor brick masonry problems, but if left unfixed, they can lead to bowed bricks and damage to the inner wall.

Brick masonry buildings and structures are made to last for years at a time. However, just like any other materials, your brick masonry will begin to wear and tear over time, especially if the proper care isn’t implemented. You want to fix any masonry problems you have as soon as possible to prevent them from getting any worse. Here are the top four signs of brick masonry problems.

Bowed Brick

Also known as bulging brick, this is when the bricks in your wall are either caving in or jutting out in certain areas. This occurs because of moisture that has accumulated behind the brick. The moisture can warp the bricks, forcing them to push out or soften the wood behind the brick, causing them to cave in.

Vertical Cracks

This is a common type of wall crack that occurs because of natural expansion of your brick masonry. With vertical cracks, you don’t have to worry about your building’s foundation being majorly affected. However, vertical cracks still allow water in, so it could lead to bowed bricks or damage to the inner wall if it’s left unfixed.

Compacted Bricks

A compacted brick is one of the easiest signs to spot because the shape of the brick will be different than normal. Compacted bricks open a hole in the wall, allowing water to get through. They also will damage more bricks over time because it can’t provide sufficient pressure to the bricks next to it to keep them in place.

Spalling

If brick masonry begins spalling, this means that the face of the brick is chipping. This is caused by corrosion to the shelf angle that sits behind the brick. The shelf angle is a metal piece that is installed behind a row of bricks in order to distribute the weight of the bricks evenly between the ground and the building. If the angle shelf corrodes, it can lose its strength and cause the weight distribution to become uneven, which can potentially be very dangerous.

 

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Brick Masonry Repairs!

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.

A Guide to Repairing Damaged Mortar Joints

Friday, October 19th, 2018

The mortar joints are what hold brick masonry together, so you want to fix them if you come across any damage!

Do you have old masonry walls or chimneys in need of repair? The crumbling mortar joints of an otherwise beautiful brick wall can make it a real eyesore. But with the right tools and a heaping serving of patience, anyone can learn tuckpointing (or pointing or repointing). If your walls are beyond simple repair and need restoration, follow this guide, and breathe new life into your old masonry.

 

Tools And Materials

Before you dive into this project, make sure you have everything that you’ll need to do it right. You’re going to need the mortar mix to replace the old crumbling mortar (be sure to get the right type), and a whisk broom, wall trowel, tuckpointing trowel, and mortar finishing tool. You’ll also need an angle grinder, flat chisel, and hammer for digging out the old stuff. Finally, make sure you have safety equipment: a dust mask, rubber gloves, and safety glasses.

 

The Repair Process

The mortar joints are the most flexible (and weakest) parts of brick work, so they are the most prone to deterioration. Any water and ice that seeps into them and the temperature expansion they experience over the years eventually causes the mortar joints to break down. The first step in repairing the joints is to chip out old mortar with a chisel and hammer, or for really hard spots, the angle grinder (be careful, this heavy duty tool can easily chip the brick). Remove 3/4 to 1 inch of old mortar or enough to get a solid brick base to bond the new mortar.

 

Next, clean out the new cavities with the whisk broom (compressed air would also work), then mist them with water. Mix your mortar carefully according to the instructions; it should have a stiff but not crumbly consistency. Fill the horizontal joints first and the vertical joints last. Load the prepared mortar onto the brick trowel and push it into the joint cavity ¼ inch thick slivers at a time using the tuckpointing trowel. The work is slow, so mix small batches of mortar so it doesn’t dry out. Finish the joint with the appropriate tool that matches the current joint profile. Finally, clean the bricks with a soft bristle brush to remove any mortar chunks on the brick face.

 

Contact Del Prete Masonry for Your Demolition Needs

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.

 

The Benefits of Using Concrete Brick for Construction

Friday, September 7th, 2018

Concrete brick gives you the same classic look of traditional brick with more durability!

When you’re choosing materials for your next construction project, you should make sure that concrete brick is on your list of options. As the brick making industry has evolved, concrete brick has become a standout option thanks to its durability, appearance, and functionality. It offers all of the classic looks of traditional bricks but with significant advances in construction. Today we’ll go over a few of the reasons that concrete brick has become number one.

Enhanced Colors and Textures

One of the most significant benefits of concrete brick is that with modern technology, the color and texture can be altered to create almost any appearance. If you choose a colored option, the color is consistent throughout the brick, meaning that in case of chipping after installation, there are no color discrepancies.

Readily Available

The easy construction of concrete brick means that it can be made quickly to order, so tight deadlines can be met quickly. Often times, there is also enough pre-made to allow for immediate pickup and project startup.

Consistency

Because of the manufacturing process, which allows it to be cured in a form, concrete brick maintains a consistent, uniform size. Not only does this make for a professional, beautifully crafted appearance, but it means that any construction done with a concrete brick will have a consistent, smooth installation. The form allows for both sides of the brick to be used which means you will have less waste. 

Highly Durable

If you’re looking for strong, durable construction that will last for decades, concrete brick should be at the top of your list. Concrete brick is designed for high strength and will withstand even the most excessive wear and tear. Not to mention, it can’t rot and will be less likely to crack or fracture.

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today 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.

 

4 Signs That Your Brick Fireplace Needs Repairs

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

A brick fireplace adds a great look to any home while also keeping it warm and cozy, but you want to make sure you know when it needs repairs!

There is nothing like a beautiful brick fireplace in your home to make things warm and cozy. Fireplaces are great additions to any home and can also add property value. You want to make sure that you take good care of your fireplace to get the best lifespan out of it. Here are four signs that your brick fireplace needs repairs.

White Dust

You want to thoroughly examine the bricks on your fireplace and look for any white stains or powder. If you do see white dust, this means that efflorescence took place on the masonry. Efflorescence is when moisture accumulates in the masonry and pushes the salt inside of it to the surface. Moisture accumulation can damage your masonry so you want to repair it if you see this sign.

Crumbling Mortar

The mortar on your brick fireplace is the white substance between the bricks that holds them all together. If you notice that the mortar seems to be crumbling and falling off the bricks or that you can pick the mortar off with your fingers, this is a sign that your fireplace needs repairs. This could be because of moisture or because the chimney is becoming weak, causing the entire formation to loosen. If you notice crumbling mortar, it’s best not to continue to use the fireplace until it gets fixed.

Firebox Rust

The firebox is the part of the fireplace where the fuel is combusted. That means that it’s the part that creates the most heat. Because of this, it should never start to rust or become corroded. Cracking and holes in the firebox is a sign of rusting and corrosion which can potentially be very dangerous. You want to repair this as soon as you notice it and take precautions so that no more moisture gets into your brick fireplace.

Flakes in Masonry

Spalling is when the masonry materials begin to flake off. If you can flake pieces off of your brick fireplace, that means that there is too much moisture present. If the masonry is spalling, it is best not to use the fireplace because it can be dangerous. Once you notice that your brick fireplace is becoming flaky or any of the above signs, you want to contact a professional to make the necessary repairs.

 

Contact Del Prete Masonry Today for Your Masonry Repairs!

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 5 Types of Bricks: Which is Best for Your Masonry Project?

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Brick is a great material for your masonry project and there are so many different types to choose from!

Brick is a great, classic masonry material that can be used for any building or structure. Bricks are very durable and last a long time with little maintenance, but there are multiple types. Here are the five types of bricks so that you can choose which is best for your masonry project.

Common Burnt Clay

Burnt clay bricks are made by a mold that is pressed in. The bricks are then dried and fired in a kiln to solidify them. These bricks are typically used for general construction work. They have no special appearance, making them pretty generic. Plastering is required to put these bricks into walls.

Sand Lime

A combination of sand, fly ash, and lime are what makes up sand lime bricks. A chemical process is implemented during the mixing of the material and then it’s molded to form the brick. Sand lime bricks are a gray color rather than the typical red, giving your masonry project a unique appearance. Their finish is smoother because it doesn’t require plastering like the burnt clay bricks.

Engineering

What makes engineering bricks different than others is that they are made at extremely high temperatures. This gives them more strength and density. In addition to this, they are also really good at resisting water and chemicals. These bricks are typically used for a specific or special masonry project because they cost more than regular bricks.

Concrete

These bricks are made from solid concrete and are commonly used by homebuilders. They give a building a nice aesthetic, often used for fences and facades. They can be made in a variety of different colors and are best used for a masonry project that is focused on visuals and aesthetics.

Fly Ash Clay

Clay and fly ash are combined to make this type of brick. They are combined and produced at about 1,000 degrees celsius. These bricks are more cost friendly because they cost less to install and require less mortar. The downside to these bricks is that they can tend to expand when water gets into them..

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 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 Brick Masonry Needs Repair

Friday, May 4th, 2018

You want to repair any damage to your brick masonry as soon as you come across it.

Over time, even the best brickwork needs repairs due to a variety of reasons including weather and the nature of the ground beneath your masonry. The dirt underneath your masonry will naturally move due to erosion and the weight of the materials on top. As this happens the masonry of your brickwork may crack. While this is common, it still needs to be dealt with quickly so that larger problems don’t occur. If you’re concerned that your brick masonry needs work, we’ve compiled a list of signs to look for.

Bulging Bricks

If you live in an area that experiences frequent freezing, you may notice the signs of bulging bricks, or what’s known as frost boil. This occurs when moisture seeps behind your brick masonry and softens the backing causing the bricks to either be pushed out or pulled in. To fix this, a mason will need to remove the affected bricks and treat the underlying cause before laying new bricks.

Corner Cracks

When it comes to cracks, some happen naturally. If they occur at a vertical or less than 30º angle, there is no threat of collapse. However, these cracks can still affect your brick masonry and need to be filled with an epoxy or urethane to prevent water from seeping in during heavy rainfall or from moisture freezing within over the winter.

Brick Compaction

A compacted brick is easy to spot because it will no longer be in its original shape. It may appear severely cracked or bowed and can allow water to breach the wall and cause significant damage. Often, if there is one compacted brick there will be others because the pressure that results from a compacted brick can affect those around it. If this happens you will need to replace the affected areas and potentially add spikes called push piers to your foundation for extra support.

Mortar Deterioration

If the mortar between the bricks begins to dissolve or buckle, it can cause dangerous side effects. When mortar wears away bricks begin to rub against each other causing damage and warping. It also puts you at risk of having the foundations become dangerous. If this happens you will need a mason to remove as much of the old mortar as possible before adding new mortar.

 

Call In The Masonry Experts You Can Trust

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.

 

Masonry Repairs For The Spring Season

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Since your chimney sits on the roof, it is the most susceptible to weather damage. You want to get masonry repairs done as soon you come across any damage.

Spring is finally here which means that the warm weather is on its way. It also means that it’s time to look over your masonry and see what repairs you need. Spring is the ideal time for masonry repairs because it requires a lot of time outdoors and the harsh winter weather may have taken a toll on your building or structure. Fixing these repairs in a timely manner can save you money on extensive masonry restoration that you may need if you leave it be. Here are some masonry repairs you may need this spring season.

Chimneys

Since chimneys sit on the roof of a building, it is typically the most susceptible to damage from the weather. Freezing temperatures as well as snow and ice can increase the chances of cracks and leaks in your chimney. You want to check for any cracks in the crown of the chimney or bricks that appear to be coming loose. You also want to look for a white liquid substance coming from the chimney which could indicate that it may be absorbing water. These masonry repairs can prevent more extensive structural damage and avoid potential fire hazards.

Bricks

If your building is made from bricks, you want to inspect the interior after all that snow melts away from it. Bulging bricks or mortar can indicate drainage issues. Cracks in the bricks are a sign of foundation problems which are more likely to happen in the winter due to the freeze-thaw cycle that occurs. You should invest in masonry repairs if you notice any of these problems. Proper maintenance and upkeep of your gutters and downspouts will help to avoid future damage to your brick masonry.

Windows

The cold weather can have an impact on the seals of your windows. If your room feels colder or more drafty than usual, that could be a sign that the caulking needs to be redone or that the seal is starting to come loose. Any leaks or holes in the seals can cause more hot or cold air than you would like to come into your building, which can increase your energy bills. If you notice any of these problems, it might be a good idea to hire someone to reseal your windows or in an extreme case, you may need completely new ones.

Your Preferred Masonry Contractor Is Del Prete Masonry

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.

 

Dealing with Brick Efflorescence

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
efflorescence

Newly constructed brick masonry may have brick efflorescence occur.

Have you ever seen brickwork with powdery scum on it that’s white, brown, green or yellow? That’s what masons call efflorescence. Efflorescence has been a masonry problem for thousands of years, and occurs when deposits of water-soluble salts are left on the surface of the bricks as water evaporates. This usually happens about a month after a building is constructed, but sometimes as long as a year after completion. (more…)

Tips for Winterizing Your Brick Pavers

Thursday, December 1st, 2016
brick pavers with snow on top

Brick is designed to withstand harsh winter weather.

Many people ask what they need to do to “winterize” their brick pavers. Good news: Interlocking brick pavers are designed and installed to be able to withstand even the harshest winter climate and frost cycles. That said, here are a few tips to further ensure the long-term success and aesthetics of your brickwork.

  • Remove heavy items and vehicles from brick pavers during the winter time. Areas beneath these heavy objects will not be able to flex during the freeze thaw cycle, which can cause sunken areas as the base shifts below. Heavy objects that are left over brick pavers may end up leaving a slight indentation.

 

  • If necessary, add some joint sand in all the joints. Resweeping joint sand between your brick paver joints each Spring and Winter will help ensure their continued longevity. When brick paver joints are properly filled they can drain late season rains better and hold the pavers in place. While you should keep your brick pavers filled year round for optimum success, doing a quick sweep heading into winter is always a good idea.
  • Try to redirect water and ice sources to prevent drainage on  your brick pavers. Check gutter spouts to see if they are draining onto your pavers. If possible, connect a solid corrugated pipe to the end of the spout and run it into the grass or a nearby plant bed. The rapid freeze and thawing of snow and ice that hits your brick pavers can cause tremendous stress. It’s always a good idea to address drainage issues at the time of installation, but it’s worth doing a second check to make sure no new problems have arose.

 

While there’s no need to cover up your beautiful pavers or shovel off the snow right away, following these tips can increase the lifespan of your brick paver installation.

Masonry Repair and Restoration from Del Prete Masonry

For all of your questions regarding masonry repair and restoration, feel free to contact Del Prete Masonry. Our masonry restoration professionals have the experience and history of satisfied clients to prove that we’ll get the job done right, and cost-effectively. To get started with your masonry restoration project, please contact our office today at 410-683-0650 or email us at mike@delpretemasonry.com. We serve Baltimore City, County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County.

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