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Posts Tagged ‘ masonry construction ’

The Four Types of Mortar

Friday, December 7th, 2018
How to Hire the Best Masonry Contractor

Mortar is a very important material in masonry construction because it’s what holds everything together!

When it comes to masonry, mortar may be the most essential part of the construction. Mortar is what is used to bond the materials of your masonry together, providing the structural integrity of the project. Depending on the type of project you are working on, different types of mortar can be used. Each class is best matched with a different kind of construction due to the differences in performance. Depending on your application you may want to use one over another, which is why knowing the differences is so important. There are four primary mortar types M, O, N, and S; today we’ll take you through what each is and where it is best used.

M

With the highest starting psi, type M mortar also uses the largest levels of Portland cement. Type M is most often used for driveways, foundations, retaining walls, and natural stone. Despite its extreme strength, it has poor sealing and adhesion properties which make it ill-suited for most applications where it would be exposed.

O

With only around 350 psi, type O mortar has the lowest compression strength of modern mortar, but it still is incredibly useful. Its primary function is for use in above-grade, non-load-bearing walls, and interiors. It’s particularly valuable for repair and repointing work on other structures thanks to its easy application and consistency.   

N

If you’re working on above-grade walls and exteriors that will be exposed to high temperatures and severe weather, this type of mortar is highly recommended. It is considered to be an all-purpose mix that offers medium compression strength and great general application. It is regarded as the most commonly used mortar for home-owners and has a 750 pound per square-inch strength after 28 days. Type N is made from a mix of lime, Portland cement, and sand. It’s the preferred type for soft stone masonry and is useful for interior load bearing, exterior, and above grade installations.  

S

With a high strength level, weighing in at 1,800 psi and a high-tensile bond, S mortar is a perfect fit for a variety of projects including those at or below grade. It is often used for retaining walls, sewers, manholes, and masonry foundations in below grade projects. It is also an excellent choice for masonry structures like walkways and brick patios. Although it already is able to withstand seismic loads, wind and soil pressure, it can be mixed to achieve an even higher psi level.

 

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 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

The Important Questions to Ask When Hiring a Masonry Contractor

Friday, September 14th, 2018

When looking for a masonry contractor, it is important to ask questions about their expertise and experience!

When you are looking for a masonry contractor for your next project, you want only the best. It can be difficult to sort through a number of possible contractors and try to figure out which one will give you the best quality for your money. When are you looking for a masonry contractor, here are some of the important questions you should ask to help narrow down your decision.

Certifications

The first thing you want to do is make sure the masonry contractor you want to hire is certified. This shows that they are legally certified to do the job that you want. If a contractor can’t provide you with their license or certification, cross them off of your options list.

Experience

The type of experience you want your masonry contractor to have varies depending on the specifics of your project. If you know that you want to use brick, you should ask about their experience with brickwork. You also want to inquire about their experience with cutting and laying different patterns so that you know if they can recreate your exact vision.

Time Frame

You want to have your design ideas together when talking to potential contractors so that they can give you a timeframe of how long it’ll take them to finish. If you have a specific time frame that you need it completed by, make that clear in the beginning so that you know your masonry contractor can get the job done by then.

References

One of the best ways to figure out about a masonry contractor is to look up reviews and get references. If a family or friend went to the same contractor, ask them about their experience. They are a lot more likely to give an honest opinion over the contractor that’s trying to sell you their services. Online reviews are also a good way to get more insight about a company. You can ask the contractor directly for references of their past clients and projects.

Insurance

Inquiring about insurance is just as important as making sure the contractor is licensed and certified. Insurance is crucial because if something goes wrong during the construction process, you want to be protected financially. If they do not have insurance, do not even consider them.

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.

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.

The Pros and Cons of Concrete Block Masonry Walls

Friday, July 27th, 2018

Concrete block is a very sturdy masonry material that is good for buildings and structures!

Many large commercial facilities use concrete block walls as their main structural elements. Otherwise known as cinder blocks, they are also being used to construct private, smaller buildings like homes. This material, like many others, comes with a list of pros and cons that contractors and engineers should consider when making construction decisions. Read on to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of using concrete block masonry walls.

The Pros

A big advantage of using concrete block masonry walls is its durability. Concrete is one of the strongest materials available and is not susceptible to rotting, mold, or damage from various types of pests. Concrete is also fireproof and is often used as a firewall between rooms and other structures. It’s also ideal for wet environments because it resists moisture. The second pro is its friendliness to the environment. Concrete block masonry walls use recycled materials that don’t contain any harsh chemicals that will negatively affect your health or the health of the environment. The thickness acts as great insulation, reducing energy use and reducing the needs to harvest lumber. When choosing concrete block masonry walls, you’ll experience a decrease in construction time. Faster construction ultimately leads to lower labor costs.

The Cons

The first and most noticeable con of using concrete block masonry walls is the dullness of the appearance. Quite frankly, this material is not the most visually attractive, especially when compared to other building options. The dry, gray color gives it an appearance that doesn’t match up to the intrigue and natural beauty of other options. Although you can paint the concrete, there isn’t much that will change the general texture or pattern. The second con is the cost. The cost of concrete block masonry fluctuates but is generally more expensive than lumber. Whether the additional cost will be worth it to your building project depends on the various details of the construction project.

Contact Del Prete Masonry for Your Building Demolition Today!

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.

 

How to Properly Prepare for a Demolition

Friday, July 20th, 2018

Demolition is a dangerous process so it is important to prepare the site properly before it occurs.

It may seem that demolition is a simple process that doesn’t go much further than destroying the building. However, there are a lot of risks that come with demolishing a building especially if it is close to a lot of other buildings. That is why it is important to prepare the area before carrying out the process. Here is how to properly prepare for a demolition.

Remove all Belongings

You don’t want to wait until the day of the demolition to start packing up all of your belongings as this can be a long process. Plan several days in advance to begin removing your belongings from the building and far away from the demolition area. Giving yourself a few days versus waiting until the day of allows you to remove everything and also gives you time to inspect the area and ensure that you didn’t miss anything.

Close Off Area

Sometimes, only certain parts of a building are being demolished rather than the entire thing. If that is the case, you want to block off the area that is going to be demolished. This doesn’t mean simply just closing the doors. You want to seal off any vents and windows as well to make sure that dust and debris doesn’t get into other parts of the building.

Make Arrangements

If you are demolishing your home or a part of it, you want to make sure you have other living arrangements. A demolition zone is no place for you or your family, so you want to find a hotel or other place to stay while the process is taking place. If a commercial building is being demolished, be sure to find an alternative workspace for the employees.

Safety First

If you are going to be part of the demolition process, be sure to follow all proper safety regulations. Do not enter the demolition area without protective eyewear, long pants, and gloves. You want to hire a professional if there are walls being removed that have electrical wiring going through them because there is a risk of an electrical fire.

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.