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Posts Tagged ‘ masonry materials ’

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 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.

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.

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.

 

Which Type of Natural Stone Masonry is Best for Your Next Project?

Friday, October 5th, 2018

Natural stone masonry adds a classic, elegant look to any building or structure!

Obviously, with any hardscaping project, there is a large amount of planning that goes into it. You have to choose a location in your landscape for the project, materials to use, and figure out what exactly you are trying to add to your yard. It is always a good idea to consider adding taste of natural stone masonry to your landscape. If you already know that you are opting for a project involving natural stone masonry, then the only questions really left to ask is, which type of natural stone masonry? Well, there are  two main types of natural stone masonry: rubble and ashlar. Hopefully some light can be shed as to which one is right for you.

Rubble masonry

Rubble masonry is one of the oldest kinds of natural stone masonry. This type of natural stone masonry takes advantage of undressed stones whose appearance reminds you of building rubble for design purposes. It is not the most structurally sound form of natural stone masonry, but it is a fantastic way to draw in one’s eyes to the structure.

One type of rubble masonry is random rubble masonry. This form of natural stone masonry uses cheap, undressed, raw materials that can fit properly together when hammered together. There is also square rubble masonry that takes the rough-hewn look of rubble masonry and squares the face stones of the natural stone masonry project.

Ashlar masonry

Ashlar masonry is the more expensive type of natural stone masonry between the two. The price is well paid though as it utilizes dressed stones, lined up parallel to one another to create a refined, structurally sound shape. This is done similar to a traditional brick structure, as the stones are leveled amongst one another, and then laid in either cement or lime mortar.

A popular form of ashlar masonry is the rough tooled style. This manner of ashlar masonry smooths out the sides and beds while making the face rougher to make it more eye-catching with its coarse surface. There is also chambered ashlar masonry which can create an added dimension to your natural stone masonry that other masonry styles cannot quite replicate.

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 FacebookTwitterGoogle+, 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 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.

 

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

 

The Benefits of Using Natural Stone for Your Masonry Project

Friday, August 24th, 2018

Natural stone is an eco-friendly material that gives any building or structure an elegant, timeless look!

When it comes to your next construction project, there are a lot of masonry materials available to give your building or structure a timeless look and a long lifespan. Deciding which material to use can be tough, but it is a really important decision to make. Natural stone is one of nature’s creations and adds a beautiful look to any building. Here are the benefits of using natural stone for your masonry project.

Environmentally Friendly

Most construction materials are synthetic, but natural stone is simply a product of the earth. Using this material for your masonry project doesn’t require any type of energy use or power to create it. This means that absolutely no pollution is generated when natural stone is create, which definitely helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Natural stone also has a thermal mass that allows it to naturally insulate, meaning you will save some money on those costly energy bills.

Durability

When it comes to your construction project, you want the materials used to be sturdy so that the building or structure lasts for years to come. Natural stone is great for this because it is essentially a rock, which are known to have indestructible qualities. Stone is able to withstand all types of weather elements including hail, winds, snow, and even fire and extreme heat. When you use it for interior elements, it isn’t easily scratched or burned.

Healthy Option

Because natural stone isn’t made from any synthetic materials or harsh chemicals, it is also a better option health wise. When you are using natural stone for a building or for interior structures, it helps to lower our chances of ingesting dangerous chemicals. This is something we may not even think twice about most of the time, but ingesting chemicals from construction materials can have long-term health effects.

Saves Money

Natural stone will definitely be quite a big investment initially, being one of the more expensive material options. However, it is well worth the investment and can actually end up saving you money in the long run. Because of its durability, you don’t have to worry about repairing a lot of damages or replacing your structures. A cheaper material may save you money initially, but it can really start to add up later when you have to constantly pay for repairs. In addition, breathing in harsh chemicals from synthetic materials can lead to a few doctors trips, which surely aren’t cheap. Investing in natural stone decreases the possibility of both of these scenarios occurring.

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.