Whether you are looking after your commercial masonry structures or the brick walls of your own home, having an inspection is a key step in addressing any possible issues. But what does the inspection process look like? Here are some of the things that you can expect from a professional masonry inspection.(more…)
Posts Tagged ‘ Masonry repair ’
For many buildings and masonry structures, both old and new, masonry restoration is a key process that helps them stay in good condition. But the process might sound complicated to the average person. Here are the basics of what happens in masonry restoration.(more…)
A fireplace can be a beautiful centerpiece of a room, and of your home. But sometimes brick fireplaces, in particular, can be tricky to maintain. Time and wear can start to cause problems, but if you don’t know what to look for, then it can be easy to miss signs of problems. Here’s how to spot where your brick fireplace might need repairs.(more…)
After any new hardscaping project, you might notice that, in spite of cleaning the excess mortar, that there could be a chalky residue left behind. Fortunately, there is a simple remedy for this, which is an acid wash. By using an acid wash, your new masonry structure will be clean and look as fresh and new as it should. Here are some things you should know about acid washing.
How It Works
Acid washing cleans up the residue from a masonry project, such as a new installation or a repair job. By using a solution of acid, such as hydrochloric acid, that is diluted in water, the loose debris and thin film of mortar gets broken down so that it can be easily washed away. The reaction is usually mild and results in some bubbling, but in most cases, an acid wash eliminates the need for heavy scrubbing, which is why it is the preferred method of cleaning masonry.
DIY Acid Wash?
Although there are many acid wash products available at hardware stores for you to try yourself, there are a couple of reasons why it might not be a good idea to take on the project alone. First, most acid wash products require you to figure out the ratios for diluting the acid yourself. Even with instructions on the container, you might find that their recommendation is too weak or too strong for your project. Not to mention that handling acid can be very dangerous. Without the proper protective gear, you can get nasty chemical burns on your skin.
Hire a Professional
Lastly, acid washing can be a delicate process and if you leave the acid on too long or scrub it off too hard you run the risk of damaging your masonry structure. While acid washing can sometimes replace traditional cleanup or help make up for a sloppily installed masonry project, it won’t solve everything. It’s better to have an expert take care of your masonry maintenance so that you will have peace of mind that everything will turn out right.
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, and Pinterest.
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…)
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
It’s starting to get cold again, and winter can really wreak havoc on decorative concrete. Besides the weather itself being a hazard, harsh chemical de-icers can actually damage concrete and landscaping details. If your business features beautiful decorative concrete, it’s important that you take steps to protect your investment. Here are a few tips for caring for your decorative concrete this winter. (more…)
Chimneys are known for durability, but that durability can lend homeowners to ignore masonry repair needs. Chimneys perform several important functions, and one that is deteriorating can be a safety hazard. As long as you keep up with maintenance and masonry repairs, however, you can extend the lifespan of your chimney and ensure it works properly. (more…)