Masonry Repair Granbury, TX

 

 

Repairing cracks and damage in masonry

When masonry walls crack or crumble, it is often necessary to repoint or repair the damaged areas. This process is called tuckpointing, pointing, brick repair, or masonry repair.

How brick repair contractors fix cracks in brick walls and repair mortar joints in Granbury

Brick Repair in Granbury

Brick repair is a detail oriented process that shouldn't be left to just anyone. This is why it is important to hire prescreened contractors for your masonry repairs and repointing projects. Below, we will discuss general procedures of the Brick Repair process and their importance to getting the cracks in brick mortar and broken bricks repaired.

Masonry has been passed down through the generations for thousands of years, but sometime during the Hoover administration, much was lost due to the changes in the industry that were made to create jobs during that time. Various products became available on the market that took the need for knowledge of how mortars were made away for the new construction (this didn't change the need for this knowledge in the repair and restoration of masonry). These products were necessary because there was often only one real mason on location to run and over-see the production of these projects using untrained labor. In fact, the labor ranged from farmers to lawyers that were being instructed how to build walls, but their understanding was limited to "do this" without any explanation as to why. When these projects ended along with the Hoover administration, many of these labor had been working this way for many years and believed they knew enough to contract jobs of their own. This worked out well for them in new construction due to the products that were now available (pre bagged mortar mix). This flood of so-called masons saturated the market and lowered the value of masonry to this day. With each new generation, this problem continues. Less and less knowledge is being passed down or is being passed down wrong due to the assumptions made about how much they knew about masonry and these new bags of masonry mortar. Which brings us to the topic of masonry repair and restoration of brick mortar and stone.

When it comes to brick repair, you need to identify the experience of the contractor. That doesn't mean how long they have been in business, but rather how many years they have been in this business before they got into business. Myself, I had over 25 years of training before I went into business for myself, and found that there were still things that hadn't been fully explained that I had to research and figure out for myself. I had only learned some of the basics about the composition of mortar, but not why the industry standard for tuckpointing mortar was not correct. I was taught how to make the different mortars rather than using the prepackaged bags that many masonry repair contractors use, but going into business for myself, I quickly learned why my competitions method (using these products) didn't work well by a large volume of warranty work.

If your masonry repair contractor is intending to use these products instead of a custom mortar for your project, then you can quickly identify if they have the experience needed to complete your brick repairs.

Their experience is needed for every aspect of masonry repair. They need to be able to see the damage and understand the cause, how it is constructed, and how to properly and safely fix the brick mortar cracks and replace damaged bricks. They need to know the proper procedures for repairing your brick from start to finish. This includes the physical process of Brick Repair and the other aspects of your masonry repair such as building permits, safety permits and procedures, matching brick, and mortar matching for the mortar repair.

Brick Repair Process in Granbury

The Brick Repair process is as follows: 

Identify the damage, cause of cracking in the brick and mortar, and how to repair the brick mortar cracks.

Matching Brick Mortar for Repair

Identify the existing mortar and bricks to find proper replacements for them.

Replacement Bricks

Finding replacement bricks for masonry repair can be difficult, but often in today's market, you can contact the local brick companies and provide your address to see if they supplied the brick for your project and locate suitable replacements.

Mortar Matching

Custom matching brick mortar is a bit more difficult. It requires testing a sample of the existing mortar. This is true even if you know the existing mortar was a bag of premix type N mortar because you don't know if there were alterations made to the formula, the amount or type of sand per the amount of mix in the original formula. These things are often changed depending on the bricks used, and matching the sand color and gradation are important to the color and texture of the dried mortar. So even knowing what kind of bags were used doesn't tell you enough about the mortar to make a repair mortar that will bond properly and match the color and performance of the existing mortar for masonry repair. 

Brick Repair - Permits and Safety

Determine if there are permits, or safety codes required by the city, state, or HOA to perform the masonry repairs.

Masonry Tuckpointing/Mortar Repair

Presenting suitable replacement bricks and mortar for masonry repairs to be approved.

Beginning the onsite preparations. This includes getting the materials and equipment needed for the repairs.

Once all materials and equipment are available, you may begin the brick repair by removing the damaged brick and mortar as needed and with whatever methods you may have determined were needed such as shoring jacks, arch templates and so on. Brick and mortar are often removed using hammer and chisels or masonry saws. The mortar cracks and other areas are cleaned and prepared for installation of new bricks and matching mortar. At this point in the brick repair, the bricks and mortar are installed and the mortar joints need tooled with a matching shape and texture. Then the brick should be cleaned of any excess mortar and smears and general cleanup of the location. If repairs take more than one day, the location should be left clean and safe each day until complete.

I realize that in that last portion, I over simplify the process, but each project is going to require alterations of the masonry repair method. However, as I said before, in brick repair, the details are important. This applies to not missing cracks in the mortar, broken bricks, filling cracks with mortar that were prepared for tuckpointing, filling the mortar joints full from the back to the front, the timing of when to tool the mortar joints, blending the edges of all mortar joints repaired (uneven joints cast shadows and show the repair), and matching the shape and texture of the existing mortar. The goal of masonry repair is the make it look like there was never a crack to repair. If you can still see it, then the mortar repair is just a patch to prevent water or bugs from getting in through the mortar. Any monkey could throw mortar at a cracked brick wall, masonry repair is about doing it right.

 

 

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