Experience is Key With Masonry Restoration

Some reparation projects require more knowledge than others to complete safely and successfully. If the work to be done is intricate, detailed or complicated, hiring an experienced contractor is more important than ever. One such industry that requires high levels of competency and attention to detail is tuckpointing and masonry restoration.

Complex Work Requires Experience

Crumbling masonry joints can evolve into a larger problem and lead to safety issues. When left unchecked, crumbling masonry may lead to water seepage behind a brick façade. This can damage the structure of the building. Bricks may eventually loosen, necessitating costly and extensive repairs. It is also possible for insects or small vermin to penetrate the building’s facade, causing additional building issues and other health concerns.

Tuckpointing is sometimes referred to as repointing. It is the process of repairing the mortar joints in brick masonry walls. This is accomplished by removing a portion of the old mortar, then raking it out with specialized tools. Professionals will analyze the existing mortar and bricks to determine what type of fresh material will be compatible while creating a visually appealing finish. They then fill in the mortar joists with fresh mortar or grout.

Experienced tuck pointers are well-versed in how to control the silica exposure arises during this process. Silica is a mineral found in bricks, mortar and other construction material. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict guidelines about controlling exposure. Vacuum dust collection systems, for example, have shown an ability to limit the potential respiratory risks associated with silica.

Tuckpointing is Labor Intensive

Tuckpointing is often a very labor-intensive endeavor.  An experienced tuck pointer will assess the right depth of mortar necessary to grind out by examining your building’s bricks. Using an incompatible material runs the risk of causing damage to the bricks themselves.  Before trusting this task with a less-experienced contractor, consider the possible poor outcomes. When tuckpointing is done properly, it can dramatically improve structural integrity.

In the Chicago area your best option for any tuckpointing work is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Arrow Masonry has been providing quality tuckpointing and masonry restoration services to commercial and residential communities for more than 50 years. This wealth of experience assures quality and professional results on all their projects. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to view all the services that can provide for you.

Power Washing Brick and Stone Buildings

The sight of a brick or stone building is a very striking and impressive feature. There is a certain something about brick and stone that really makes it stand out. This intangible quality helps set it apart from an ordinary structure made of wood. One common concern from brick or stone owners is keeping the masonry looking immaculate. There are a couple of options, but the preferred method among those in the industry is the use of power washing.

Power Washing is Safe and Economical

Power washing is generally considered a safe and economical way of cleaning an older structure.  Although very attractive, both stone and brick may begin to look dingy after years of exposure to different pollutants. Dirt, fumes from traffic, mold and carbon call all take their toll and mar the look of a brick surface. These dirty substances can build up slowly, so it is not always easy to notice the change in the exterior.

Washing a building made of stone or brick is obviously different than cleaning off wood. A particular type of equipment and accessories must be employed. There are certain chemicals frequently used in the power washing process. After applying the chemical via spraying, the brick or stone is then power rinsed off. If this does not remove all the grime and stains, a stronger method involving water blasting along with water and silica sand may needed.

Some people ask about sandblasting as an alternative to clean their building. Power washing is considered by most to be better since water is not abrasive like sand. The masonry surface is much less likely to be damaged via power washing. Conversely, sandblasting may damage some of the brick and perhaps damage it beyond repair. Another negative is that sand is not contained, making it a messy procedure.

In Chicago and the suburban area, your number one choice for power washing your masonry is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Arrow Masonry has been providing quality tuckpointing, maintenance and masonry restoration services to commercial and residential communities for over 50 years. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to see how they can professionally restore the fresh look to your brick or stone structure.

Different Types of Masonry in Building Construction

Many people are vaguely familiar with masonry walls but have no clue regarding specifics.  There are actually several types of masonry used in building construction. Walls made of masonry are the most strong and durable part of any building. The masonry provides strength and durability to the structure. It also helps to control indoor and outdoor temperature.

Masonry Differs Depending on Different Factors

Masonry is the word used for construction with mortar.  It is used as binding material with individual units of stones, bricks, concrete blocks and tiles.  Mortar is a mixture of binding material with sand. Some of the more common binding materials include cement, lime or soil.

The durability and strength of masonry wall construction depends on the type and quality of material used. Load bearing masonry walls are usually constructed with bricks, stones or concrete blocks. These walls transfer loads from the roof to the building’s foundation. These walls can be exterior or interior. The construction system with load bearing walls are more economical than one using framed structures.

Reinforced masonry walls can be either load or non-load bearing. The use of reinforcement in walls helps it to withstand tension forces and heavy compressive loads. Masonry walls that are not reinforced are susceptible to failure. They have little strength to withstand lateral forces during high winds or rain. Cracks also develop in un-reinforced masonry walls due to soil pressure or the settlement of foundations.

Hollow or Cavity masonry walls are used to prevent moisture reaching the interior of the building. They do this by providing a hollow space between the outside and inside face of a wall. These walls also help to control temperatures inside a building from the outside as the hollow space restricts heat to pass through the structure.

In the Chicago area your best option for any masonry or tuckpointing work is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Arrow Masonry has been providing quality services to commercial and residential communities for over 50 years. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to view all the services that can provide for you.

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