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Energy Efficiency in Brick Homes

For decades bricks have been one of the most popular building materials. In fact, almost 40% of current residences were constructed using bricks. Due to the attempt to decrease energy consumption in all forms, special building regulations have been created in recent years.  These energy guidelines require newly constructed homes be built more efficiently.

The problem is many current types of wall materials are dense and cumbersome. They may absorb heat and deter its conveyance through the walls in your home. Through these barriers, temperature changes tend to moderate. When this occurs heat loss is compromised, making it more difficult to cool your home. Compared to brick walls, the lightweight materials have a very low measure of thermal mass.

Building With Bricks is an Efficient Alternative

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to install thermal mass is through the use of bricks. Those bricks that are made from clay contain very high levels. They are the perfect material to use to ensure your home is well ventilated, comfortable and more energy efficient. And during the summer heat, an airy, cool place that also saves on energy bills is a wonderful bonus.

In recent years research has been conducted proving the assumption brick stone homes are truly energy efficient. Research has discovered that a large part of the heat bounced back to the outside environment is by way of the exterior panel of the brick. Another determination was that during summer, the temperature inside a home constructed with bricks remained cooler and more comfortable. This was true even with changing weather conditions outside. In other words, bricks help keep the feel of the house from wild fluctuations such as those in a building made of wood or siding.

In the Chicago metropolitan area your best option for brick or tuckpointing projects is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Arrow Masonry has been providing quality brick work, tuckpointing 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 learn how a brick home can be more efficient for you.

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.