Performing Masonry Work in the Heat of Summer

Summer is when most people are thinking about vacations and leisure activities. But along with nice weather, summer also brings humidity and drenching thunderstorms. This can be problematic for contractors since summer is also prime construction season.

Many building owners will be rushing to complete masonry work before fall.  Hot weather can really impact a construction schedule. Most contractors don’t concern themselves with weather because the temperature is usually ideal. However, masons should pay attention to summer conditions since weather can change drastically from morning to afternoon.

Early in the day, before the sun is at its highest, buildings are shaded. However, in the afternoon, humidity increases, and the sun really heats up. Sun beating down on masonry work rapidly evaporates the water from the mortar, creating cracks.

Protecting Materials is Essential

Unfortunately, many contractors don’t have protection plans in place during the summer. Safeguards such as burlap blankets or tarps should be used to protect the new work.  These provisions are essential for doing masonry correctly in the heat.

Protecting masonry materials in summer is of vital importance.  These materials  include mortar, sand, and cool water.  All materials need to be as cool as possible before use. The mortar used should be at less than 120°F. It can be tempered again with cool water to maintain consistency in the heat. Sand should be kept in a loose, damp condition by sprinkling it with water and leaving it uncovered.

These protections, once put in place, should prevent rapid loss of moisture from the new masonry work.  Combined with proper masonry techniques, the result should be a building that will last for years.

In the Chicago area your best option for any tuckpointing and masonry work is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Located in Palatine, Arrow Masonry has been providing quality masonry restoration services to commercial and residential customers for over 50 years. Arrow Masonry takes pride in customer satisfaction and stands by all its work. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to learn more about hot weather masonry work.

Do Weather Conditions Effect Tuckpointing Services?

Sometimes it is obvious tuckpointing services need to be performed. Cracks or other signs tell us repairs are needed. A common question asked when tuckpointing is necessary is: does the weather or other outdoor conditions effect the work to be done? The quickest answer is both yes and no.

The best weather conditions for tuckpointing work occurs in an air temperature between 40-90° F for the previous 24 hours and following 72 hours. It is also ideal to have no heavy rain or snow the day before or several hours after completion of the work.

In the Chicago area, the best times for projects are in the spring and fall. February and December will offer some possible days but can at times present some issues.  January is usually an unworkable month. Late January can at times present a couple decent days here and there. When ideal conditions are questionable, the cold can be dealt with a few different ways.

How to Tuckpoint in Cold Conditions

The simplest solutions for cold weather tuckpointing are the use of additives. They speed drying time and increase heat generated by the mortar during the curing process. Additives are best for smaller projects when temperatures will not fall too far below normal working conditions. Covering completed work can also help trap heat released by the curing process. Specialized heated tarps can be used to add warmth to the work surface area.

When your cold weather tuckpointing is finished, check for some signs that mortar was improperly installed. The most obvious is pitting of the mortar joints. This happens due to water in the mortar mix freezing when applying. Mortar that is not allowed to mix properly is weaker than a properly cured mortar.  In addition to the improper curing, as the water freezes, it expands and creates pockets throughout the joints. The water will eventually unfreeze and make its way out of the masonry, leaving an incredibly poor joint in the brick, block or stone.

In the Chicago area your best option for any tuckpointing work is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Headquartered in Palatine, Arrow Masonry has been providing the highest quality tuckpointing in all weather conditions for more than 50 years. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to view all their services.

Essential Tools Used for Tuckpointing

A fireplace or chimney with a beautiful design can markedly increase the value and appeal of your home or office. It also affords you the opportunity for enjoyable moments by a cozy fire for your family or clients. However, like anything else, over time the mortar joints are subject to wear and tear may become damaged due to exposure to harsh weather conditions.  Moisture can even damage rock masonry, if it seeps into weakened mortar joints.   At this point, tuckpointing, a repair process that stops this destructive process, may be necessary.

Bricks on a chimney are durable and can last a century but mortar has a much shorter lifespan.  Depending on its exposure and other conditions, mortar typical lasts about 25 years. The layout of the roof and the position of the chimney affect how much or little water drainage contributes to erosion of the mortar joints.

When mortar joints become damaged, the best course of action is to call a professional, or if you are handy, make the needed repairs yourself. If you decide to complete the work yourself, remember the basic idea of tuckpointing is to remove all the damaged mortar and replace it with fresh material.

Basic Tools Used in Tuckpointing

The are some very basic but helpful tools you will want to have on hand if you decide to do the tuckpointing yourself – such as a mortar trowel, tuckpointing grinder, a plugging chisel and hammer, a mortar gun and some masonry brushes.

Trowels are used to spread the mortar when tuckpointing block, brick or stone. The grinder is extremely helpful in removing the mortar joints and cutting the stones or bricks. Use the chisel and hammer to clean the old mortar that must be replaced. The gun will help speed up the application of the mortar for crack and repairs. Masonry brushes are used to clean off the repair area or for finishing touches and aid in removing dust particles after fixing the framework.

In the Chicago area your best option for any tuckpointing work is  Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. Headquartered in Palatine, Arrow Masonry has been providing the highest quality tuckpointing and masonry restoration services to commercial and residential communities for more than 50 years. Arrow Masonry takes pride in customer satisfaction and assures all its clients their workmanship will be up to your high standards. Call Arrow today at 847-776-6400 or visit their website to view all the services that can provide for you.