In the world of modern architecture, there are few more impressive looking buildings than a stately home residence or a large office complex built of bricks. A structure erected with bricks presents itself as solid and strong, is aesthetically pleasing and exudes a sense of class and style to any neighborhood. However, despite its well-deserved reputation of being solid and extremely durable, brickwork can and will fail if it is not maintained properly or is mistreated. This is especially true if the brick is over 100 years old. Additionally, repairs made using inappropriate cement mortars, among other things, can result in the breakdown of your brick structure.
How do you know if your brickwork needs a repair or upgrade? Just being old does not necessarily mean a repair is needed. Some common warning signs to look for include bricks that are beginning to crumble, are loose or missing pointing, walls that bulge in appearance, cracks through the brickwork and internal or external damp spots. Also keep in mind bricks that have spalled (deteriorated due to water seepage) are more susceptible to moisture penetration and may eventually lead to structural issues for the wall. Fortunately, there are a number of options when it comes to maintaining and repairing old brickwork.
Severely damaged bricks can simply be cut out and replaced. Any replacement bricks should match as closely as possible in size, durability and texture as the original bricks and should be laid in the same manner. You can also treat damaged bricks with mortar made up of tinted lime for a new appearance. After replacement it is also important to leave new bricks and mortar in place so they can blend in place naturally over the course of time.
If repairing the brickwork is not something you feel comfortable doing yourself it is advised you contact an experienced bricklayer who has worked on older buildings. In the Chicago area your best option is to give Arrow Masonry and Exteriors, Inc. a call. 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.