Brick and masonry repair services
Among all the building materials brick and stone are the most durable and long lasting. A well built masonry building can last decades with little to no maintenance. However the early warning signs can easily be overlooked which ends up in costly repairs. It is extremely important to have your house inspected by a professional every few years. That includes both exterior (roof, siding, masonry, foundations, windows, gutters, windows) as well as interior (mechanical systems: plumbing, heating and cooling). Early detection will prevent these elements going awry and integrity of your home to drop. When it comes to masonry maintenance get professional assistance and trusted company that can get the work done right the first time. With that in mind consider these issues that need repair and how to spot them:
Masonry & Stone restoration and Tuckpointing work
The biggest problem with brickwork is that elements will deteriorate it over time. Signs of wearing mortar joints includes crumbling, sandiness, and cracking. Anything that is bigger than a hairline crack will require repair by removing and replacing bad mortar. Brick, although is the strongest building material is prone to moisture damage as well, and when will need replacement if structurally damaged. This particular house in Arlington Heights was entirely re-pointed and washed to restore its original appearance. And sometimes all it needs is only good cleaning and minor touch ups.
Waterproofing, sealing and caulking
Masonry issues very often have to do with water. If water seeps through the structure itself, especially on walls and around the openings, a great deal of issues start to manifest. Our company has finished hundreds of water-proofing projects throughout the Chicago and the suburbs with great success, due to the techniques of sealing and flashing we have developed over the years. Whether it is brick, block, cinder block or CMU unit (however we call it), we can get it watertight. Customers often ask us: “How do I know if my building needs sealing?” or “Does our condo need to waterproofing?”. The answer is Yes – most of the condo building in Chicago built with the split face block need to be fixed as it is a very porous material that absorbs moisture like a sponge. Older buildings are also prone to similar issues. Our two big condominium projects in Oak Park, Evanston and Highland Park required flashing and caulking replacement work. We use various types of water repellents and sealers and coatings that we have tested over the years and work with companies like (BASF, Sherwin-Williams, and more). How often does a building have to be sealed? How long will it typically last? Traditional sealants will break down and should not be expected to last beyond few years. Our elastomeric coatings, however are proved to be far superior and last at least a decade. Other signs include efflorescence, bad caulking, and cracks. Note, that caulking will also deteriorate over time and will need replacing. In addition, wall protrusions are being inspected and all the openings caulked as needed.
To find out more, click here or check our portfolio of completed projects.
We will always go above and beyond to find the source of water infiltration and implement repairs that will fix it once and for all. Our company uses Infrared cameras for leak detection and sporadic building inspections for peace of mind.
Lintel Replacement and Firewall rebuilding
One of the most common masonry repairs is a replacement of steel lintels. Not only in Windy city but other suburbs like Des Plaines, Naperville. Steel lintels are used above the opening such us doors and windows to support the wall above it. As it ages the lintel may start to rust and when this happens, the rust will start accumulating on its surface causing the bricks above to be pushed up and crack. Usually, the first sign you notice is a staircase like crack starting from the corners of the window and continue up. Latter the mortar might start to fall out, and eventually larger cracks will form. In order to properly repair such opening, the bricks have to be cut out and the lintel replaced with new. This is a very complex repair and requires a skilled mason to take care of it. Find out more by click at lintel replacement page.
Here is an example of a lintel, we found in old Highland Park building that was so corroded and deteriorated, it was not giving any support whatsoever.
Parapet wall repair is also important when it comes to building maintenance. Fire wall are extension above the buildings roof line that are design to slow down or stop a potential fire spread. At the same time they are exposed to the elements and deteriorate faster the the remaining structure. Periodically these walls need to be taken down and rebuilt. Do find out if your building needs such work – contact us.
Chimney & fireplace repair
Lack of maintenance and bad design are the most common reasons for chimney failure. We have seen chimneys with notoriously bad crowns that provided no protections and crack prematurely allowing moisture to cause extensive damaged to the lower part of the chimney. Chimney restoration are among the most complex masonry projects for two reasons. Firstly, they are hard to access and work on. Secondly, they are usually aged structures and matching the brickwork can be difficult so once restored the job does not look amateurish. Have your chimney regularly inspected to prevent costly repairs down the road.
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