Brick, stucco and other types of stonework play a vital role in both the aesthetic appeal and also structural integrity of millions of homes. It is likely that your home has some stone features, such as stairs, even if the building itself is not the work of a masonry repair.
5 Tips For Doing A Masonry Repair Job
Over time, even a hardy material like stone or brick can begin to degrade, and understanding how to do masonry repair can keep your property safe and visually appealing. However, masonry repairs are in many ways more advanced than other DIY projects, so consider the following tips before you begin.
Understand Critical Problems and Do Not Ignore Them
While any type of unsightly issue can be repaired, it is important that you are able to differentiate between minor issues and critical failures in your stone or brick. A bulging wall or missing bricks are significantly more important to repair than flaking bricks, which are aesthetically unappealing but not really a cause for concern.
It may be tempting to repair a non-critical issue on the street-facing side of your home for visual reasons while leaving a structurally vital issue unattended to because it is in the back; this is why understanding the overall danger posed by specific masonry risks is important.
Know That Caulk Cannot Solve Everything
When water gets into and behind brick due to the wearing away of mortar or vulnerabilities in the home’s exterior structure, it may be tempting to simply fill any holes or cracks with caulk. While it is true that caulk can help to keep water out, understand that it is not a permanent solution to these longer-term problems with water intrusion.
You must locate the source and adequately treat it; repeatedly caulking only buys you a little bit of time, and you may end up costing yourself more money in the long run on more extensive repairs later.
Keep the Original Materials When Possible
When a stone feature such as a chimney or fireplace begins to degrade, it may be tempting to replace the entire thing. However, understand that the original materials are likely able to last for many years to come with careful attention, and compromising the structure of the entire feature by removing some or all of it can lead to a poorer fit when you install the new one.
When possible, it is usually recommended to try to keep the original materials and repair them rather than going for an entire replacement. If you are unsure which option is best for you, you can ask an experienced mason.
Treat the Origin of the Problem, Not the Symptoms
Many times, a more advanced problem will initially present as a small and seemingly unrelated issue that may be “simply” fixed. Water damage in the interior walls may cause external bricks to seem loose. While you may be tempted to simply add more mortar to these bricks to keep them sturdy and visually appealing, this will not solve the original water issue.
Be sure to tackle the reason behind your stone or brick’s deterioration instead of relying on patchwork jobs for the symptoms. Otherwise, the problem will continue to grow until a more expensive and more costly repair is needed in the future, creating both a financial burden and a safety concern for you and your family.
Rely on a Mason If You Need Help
Masonry is one of the more advanced types of DIY, and there is no shame in admitting that you do not feel comfortable or able to complete a repair yourself. However, many general contractors will note that they do masonry work; it is best to choose a dedicated mason instead.
A mason (instead of a contractor who sometimes does masonry work) will typically have more experience and is invested in completely solving your problem from its source. Masonry is not a skill that is learned easily over a couple of projects, which is why you should entrust critical issues such as the structural integrity and safety of your home to an expert.
Work With The Experienced Masonry Repair Experts
Whether you have begun a masonry repair yourself and feel overwhelmed or you are concerned with the state of the brick or stone in your home, it is wise to consult an experienced mason for guidance.
The professionals at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration would be happy to help you evaluate the problems with your masonry and determine a strategy for repairing them quickly, safely and within your budget. Reach out to schedule an appointment so that you can address problems as they arise.