Masonry has been shown over and over again to stand the test of time, with brick and stone buildings lasting for hundreds of years after their construction. However, even the most competently built commercial masonry will need to be touched up and repaired from time to time. Read more about how you should work with commercial masonary contractors.
Many business owners think that they can save money by attempting some commercial masonry DIY on their own, but this can lead to an entire host of problems. Here are the main projects that you should really leave to the professional commercial masonry contractors and why.
Why Not DIY a Masonry Project?
Masonry is sturdy, but it’s also heavy. That poses a risk for home and property owners who hope to install masonry as a DIY project. Not only can they end up hurting themselves with the sheer weight of the materials, but they can also damage their masonry in the process. A building relies on the installation of all bricks or stones in the proper place, aligned evenly, in order to balance the distribution of its weight.
If you attempt to DIY a masonry project, you could remove critical supports that, at best, make your problem worse and at worst could cause the area you are working on to collapse. Masonry projects are best left to the commercial masonry contractors and their team of experts who understand how to make repairs in patches or properly support the structure during their work. They also have specialized equipment that you may not have access to.
Cracks in Brick and Stone
Patching cracks in stonework typically involves more than just injecting some concrete or covering up the area. Bricks may need to be replaced, and with this comes additional careful installation of mortar and other important elements, like flashings.
Repointing is one of the most common methods of fixing cracks because it helps the building not to bear down as heavily on that area. However, cracks are commonly caused by water damage or foundation issues, so it is important for an expert to evaluate the root cause or else the problem will reappear in the future.
Lippage refers to when masonry like tiling or stone is uneven. You might notice that a few areas seem to poke out or stand up further than the others. Sometimes it is possible to simply grind down these areas, but replacement may be required if the problem is significant.
Evidence of Water Damage
One of the biggest threats to masonry is water damage. As water infiltrates the intermediary materials (like mortar and grout) that hold the structure together, it loosens their grip. Over time, bricks might start to fall out, slip or lose their symmetry. It is important for issues like this to be fixed as soon as possible, because mortar supports the structure as a whole. Without it, the building may become unsteady, and sections can crumble or tilt. Significant evidence of water damage can be dangerous for a DIY attempt.
The term spalling refers to when bricks sag or start to bulge and crumble. Most often, this happens to buildings in areas where the temperature can fluctuate between hot seasons and freezing seasons. As the water within the wall’s texture expands in the heat and freezes in the cold, it gradually causes the materials to break. Identifying how to fix these patchwork sections requires the expertise of a pro.
Discoloration, Mold and Other Visual Problems
You may think that simple discoloration and dirt are the easiest problems to tackle on your own, but power or pressure washing your exterior should be left to the pros. The high powered jet of water that these machines produce can actually damage your masonry if you are not experienced with how to use them, resulting in more costly repairs down the line.
It is also more convenient to leave masonry washing to the experts, since they will be able to accurately identify which types of detergent, if any, can help your masonry to combat mold, algae, pests and more. They will know whether to use hot or cold water, and their equipment is more powerful than what you can rent for yourself at the local home improvement store. Coupled with the reduced hassle of renting and returning that equipment, leaving discoloration and cleaning to the pros is a smart choice.
Trust the Experts to Help You Tackle a Masonry Project
Whether you already know that your masonry is in need of repairs, or you would simply like an expert commercial masonry contractors eye to evaluate your building, trust the experts. The professionals at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration can help you to understand what repairs are necessary and how to tackle them, from repointing your brickwork to restoring entire sections of stone. Reach out to learn more or to schedule an appointment to get started.