If you are considering a project for your home or property, making the right plans depends on more than thinking about how your final vision will look once it is realized. Whether you are caulking your home’s surfaces for better waterproofing or drenching them with a power washer to restore the luster that you enjoyed when you first moved in, the type of masonry that your home or landscape includes will determine what your next steps will be—and what risks you will face if the project goes awry. The good news is that the majority of materials are rather easy to work with, though they each require their own unique approach.
Why The Type Of Masonry Matters For Your Project
Rock is rock, right? If the surfaces under your purview are made of rock, does it really matter if you know more than that? The truth is that it does matter. If you are pressure washing limestone, you may need to opt for a much gentler stream of water than if you were cleaning cast stones. If you do not understand the type of masonry that comprises your home or landscape, you could end up doing permanent damage to your surfaces, even if you are trying to be careful. This can stretch from leaving score marks to simply wasting money on the wrong type of caulk that will not adhere to the surface you are working with.
Stone masonry is rather common in the building world, but stones are not necessarily created equally. You may already be familiar with cast stone, which is the standard gray block that you see most commonly. This material is rather robust and can handle almost anything you can throw at it. Conversely, stone such as granite, marble, limestone and sandstone need much less (or almost no) pressure when being washed, and granite calls for different caulk than cast stone. Be sure to look further into the type of material that you have before you commit to any purchases or large plans.
Concrete is nearly ubiquitous in today’s world, so it is likely that you already know to some extent what concrete looks like. It starts as a liquid that is poured into a frame, where it is then compressed; this process of compression increases its strength. While different types of concrete blocks will perform different tasks (pillars, corners and so on), they are all very resilient and can be washed, caulked and waterproofed with very little worry.
Many ranch-style homes are made from brick, but bricks can come from a variety of sources: clay, fly-ash, kiln burnt and more. Bricks are lighter than stone and concrete for the same project, which is why they are often a popular choice. However, the characteristic dimpling and pockmarks on bricks can cause some issues with home improvement projects if you are not careful.
A high-powered pressure washer can increase these pits and saturate the brick, causing water damage on the other (interior) side of the masonry. While you certainly can successfully pressure wash brick, it may be best to leave this project to the professionals with years of experience. You will also need to keep up on tuckpointing and other maintenance tasks related to the mortar in between the bricks, as this is an important part of how you keep moisture and pests out of your home—as well as how you maintain its structural integrity by ensuring that all bricks are bearing their own equal weight.
You may have heard of gabion walls referred to as retaining walls. They are used to hold back soil or other unwanted intruders into a particular space. Most commonly, gabion walls are made of stone, but they are bound by wires that keep the stones in place (instead of, say, mortar with bricks). Gabion walls tend to slope backward to reduce the pressure on the wires. Generally, as long as what you are doing is not interfering with the load bearing of a gabion wall, you may pressure wash, waterproof and more freely.
Trust The Experts To Approach Each Task Differently Based On Your Masonry Needs
If you are faced with the prospect of tackling a home improvement project but are not sure how your home or business’ specific masonry will factor into the project, you do not need to take this risk on your own. The experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration would be happy to help you understand the specific needs for your task and accomplish the project for you. Reach out to ask any questions or to schedule an appointment for the pros to learn more about your vision.