Masonry is a construction method that uses individual units, like brick and stone, bound together with mortar. It is one of the most durable construction techniques in the world, and it has been popular for centuries. Although it is remarkably durable, masonry does still wear down over time and is often in need of repair or restoration. In this post, read about the two different types of masonry work and discover what type of masonry you need for your commercial project.
Differentiating Between The Two Processes
Masonry repair and masonry restoration: while these two processes are often assumed to be one and the same, but in fact they are quite different.
Masonry Repair Process
As masonry is prone to cracking and chipping, masonry repair, the process of fixing cracks and chips within existing masonry, is a common practice. Sometimes this is done by replacing whole sections of masonry, and other times is done through caulking. However, while brick, concrete, or stone blocks are prone to cracking or chipping, it is more likely that the mortar needs to be replaced entirely (requiring a complete restoration) as it tends to crumble and wear out long before the brick gives way.
Masonry Restoration Process
Masonry restoration, is a much more complex process. Often done to older buildings whose masonry needs to be completely replaced, masonry restoration aims to replace the building’s masonry exterior with new materials that match the original look of the building. That said, while masonry repair is a cosmetic job usually appropriate for amateurs to some degree, masonry restoration is a craft best left to seasoned professionals.
How Is Masonry Repaired?
To fix crumbling mortar, you need to use an angle grinder to remove the old mortar. Then you will need to really clean out the joints to make sure that they are free of mortar and mortar dust. Once you have removed the old mortar and cleaned out the joints, it is time to apply new mortar.
Repairing mortar also consists of fixing cracks and chips in the brick. For smaller chips and cracks, this can be done relatively easily with some caulk. In cases of severe damage, it may be necessary to remove entire sections of the masonry and replace them altogether.
How Is Masonry Restored?
Restoration is different in that the goal is not merely repair, but the preservation of a particular style or appearance. For instance, if a Victorian building is being restored, great lengths must be taken to ensure that the brick used is ‘Victorian brick’ and that the entire process is completed much like it would have been in the late 19th century.
Moreover, restoration in generally is done on a larger scale than masonry repair, often restoring whole buildings rather than small sections. The trick with restoration is that it requires an understanding of the different building methods that have been used throughout the past. Restoring a 150 year old masonry building is very different from restoring a 40 year old masonry building.
That being said, restoration can be as simple as cleaning and sealing the masonry, or as complex as tearing down and rebuilding it. It all depends on how old the building is, how good the original construction was, and how much damage has been done over time.
The Benefits Of Masonry Work
While masonry buildings themselves have largely fallen out of fashion, likely because they are much more labor-intensive to build and more prone to break–masonry work does have it’s benefits.
Increases Thermal Mass
For one, masonry increases the thermal mass of the building, making it easier to regulate the temperature inside. At the same time, masonry is not flammable, so a masonry building is not as susceptible to fires (at least on the outside).
Stable & Long Lasting
Masonry is also very stable, and provide a surprising amount of sound proofing, creating a very quiet, peaceful interior. Moreover, the durability of masonry means that the building will last for a long time. Masonry is resistant to mold, as well.
In short, there are relatively few disadvantages, with the exception of labor and the time it takes to repair to restore it. Many property owners however, comment that having a building that is tough, energy-efficient, fire and mold resistant, and beautiful, is more than worth it the cost of repairing or restoring it.
You could even consider ‘labor costs’ as an advantage, as masonry construction creates more jobs than standard construction. By choosing masonry, you are choosing to benefit your community.
Learn More About Masonry Services
If you already own a masonry building, you should know that periodic restoration is critical to prolonging the life of the building. Likewise, addressing any repair needs quickly will prevent small problems from becoming huge financial burdens.
If you own a masonry building, or a building with masonry on the outside, call Waterproof Caulking & Restoration, LLC, today. Our team can help you the specifics of masonry repair and restoration, help point out any damage which needs to be repaired, and assist you in scheduling a time to perform your masonry work.