If you have a building, there is a good chance it was built with masonry. Masonry refers to a construction method that uses cement mortar to hold bricks or stones together. Any building comprised of bricks or stones was likely built with masonry.
Sometimes, the entire building is made with masonry, but most modern buildings use different materials in the construction. These buildings typically still have masonry facades, as they look better than modern materials.
Your building may also have chimneys and walkways made with masonry. Masonry is extremely durable, but like anything else, it does experience wear and tear over time. If the masonry in your building is showing signs of aging and breaking down, it is time to consider having it repaired or restored.
What Is Masonry Repair?
Signs that your masonry is in need of repair include cracked or chipped bricks, crumbling mortar, or discoloration (which indicates that the masonry is retaining moisture). If you notice any of these signs, you likely need to have your masonry repaired.
Masonry repair consists of patching and plugging gaps and cracks in the mortar. It also involves removing and replacing old mortar or bricks that have lost their structural integrity. If you have stone that needs repair, masonry repair covers that, too. Stone repair can include patching and repairing damaged stones and returning old stones to like-new condition.
Often, masonry repair involves replacing your stone, brick, and mortar in certain places. If that is necessary, the repair team will first need to match any new material to the surrounding material so that there is no change in appearance. Masonry can be damaged over time through normal wear and tear or by accidental damage. Either way, masonry repair experts can help.
What Is Masonry Restoration?
Masonry restoration is often a bigger project than masonry repair. Damaged masonry may only be a portion of a building’s masonry, and a repair job only focuses on the damaged part. Masonry restoration typically includes the entire building.
While regular repairs and maintenance can extend the life of any masonry, there comes a time when that is no longer possible. Eventually, the masonry has to be restored both to improve a buildings’ appearance and to ensure that it keeps standing. Masonry restoration is especially crucial in older, historical buildings. It can preserve them for generations to come when done properly. Even if your building does not have historical status, restoration improves its appearance which, in turn, improves its value.
The first step in masonry restoration is removing the old, worn out materials. Then it is replaced with brand new materials that match the originals. If your building was built with red bricks, masonry repair experts will replace them with red bricks that look exactly as the original bricks did when they were new. For older buildings, restoration is crucial for maintaining the structural integrity of the building as it ages. Mortar, cement, and bricks will weaken over time. It happens very slowly, but it does happen. Masonry buildings that never undergo restoration can be structurally unsound.
What Is The Difference Between Repair & Restoration?
There is a fine line between repairing and restoring masonry, since repair and restoration often involve much of the same work. The biggest difference is that repairs involve fixing cracks, chips, and crumbling mortar, while restoration involves fully replacing the masonry.
Restoration is a much bigger job, and the goal of restoration is to restore the building to its original appearance and structure. Repairs are much more common, more limited in scope, and have less to do with restoring the appearance of the building.
Almost every building owner will need to hire someone for masonry repairs at some point, but few will own a building long enough to require restoration. That is because almost every building will suffer damage on a regular basis, meaning that simple masonry repairs are performed regularly.
Masonry restoration is only needed when all of a building’s masonry needs to be replaced. Buildings take decades, often longer, to reach this point. In fact, regular masonry repairs can extend the life of your masonry and, therefore, prolong the time you have before you need to pay for a restoration.
Speak To A Commercial Masonry Contractor
If you think your building is in need of masonry repair or restoration, you should speak to a commercial masonry contractor soon. Letting damaged or old masonry go untouched can be dangerous, as it can weaken the structural integrity of the building.
Failing to address the problem quickly can also lead to more expensive repair needs. Repairs now can prevent the need for restoration, which is a much bigger and more expensive job. To have a professional contractor inspect your masonry and provide an estimate, contact Waterproof Caulking and Restoration today.