We repair masonry in Back Bay on both historical and contemporary homes. We have worked extensively with some of the area’s foremost historical and conservation experts, and understand the importance of matching your bricks and stones and mortar.
Thermal expansion and contraction as well as structural settling can lead to a number of problems in masonry homes. Thermal expansion cracks look like stairwells that travel vertically into the upper portions of the wall. These cracks are typically located on the walls that directly face the sun but can also occur on abutting walls.
Structural settling cracks also look like stairs. However, they move both vertically and horizontally. Minor settling cracks are always expected to occur, but if you notice that the cracks in your home are exceptionally wide and seem to extend from the foundation of your home, call our team for an inspection immediately. We can help you determine the exact causes of your damage and help you develop a plan of action to address the repairs.
Chimneys can pose some of the most dangerous issues, if the mortar and/or masonry units begin to deteriorate. Loosened bricks and stones can fall from the rooftop and cause serious damage to both people and property. They can also lead to an interior collapse that can cause considerable damages inside of your home.
Matching Your Masonry
Matching bricks and stones is one of the most important aspects of performing an attractive masonry repair. Inconsistent coloring when you repair masonry in Back Bay can result in a finish that looks equally as unsightly as the damaged area was, prior to fixing it. Color, texture, size and look of “wearing” all need to be taken into consideration to produce a perfect match for your historical or contemporary home.
- Using a network of brick yards, conservation societies and customized masonry fabricators, we go to great lengths to get our clients the masonry units that will blend flawlessly with their properties.
Matching Your Mortar
Whenever you repair masonry in Back Bay, it is imperative to analyze the components of the original mortar that was used to construct your home, and then recreate the mixture for re-pointing or brick and stone replacement projects. Matching mortar combinations is important for two reasons:
- You want the new mortar to blend in with the existing joints.
- You need the new mortar to function as effectively as the original mix.
The density of your new mortar must support the masonry units of your home and allow them to expand and contract with the heat and the cold. It must also be more water permeable than the bricks or stones used to build your house, in order to draw and direct water away from the stonework and prevent it from infiltrating the structure or freezing inside the joints.
Pressure washers are highly effective tools to deep clean your masonry structures. However, too much pressure can be destructive to softer stone surfaces, such as sandstone, and cause further damage to cracked, crumbling and missing mortar joints. Always use power washers with caution.
Climbing plants, such as ivy, woodbine and trumpet creepers, are attractive and add an old-world, romantic appearance to any stone or brick structure. However, if allowed to grow unattended, and in the wrong location, roots and tendrils can infiltrate cracks in mortar, displace stones and trap moisture, which can easily freeze in the colder months, expand and cause significant damage. Keep an eye on your climbing plants and keep an even closer eye on how it may be affecting your masonry walls.
It is always best to start out with the gentlest methods of cleaning, before moving onto stronger acid or alkaline-based detergents. Before using any chemical-based cleaner, choose a test patch in an inconspicuous location and apply the cleaner to see how effective or damaging it may be. Depending upon the age and condition of your bricks and stones, you could wind up with discoloration and pitting, if the wrong type of cleaner is used.
Our team has nearly four decades of solid experience. We repair masonry in Back Bay, South End and Beacon Hill. We are always on-time and guarantee that you will be satisfied with the results of our work. Call and schedule your free, on-site estimate today.