Masonry restoration is a term that construction companies apply to the application of masonry techniques on existing constructions. For some companies, this involves nothing more than providing the right cleaning methods to restore the appearance of a structure. To others, it involves a complex procedure of removing the masonry or its mortar, replacing a variety of components and rebuilding parts or all of the structure – interior or exterior, sometimes both.
Masonry Restoration Work: Understanding the Past
The purpose of masonry restoration is to take a beat up and decaying structure and make it look as good as new. To accomplish this, the mason has to understand the past. It is essential to have a thorough knowledge of the structure and building techniques of past decades and centuries. In this field, a good mason contractor knows the difference between the methods used to construct a building in the 1950s and those used in the 1850s.
Recognizing specific types of brick, stone and other structural materials is not enough. Knowing how they are melded together into a cohesive structure is essential if the restoration work is to be successful. In this task, one of the most common issues a contractor, historic building restorer and masonry specialist must address is tuck pointing.
Masonry Restoration and Tuck Pointing
One of the main techniques in masonry restoration is the procedure called tuck pointing. Known more commonly as repointing, it involves removing the old mortar and replacing it with new mortar. Masons may also have to remove the entire joint and replace it with a new brick or stone duplicate. These may be precast after a model is created of each brick or stone.
The mortar a mason may require in tuck pointing needs to mimic the original in color and texture. Many buildings used lime mortar with a small amount of Portland cement prior to World War II. Over time, Portland cement replaced the lime mortar. Since then, the mortar has changed in texture and qualities. In the past, mortar was more ductile. As a component of the building skin, it worked with the soft brick to provide a membrane that gathered moisture in the wet and let it free in dry weather. Today, with harder brick and mortar, it is essential to cover any material with a sealant. This has become a common part of normal masonry restoration work.
Masonry Restoration: A Complex Task
Buildings do not last forever without proper maintenance. Restoration work can and will bring it up to code and renew its appearance. At the same time, such construction work contributes to its endurance of life and weather elements for another decade or even a century. The role of masonry restoration, particularly point tucking, plays a significant role in this process.
If you care about your commercial, industrial or residential stone or brick structure, you must maintain it. If you have any doubts about its condition, talk to the masonry restoration specialists at Soumar Masonry Restoration. Their attention to detail is matched only by their quality craftsmanship and customer service. To learn what they can bring to your restoration project, contact them online at soumar.com. You can also connect with them on Facebook for more update!
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