Masonry restoration is a vital service that helps preserve historic buildings by stabilizing them. It also protects them from further structural deterioration, saving money on expensive repairs in the future.
Historic buildings are a part of our cultural heritage. Choosing the right mason for your masonry restoration project is important to preserve the integrity of your building.
Restore The Aesthetics
Historic masonry restoration is not only a structural necessity but also a way to preserve the beauty of the building and enhance the value of the property. Hiring a professional masonry contractor is crucial to ensure the project is completed properly and that the final product looks as close to the original structure.
Historic building professionals, designers, engineers, and contractors must understand how historic masonry materials and wall systems function to develop appropriate repair/restoration treatments. In addition, they must be able to assess the condition of historic masonry buildings through field research, investigations, testing, and analysis.
Water infiltration is the primary cause of deterioration in most historic brick masonry structures. This occurs when the historic masonry is exposed to the elements without adequate waterproofing or drainage systems. Water infiltration results in wicking, expansion of ice within the brick, corrosion of internal steel reinforcement, and differential thermal expansion/contraction between the masonry and surrounding steel, leading to cracking and spalling.
Restore The Structural Integrity
Masonry is one of the most durable building materials available, but even masonry structures are not immune to wear and tear. With regular maintenance, brick-and-mortar buildings may become safe for occupants or visitors. Historic masonry restoration services help keep these structures structurally sound and safe.
While homeowners can attempt a masonry repair project independently, leaving these projects to the professionals is usually best. Masons specializing in historic masonry restoration know how to match the materials used in older buildings and understand the historical background and unique structure of each structure they work on.
For example, masons must understand that lime and sand were traditionally mixed in a way that cannot be replicated using modern tools and machinery. Matching the right type of mortar to a masonry structure is crucial, as it prevents moisture entrapment and other damage. Historic masonry restoration contractors also use appropriate repointing mortars that match the underlying materials and properties of the brick and masonry.
Restore The Functionality
Historic masonry restoration is not just about aesthetics and structural integrity; it also helps to preserve the function of a historic building. Masonry repair work can include repairs to deteriorated stairways, walkways, foundations, walls, windows and doors.
Repairs may include replacing the original masonry units or patching with cementitious materials. Regardless of method selection, the new material must match the properties of existing materials – such as compressive and flexural strength, density, water absorption and vapor transmission – for maximum durability.
The key to a successful masonry project is ensuring that the mason repairing a historic property is qualified. Choosing a mason who has completed the six-day Historic Masonry Preservation Certificate program offered through the International Masonry Institute is one way to guarantee that a skilled, experienced, and qualified masonry contractor will complete your project. Other qualifications include adherence to preservation standards, codes, and guidelines.
Restore The Value
Masonry repair and restoration is a process that requires experienced masons. Hiring the right masonry contractors ensures that you will get high-quality work done. This helps preserve your building and saves you money in the long run. In addition, it gives back to the community by holding a piece of history and creating jobs.
Historic buildings are typically built of stone or brick masonry and often need repairs to the mortar. Repairing the mortar will help prevent further brick deterioration and avert future costs from structural issues.
Historic masonry repair requires specialized care that differs from modern masonry practices. Finding a contractor with experience working with historical masonry materials is important to match the mortar blend seamlessly with existing brick or stone work. This will help the restoration project last longer and withstand the weather and the elements. The right repair will make your historic building look like new again.