As you drive through many neighborhoods in the regions of Texas, you will see many homes and businesses that chose to use brick. And why not? Brick is one of the most durable exterior choices available – and has been for many years. However, being durable does not mean it never needs to be replaced – just that it requires considerably less maintenance and can withstand a great deal of force.
However, there is sure to come a time – especially if you own an older home or business – when the brickwork may need to be repaired or perhaps removed and subsequently rebuilt. But how do you know what choice is best? In many cases, a seasoned mason can use tuck pointing to make the majority of brick repairs, but will need to see the damage in order to determine whether rebuilding or repairing will be best.
However, when the decision is made to repair masonry then it is important to talk to the mason and establish how the project will be approached. Some aspects to confirm include:
Mortar– Will the replacement mortar used be compatible with the remaining mortar? If it is not, then it can cause irreversible problems. If you want to ensure that the mason is telling you the right thing, consider having at least three masons look at the job and ask them what type of mortar they will be using. Obviously, their answers should match. Just a note – for historic locations or older buildings they should be using a mortar that has more lime in it as this allows the mortar to breathe.
Color – When brick repair is done to your Texas area property, you want it to match the existing color of your mortar, rather than have the repair stand out from the wall or chimney. This is often done through treatments, sometimes referred to as skins, such as color wash, penciling, the use of stucco, or lime wash. These treatments, while decorative, serve to protect the masonry, as well as aid in repairing it.
Joints – In many cases, brick repairs are needed because the mortar joint was done improperly at the time of the building. Quite often, this is corrected through repointing the wall.
Missing Bricks – If you have recently acquired an older property where there is brickwork, you will want to preserve the masonry as much as possible, rather than knocking it down and starting over. Quite often, older bricks can be found at architectural salvage companies that reclaim bricks from demolished historic structures. If this is not possible, there are companies that specialize in hand made bricks that mimic the look of antique bricks’ colors, faces, creases and corners so that matching new with old is accomplished.
So, should you knock over old brick and start again? Not unless there is no other alternative. A masonry team skilled in historic brick repair can make your place look great again.
The Omega Masonry team is happy to help you determine what to do about brick repairs. Our team is skilled in matching mortars, colors, mortar joints and more so that you can keep the integrity and style of your property. Give us a call, if you are in need of Texas masonry repairs. We are here to help.