Planning for masonry repair and maintenance will save you money

If your property has a masonry exterior or masonry features you need to plan to repair and maintain them. Proper planning will make the process easier. Proper maintenance will ensure you get the maximum service life out of your properties features. Maintaining your properties masonry features will save you money and prevent unnecessary damage to your property. Below are list of 5 common tasks that you should expect to complete if your property has brick, stone, or concrete.

  1. Repointing & Spot PointingIf your property has brick siding you can be assured that at some point repointing will be needed. In between each brick there is mortar. Mortar is there to fill the gap and seal the space in between bricks. Over time this mortar will age and require repair. The process of removing the damaged mortar and installing new mortar is called repointing. A properly repointed building should last 50+ years. In many cases specific areas will age more quickly. Often times this occurs around doors, windows, or close to ground near dirt or puddling. In the event that only specific areas have damaged mortar this can be addressed with spot pointing. Spot pointing is simply repairing the damaged mortar in specific spots on a building. Check out our Masonry Inspection article for more information.
  2. Window Caulking
    If you have brick siding, stucco siding, or stone veneer siding there is a joint or transition from the stone to the window. This joint is water sealed with caulking. Properly installed caulking is crucial to its effectiveness. On a new construction home window caulking should be assessed after 1 year due to potential settling. An established home should inspect and address caulking approximately every 5 years. Damaged caulking is relatively easy identify. Caulking should have a tight seal with no cracks. Any breaks in the seal will damaged by water and quickly cause additional damage.
  3. Window Lintel Replacement
    A window lintel is the horizontal support that holds the brick above a window. The lintel rests on the brick on both sides of the window. Over time the lintels will rust and begin to cause damage. Most commonly a potential lintel problem is spotted by identifying cracked bricks or mortar joints at the corner of a window. Once cracks are present water will begin to infiltrate the brick and mortar and settle on the lintel. When water sits on the lintel it will begin to rust the steel. If the problem is found earlier enough repointing the damaged area and applying a masonry sealer can fix the problem. If the lintel are rusted through they will need to be removed and replaced.
  4. Masonry Sealer
    If you have brick, natural stone, on concrete one thing to consider doing it sealing it. While not always absolutely required it is always a good idea to do if its within the budget. Most masonry materials are porous, which means they are able to absorb water. Excess water infiltration will expedite the aging process and cause additional problems. An added measure of protection to your masonry materials is sealer. Masonry sealer can be applied to walkways, siding, stairs, driveways, and almost any other masonry materials. The sealer acts as a repellent.  Anytime you can deflect water away from your masonry its something you should strongly consider.
  5. Masonry Cleaning
    In the Brookline, Boston, and Newton areas along with entire northeast we deal with winter. With winter comes salt and other deicing agents. Salt will slowly eat away at your masonry materials. In addition to salt, natural growth such as moss, dirt, and other grime will attach to your masonry materials and prematurely age them and discolor them. To prevent this, proper cleaning will make your property more aesthetically pleasing while also expanding its service life. Special care should be taken to only lightly power wash and chemically clean your masonry materials. First off you only want to do this if the mortar is in great shape. If it’s not repair the mortar first. There are various masonry cleaning products on the market. Talk to a masonry contractor to determine what is best for your property.

These 5 masonry repair projects will ensure the maximum life of your property. Completing these tasks in a timely manner will eliminate additional unnecessary damage to your property. Fitzgerald Restoration is a full service masonry contractor. If you have questions about maintenance or have a project you would like use to inspect and price out for you give us a call. We offer free estimates and we are fully licensed and insured. We service the Brookline, Boston, Newton, and surrounding areas.