Signs of Impending Masonry & Mortar Failure

There is no substitute for a thorough and professional inspection; however, we encourage Burlington and Oakville masonry property owners to inspect their buildings regularly and check for signs of deterioration.

The masonry joints are a common starting point, as deteriorating mortar and gaps between the masonry units are easily visible and indicative of the need for maintenance and restoration. If the bricks have started cracking and damage or deterioration of the outside bricks is visible, it is highly recommended that you call a professional for Oakville and Burlington masonry restorations immediately – this is a clear indicator that repairs have been neglected for an extended period of time.

We also recommend scanning the building interior: cracking plaster on the walls, deformed edges along doors and windows, and moisture spots on the ceilings can often be traced down to masonry related issues. Maintenance of a masonry structure and its components is a preventative measure that yields significant long-run cost savings – we echo the advice of experts around the world that masonry building owners in Burlington and Oakville conduct regular and thorough inspections of their structures.

We are masons that have been serving the Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville regions for over 15 years with a code of conduct that is centered around the preservation and restoration of Ontario’s masonry heritage. We practice what we preach, and encourage our neighboring citizens to select masonry specialists that not only operate in accordance with the provincial building codes, but with experience in a sound craft and a love for the art of masonry in Oakville and Burlington.

Masonry Restoration and Repointing

As Canadians, we place considerable value and importance on heritage and masonry buildings in our country. Disappointingly, the same values are not always used to judge the work and quality of masons in our region, and due to the unregulated nature of the industry, repairs are often completed without adequate skill and regard for the underlying structure and its proprietor.

Our everlasting view on the matter persists: we have a fiduciary duty to the owners of Oakville and Burlington’s masonry buildings, and to the art of masonry as it has been practiced for thousands of years. As experienced masons – based out of the Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville regions – we have a responsibility to restore the historic and contemporary masonry structures which were built using skills refined over centuries of experimentation and tradition.

Repointing and Restoration

As with all other construction types, all masonry will eventually deteriorate. Points particularly susceptible to deterioration are located at the mortar joints – this is the sole reason why repointing masonry units with appropriate mortar is one of the most important features in a successful restoration. Finding the appropriate mortar can require considerable experience and industry know-how; even so, contracts are often rewarded to the lowest bidder.

To the residents of Burlington and Oakville, we stress the importance of repointing and it’s recognition as a technically demanding procedure, with considerations that include but are not limited to mortar that is: no stronger than needed; resistant to freeze and thaw cycles; with texture and color that match the existing mortar; and applied using a refined technique. Full contact between the existing mortar and the masonry units is absolutely essential in preventing water from infiltrating gaps and mortar must be selected with the worst possible environmental circumstances in mind. Our country’s unique and high varied climate often results in temperature fluctuations which catalyze the expansion and contraction of units, leading to cracking.

Criteria used by property owners and managers to evaluate masonry specialists in Burlington and Oakville must be stringent if we are to preserve our existing masonry buildings and our heritage.