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.