What is Masonry and Why is it Important?

What is Masonry?

Masonry refers to the construction of structures using individual units. These units are usually laid in mortar and then bound together with mortar. However, the term masonry can also be used to describe the actual units. Brick, building stones like marble, granite, and travertine; cast stone; cinder block, and glass block are all common materials in masonry construction.

Masonry is a durable type of construction. The durability of masonry depends on the quality and design of the mortar, workmanship, and how the units are assembled.

What is Masonry?

Masonry has been used as a durable and reliable form of construction for hundreds of years. Masonry is still a popular choice for residential and commercial construction projects. Masonry can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including walls and floors, fireplaces, patios, and many other applications.

Masonry is not only beautiful, but it’s also very durable and strong. Masonry structures can last hundreds of years if they are properly constructed. Masonry is a great choice for both remodeling and new construction.

What are the Benefits of Masonry?

Masonry construction offers many advantages over other types. Masonry is durable, strong, fire-resistant, and soundproof. It’s also thermally efficient. You can also use Masonry walls to make beautiful, unique buildings.

Because of its many advantages, masonry is a popular choice in both residential and commercial construction. Contact a local masonry contractor if you are interested in masonry tools for your next construction project.

What is Masonry?

Masonry refers to the construction of buildings with individual pieces that are laid in mortar and then bound together by mortar. Bricks, stones, or concrete blocks are the most common types of units. Masonry, which dates back to ancient times, is one of the oldest types of construction.

These are the reasons why Masonry is so beloved:

01. Durability:

Masonry is a very durable material. Masonry can withstand extreme weather and won’t rot, warp or corrode. Hailstones, stones from destruction, and accidental car bumps in the lot won’t cause damage to Masonry.

Brick mortar repair

02. Fire Resistance:

Masonry is fireproof and won’t catch on fire. This protects your valuables and property, as well as your investment. These elements are non-combustible and fire-resistant.

03. Termite Resistance:

Masonry is highly resistant to termites, and other wood-destroying insect pests. It’s a great choice in areas where these pests are common. Masonry is non-organic, so it does not provide termites with the food they need to survive.

04. Structural Integrity

Masonry is one of the most widely used building materials around the globe. Masonry has been a popular choice over the centuries due to its strength and beauty. Masonry can be made of bricks, concrete blocks, or stones that are joined by mortar. Masonry is used to build walls, floors, and other structural elements.

Masonry is a versatile material that can be used for a wide range of purposes. Masonry is used extensively in commercial and residential construction. Masonry can be used for both interior and exterior walls. Masonry is also popular for outdoor fire pits and fireplace surrounds.

Masonry can be used for any roofing system. You can use it to build floors or support roofs.

06. Better Insulated (R values):

Because they are thicker, masonry walls are more insulated than wood frame walls. An 8” CMU wall has an R-value of R-1.5 per in. This compares to a stud wall, which is R-0.6 per in.

This means that masonry walls are 2 1/2 times more resistant to heat flow than stud walls. Additionally, masonry walls are thermally massed to help stabilize indoor temperature swings due to changes in outside temperature.

Metal walls are more resistant to extreme temperatures than mass-masonry walls. This allows for a constant temperature inside, which lowers heating and cooling costs.

07. Design flexibility

Masonry can be used in many ways to create various looks and designs. Masonry can be used for walls, floors, and patios. Masonry is a strong material that can last many years if it is properly maintained. Masonry units can be manufactured quickly and delivered in a matter of days.

8. Environmentally safe:

Masonry is a natural product that’s made from clay, sand, and water. It doesn’t produce harmful gases or leaches harmful chemicals into soil or groundwater.

Additional safety and health benefits are offered by pre-finished masonry units, such as Ultra Burnished or colored Fullface split units.

9. Transmission of sound is less

Masonry walls can absorb and transmit sound well. The mass of a brick wall in masonry is greater than a wall made from wood frames. Bricks and mortar within a masonry wall act as an acoustic barrier to reduce sound transmission.

Brick mortar repair

Unwanted sounds can be distracting at work or in your home. Masonry is a great way to reduce unwanted noise and sound.

10 Discount on your Initial and Life-Cycle Fees

Concrete masonry allows you to complete your projects in one piece. Masonry will never rust, change in color or become brittle due to the elements. This eliminates the need for maintenance and painting.

12. Low rates of insurance:

Masonry is non-combustible and therefore has a low insurance rate. Masonry construction offers greater protection against fires, break-ins, and other types of damage than any other type.

13. Better Resale Value:

Masonry buildings look better than steel or metal, and they last longer.

Depending on the availability of masonry units you can choose stone-rubble, brick (Burnt Clay Brick), block Masonry (Solid Block), lightweight concrete blocks (AAC), and gabion.

Last words

Masonry is a durable, versatile, and environmentally-friendly construction material. Masonry is easy to maintain and lasts a long time. Masonry buildings look better than steel and metal, and last longer. Masonry is the best choice if you’re looking for a material that can provide all these benefits.

Brick Fireplaces

How to paint brick fireplace

Remove Any Old Paint Or Debris From The Brick

Before you can apply new paint to your fireplace, you’ll need to remove any old paint or debris from the brick surface. You can do this by using a wire brush or a power washer. If you’re using a power washer, be careful not to damage the bricks.

Apply A Primer

Once the brick surface is clean, you’ll need to apply a primer. This will help the new paint to adhere to the bricks. Choose a primer that’s specific for use on masonry surfaces. Apply the primer with a roller or a brush, and then allow it to dry completely.

Choose Your Paint Color

Now it’s time to choose your paint color. You can use any color you like, but it’s important to choose a paint that’s specifically for use on masonry surfaces. Apply the paint with a roller or a brush, and then allow it to dry completely

Apply A Coat Of Primer To The Brick

Brick is a very porous material, and paint will not adhere to it well without a primer. Be sure to use a masonry primer, which can be purchased at any home improvement store. You will likely need two coats of primer. Once the primer is dry, you can begin painting.

Use A Brick Paint

You will also need to buy brick paint, which is different from regular paint. Brick paint is made specifically for porous surfaces like brick and stone. It is typically latex-based and can be tinted to any color you desire. Apply the paint with a roller or brush, using light even strokes. Two coats should be sufficient.

Let The Paint Dry Completely

After painting, it is important to let the paint dry completely before using the fireplace. This typically takes 24 hours but may take longer depending on the temperature and humidity levels in your home. Once the paint is dry, you can enjoy your newly painted brick fireplace!

Paint The Brick Using A Weather-resistant Paint

Brick is a very porous material, which means it can absorb a lot of moisture. This can be a problem, especially if you live in an area with high humidity levels.

Brick Fireplaces

To combat this, you’ll need to use weather-resistant paint on your brick fireplace. There are many different types of paints out there that claim to be weather-resistant, so make sure you do your research before making a purchase.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re using the right type of brush for the job. A natural bristle brush will work best for painting Brick Fireplaces. Nylon or polyester brushes are not recommended because they can leave behind streaks.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect paint and brush, it’s time to get started. Begin by painting the mortar joints first. You can use a small brush for this task. Once the mortar joints are painted, move on to painting the bricks themselves.

Start with one side of the fireplace and work your way around until all sides are complete. Be sure to paint in the crevices and cracks as well as on the flat surfaces of the bricks.

Allow the paint to dry completely before using the fireplace. This usually takes 24-48 hours. And that’s it! You’ve successfully painted your brick fireplace.

Seal The Paint With A Sealant For Extra Protection

You can choose to leave your newly painted fireplace as-is or cover it with a sealant for extra protection. A sealant will also help to ensure that the paint color does not fade over time from exposure to sunlight and other elements. If you do decide to add a sealant, be sure to use one that is specifically designed for fireplaces and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Allow the sealant to dry completely before using the fireplace again.

Brick Fireplaces

Enjoy Your New Painted Fireplace

Now that your fireplace is painted, take a step back and enjoy your handiwork! A fresh coat of paint can really brighten up a room, and you now have a beautiful new addition to your home. Whether you want to keep the Brick Fireplace’s natural look or go for something more daring, there are endless possibilities when it comes to painting Brick Fireplaces. With a little bit of creativity and effort, you can transform your fireplace into a true work of art. Thanks for reading, and happy painting!

Seal The Paint With A Sealant For Extra Protection

Brick fireplaces are a beautiful addition to any home. But over time, they can become dull and outdated. If you’re looking for a way to update your fireplace without spending a lot of money, painting it is a great option.

Before you begin painting your brick fireplace, it’s important to clean the surface and remove any soot or dirt. Once the fireplace is clean, you’ll need to apply a primer before painting. This will help the paint adhere to the bricks better.

When choosing a paint color for your fireplace, it’s important to consider the overall style of your home. You may want to choose a color that matches the trim or other accent colors in your home.

If you want to be extra sure that your paint job will last, then you can seal the brick fireplace with a sealant. You can find Brick sealants at most hardware stores. Just follow the instructions on the package and apply the sealant with a brush or roller. Let the sealant dry completely before painting over it.

Chimney repair – A complete Guide

Most people don’t give their chimney much thought – until there’s a problem. Then, it’s suddenly very important! If you’re having issues with your chimney, it’s important to get them fixed as soon as possible. Chimney repair can be a big job, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about repairing your chimney.

Masonry Chimney 101

A chimney made of masonry can be made out of many materials, including concrete, bricks, mortar, concrete block and concrete block, cast iron and steel, and flue tile.

These materials can be very vulnerable to rainwater damage if they’re not properly installed or maintained.

External factors can cause serious damage to extremely porous chimneys.

Common Chimney Problems

A Chimney is an important part of your home, providing ventilation for your fireplace or stove. It’s also one of the most vulnerable parts of your home, exposed to the elements and subject to wear and tear. Over time, your chimney can develop problems that need to be repaired.

Cracks

Cracks in the crown or firebox can be considered fire hazards under the NFPA.

The reason for this is that smoke from a chimney can contain waste particles from a fire.

The black smoke that comes out of a chimney is

These small particles can build up and accumulate inside cracks in the masonry.

This illustration shows the buildup of a chimney flue. It can cause a fire hazard.

Brick cracks can lead to small areas of carbon buildup and waste particles. Some of these could be flammable.

Creosote (an oily substance) is the real culprit. Creosote (an oily substance) is a very similar substance to soot and can ignite by sparks.

Creosote, a flammable chemical, is formed from smoke and vapors of burning wood.

Please Click Here for a Complete Article about Creosote.

Chimney repair

If creosote buildup is more than 1/4 inch, it’s time to have a chimney cleaned.

Look for cracks in mortar around the chimney and fireplace.

Every day, more than 61 chimney fires are lit in the United States.

Don’t panic if cracks develop in your fireplace or chimney.

Fireplace cracks can be repaired quickly. Fire risk could increase if it is not fixed promptly.

Water Penetration

Water penetration can occur at multiple points.

While water penetration can lead to mold growth, destruction, and other serious consequences,

When water reacts with creosote, it becomes acidic. This accelerates brick and mortar decay in fireplaces and chimneys.

Water can get into the chimney through cracks in the crown or chimney shelf.

This can also happen due to defective flashing at the roof–the to-chimbal junction.

Water damage can occur to exterior mortar and interior walls.

To avoid all these dangers, keep a schedule for chimney inspections. Make sure that there is no water infiltration inside any chimney or fireplace.

These water-repellent treatments (also called “waterproofing”) can keep water from your chimney

Crown of Chimneys Broken

The chimney crown, which is located at the top of a chimney, acts as a shield against a number of dangers.

The crown should have an upward slope that directs water away from the flue edges. This prevents mortar or brick from eroding along the vertical chimney surfaces.

A properly constructed chimney crown should be overhanging, made from Portland cement-based mix.

Faulty Flashing

Flashing is the process of sealing the space between the chimney and the roof to keep rainwater out.

It is basically an expansion joint that’s made from two different materials. It allows the chimney and roof to expand and contract at the right rates, without causing any damage.

Here’s an example of flashing which allows water to enter a house that is under construction.

Incorrect Dimensions

If your Chimney is the incorrect dimensions, it will not function properly. The Chimney should be at least 2 feet taller than anything within a 10-foot radius of it. If it isn’t, you could have serious drafting problems. In addition, the Chimney should have a cap that is at least 3 inches wider than the Chimney opening.

Caps that are too small allow rain and snow to enter the Chimney, which can cause serious damage. If you don’t have a cap, or if yours is the wrong size, call a professional to have one installed.

Chimney Caps

A cap is required to prevent water from entering your chimney. This will prevent birds and squirrels from getting into your chimney opening. This is basically a way to get rid of any clutter in your home, such as leaves.

You can also use a cap to keep your home safe from animals that might enter your chimney and cause a fire. A Chimney cap will also help you save money on your heating bill.

If you live in an area where it snows, you need to make sure that your chimney is clear of any snow or ice. If there is any buildup, it can cause your chimney to collapse.

Chimney Deterioration

Bricks, mortar, and other building materials can be damaged by being left in the elements.

Damage to chimney walls is slowly occurring from external elements

A falling chimney is an indication that it is time to rebuild. Bricks are not viable anymore.

Chimney repair

Leaning Chimneys

Has your chimney been checked by a professional to ensure it is not leaning? A lean chimney can cause serious damage to your property, and even collapse.

This is a list of common problems that can occur with your fireplace or chimney.

It is recommended that chimneys be inspected annually to ensure safety and prevent costly repairs.

Inspect your fireplace and chimney every month to ensure that there are no problems.

A 5-minute annual visual inspection can help you save thousands on chimney and fireplace repairs.

A quick checklist for inspecting chimneys and fireplaces.

Check your fireplace for cracks or loose bricks.

Be sure to check the firebox for cracks or broken bricks.

Make sure the damper is off.

Check the chimney exterior for cracks and damage.

Repair any cracks or damage to your fireplace before you use it again.

 

Brick Mortar Repair in 6 Steps

Although pointing is an easy job, it requires care and the use of the right tools. Without mortar to hold it together, even the most exquisite brickwork can be just as much rubble.

What is Mortar Repointing?

Repointing is when mortar cracks, recedes or falls out of joints. Although this is an easy job, it requires care. You must use the right tools and materials to prevent brick damage and permanent wall defects. This means we use hand tools and lime mortars that are similar to those used by masons 100 years ago.

Mortar over Old Mortar?

You can repoint bricks older than 50 years with modern portland cement-based mortar. However, the guy who will be repointing your next house may not approve of your choice. If your house was built prior to World War II, it is likely that the mortar contains a mixture of lime putty, and sand, so you will need to match it.

If the mortar is not matched, the bond between the brick and rock-hard mortar will eventually break. The bricks will begin to pop off as moisture gets trapped in the walls. Lime mortar is a traditional cushion that flexes with the brick’s movement and allows moisture to move freely out of the wall.

An experienced restoration mason will analyze your mortar to create a compatible mixture. Or, you can send samples of mortar to the U.S. You can also request a blend that is identical to Heritage. Hydraulic lime comes in bags, hardens with water, and is similar to portland cement. Lime putty mortar comes in buckets, hardens slowly with carbon dioxide in the air, and comes in bags.

Brick mortar repair

6 Steps to Mortar Bricks

Step 1

Remove the Bed Joints

To remove horizontal joints, scrape them to a depth of at minimum 3/4 inches. Joints that are more than 1/2 inch wide must be dug to a depth of at least 3/4 inch. These 1/4-inch “butter joints” can be cut with a carbide-tipped grout saw. For larger joints, a cold chisel or an engineer’s tool can be used. Avoid electric angle grinders. They can easily cut through bricks if you aren’t skilled in using them.

 

Step 2

Clear out the Head Joints

Dig out the vertical joints after removing three to four courses of mortar for the bed-joint mortar. Pay attention not to strike the brick edges below or above. This is where the mortar is removed by tapping a 5-in-1 hammer on a painter’s knife.

Step 3

Wash Down The Wall

With a stiff-bristled toothbrush, remove all crumbly material. Next, check that your tuckpointing trowel blade fits into the joint. You can grind the blade down with an abrasive tool if it is too long. Mist the brick with water until it is completely damp. This is important because dry materials can suck moisture from the mortar, preventing it from curing properly. Do not fill the joints until the next day.

Step 4

Mix the Mortar

Again, mist the brick. Follow the instructions on the bag to stir the water into the dry mixture until it becomes a peanut butter-like consistency and sticks to a trowel. Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes until it forms a thin layer of water. Mix the water back into the mixture. Now the mortar is ready for use. It will remain usable for eight hours. You can “retemper,” it if it becomes too dry during that time by adding water occasionally.

Brick mortar repair
Man laying bricks

Step 5

Fill the Joints

A dollop of mortar should be poured onto a brick trowel, hawk, or another flat surface. The mortar should be held up with a bed joint and pushed against the back with the tuckpointing trowel. After removing any voids, make a few passes along the trowel’s edge to fill them in. Then add more mortar until you have filled the joint. After you have completed three to four courses of bed joints, fill the head joints. Final step: Smoothen and compact all mortar using the trowel’s flat surface. Finally, remove any mortar from the brick.

Step 6

Brush the Wall

Brush diagonally across the mortar to remove any mortar crumbs. The fresh mortar can be pulled out by brushing in line with joints. Next, carefully remove any mortar residue from the brick faces. Use a tarp to cover the mortar joints against the sun, wind, or rain for the next three days. Give the wall a misting every day to keep it moist.

How to drill into brick

How to Drill Into Brick

Choose The Right Drill Bit

The type of drill bit you’ll need to use will depend on the job you’re planning to do. For most projects, a standard masonry drill bit will suffice. These bits are designed for use with a power drill and will easily bore through brick.

If you’re working with particularly hard bricks or planning to do a lot of drilling, you may want to invest in a carbide-tipped masonry bit. These bits are more expensive than standard masonry bits, but they stay sharper for longer, making them ideal for tougher jobs.

Attach The Drill Bit

Once you’ve selected the right drill bit, it’s time to attach it to your power drill. Make sure the drill is turned off before you begin.

If you’re using a standard masonry bit, simply insert the shank (the un-toothed end) into the drill’s chuck and tighten it until it’s snug. If you’re using a carbide-tipped bit, you’ll need to first insert a pilot drill into the chuck. This is a small drill bit that will create a guide hole for the carbide bit. Once the pilot drill is in place, insert the carbide bit into the pilot drill and tighten both in the chuck.

Prepare The Area

Before you start drilling, take a few moments to prepare the area where you’ll be working. Cover any surfaces nearby that could be damaged by flying debris, and clear away any loose bricks or other obstacles that could get in your way.

Mark The Spot

Once the area is prepared, it’s time to mark the spot where you’ll be drilling. Use a pencil or chalk to draw a dot or X on the brick where you want the hole to be. This will give you a starting point to work from and help ensure that your drill bit doesn’t wander.

Start Drilling

With the drill bit attached and the area prepared, you’re finally ready to start drilling. Put on safety goggles or glasses to protect your eyes, and hold the drill so that the bit is lined up with your mark. Then, switch on the drill and apply steady pressure as you bore into the brick.

If you’re using a standard masonry bit, you shouldn’t have any trouble drilling through the brick. If you’re using a carbide-tipped bit, however, you may need to apply a little more pressure to get started. Once the bit starts biting into the brick, it should drill through relatively easily.

Take Your Time

Drilling through brick isn’t a race, so there’s no need to hurry. Go slowly and steadily, and let the drill do the work. If you push too hard, you risk breaking the drill bit or damaging the bricks.

Drilling through brick can create a lot of dust, so it’s a good idea to wear a dust mask to protect your lungs. If possible, drill outdoors or in a well-ventilated area to minimize the amount of dust you’re exposed to.

How to drill into brick

Monitor The Temperature

Drilling through brick generates a lot of friction, which can cause the drill bit and the bricks themselves to heat up quickly. Keep an eye on the temperature of both, and take a break if either starts to get too hot.

Let The Dust Settles

Once you’ve drilled through the brick, it’s important to let the dust settle before continuing with your project. Wait a few minutes for the dust to settle, then use a vacuum or damp cloth to clean up any remaining debris.

Now that you know how to drill into brick, you can tackle all sorts of projects around your home or office. With the right drill bit and a little patience, you can easily bore through brick to create the perfect hole for your needs.

Use A Level To Keep The Bit Straight

Wearing safety goggles, hold the drill bit at a 90-degree angle to the brick. If necessary, use a hammer to help drive the bit into the brick. Start the drill on low speed and then increase the speed once it has caught. Use a level to keep the drill bit straight as you drill.

Apply Firm, Steady Pressure

As you drill, apply firm, steady pressure. Don’t push too hard or the bit will slip. If the bit starts to slip, reposition it and try again.

Use A Masonry Bit

For best results, use a masonry bit designed for use with brick. These bits have sharp, carbide tips that can cut through brick quickly and easily.

Masonry bits come in a variety of sizes. Choose the size that is appropriate for the job at hand. For example, if you need to drill a large hole, you will need a larger bit than if you only need to make a small hole.

How to drill into brick

Keep Your Hands Clear Of The Drill While It’s In Use

.If you’re not using a drill press, make sure to keep your hands clean of the area where the bit will be exiting the brick.

Wear Protective Gear. You should always wear gloves and safety glasses when working with power tools.

Choose The Right Drill Bit. To drill into brick, you’ll need to use a masonry bit. These bits are made of carbide or diamond and are much harder than standard metal or wood bits.

Mark The Location Of The Hole With A Chalk Line Or Pencil. Use a level to make sure your home is straight, then mark the spot with a chalk line or pencil.

Start Drilling Slowly And Increase Speed Gradually. Apply firm, even pressure as you start drilling. Once the bit has penetrated the surface of the brick, you can increase speed.

Let The Bit Do The Work. Don’t apply too much pressure, as this can cause the bit to slip or break.

Cool, The Bit Frequently. To extend the life of your drill bit, it’s important to keep it cool while you’re working. Every few minutes, stop drilling and allow the bit to cool in a cup of water.

Remove The Dust Regularly. Drilling into brick creates a lot of dust. To avoid breathing in this dust, which can be harmful, make sure to remove it regularly with a vacuum or brush attachment.

9 Reasons Why Brick Repair is the Best Choice for Your 2022 Home Improvement Project.

When it comes to home renovations, brick repair is often an overlooked option. Many people believe that repairing brick is expensive and difficult, but this is not always the case. In fact, repairing brick can be a cost-effective and easy way to improve the look of your home.

If you are considering a home renovation project, here are nine reasons why you should choose brick repair over other options.

1. Brick is a classic material that will never go out of style.

Brick has a long history of use in construction, and its timeless appearance makes it a popular choice for both traditional and contemporary designs. With its distinctive colour and textured surface, brick can complement any style or aesthetic, adding character and elegance to any space.

Furthermore, as a remarkably durable material, brick can last for centuries with proper care. A well-maintained home built of brick is an investment that will stand the test of time, providing a classic and stylish backdrop to your family’s life events.

Whether you’re building a new house or giving your existing home an update, brick should be high on your list of considerations.

2. Brick is durable and long-lasting.

Brick is one of the most durable and long-lasting construction materials available. Properly installed and maintained by trained professionals, brick homes can stand the test of time, remaining beautiful and functional for years to come.

Moreover, brick is resistant to fire, weathering, pests, and other environmental factors, making it a low-maintenance option for homeowners. With regular care and maintenance by a professional team of contractors, brick homes can be a sound and safe choice for your home building needs.

Whether you choose to use brick as an exterior material or incorporate it into your indoor construction plans, this sturdy material will certainly stand the test of time.

3. Brick repair can be completed quickly, with minimal disruption to your daily routine.

Brick repair projects are a great way to maintain the beauty and integrity of your home, whatever your needs may be. Whether you are looking for a fast and easy solution for small aesthetic issues, or you desire a more substantial renovation that will require professional help, brick repair can be completed quickly and with minimal disruption to your daily routine.

Thanks to advanced materials and techniques, installing new bricks or repairing existing ones can be done quickly and efficiently by experienced professionals who understand how best to work with this timeless building material.

And with so many options available in terms of design and colour, you can rest assured that your home will always look its best, no matter what the season or weather conditions. So if you are considering a brick repair project for your home, don’t hesitate! With the help of knowledgeable professionals, you can achieve your dream results in no time.

4. Brick is easy to maintain and clean.

Brick is a low-maintenance material and only requires occasional cleaning to keep it looking its best.

When it comes to choosing a low-maintenance building material, few options can match the ease and convenience of brick. This time-tested material is renowned for its durability and easy upkeep and only requires occasional cleaning to keep it looking its best. When it does need to be cleaned, brick is easy to power wash or scrub with soap and water.

As a result, it is an ideal choice for busy homeowners who want to spend more time enjoying their homes and less time on upkeep. Whether you are building a new home or renovating an existing one, consider using brick as a low-maintenance option that will stand the test of time.

5. Brick adds value to your home and can increase its resale value.

Brick is an extremely valuable material for home construction and one that can greatly increase the resale value of your house. Because brick is extremely durable and low-maintenance, buyers are often willing to pay more for a brick home than for other types of construction.

This is particularly true in Southern Ontario, which has a long history of using masonry materials like brick in its architecture. As such, if you’re looking to get the most out of your investment, choosing brick for exterior walls is an excellent choice that can drastically increase your home’s resale value down the line.

So whether you’re building a new home or renovating your existing one, consider opting for brick so that you can rest assured knowing that your house will stand the test of time.

6. Brick is energy-efficient and can help reduce your energy bills.

Brick is a highly effective insulator and can be a great way to improve the energy efficiency of your home. In the winter, it helps to keep heat in, preventing your furnace or other heating systems from having to work as hard. And in the summer, it keeps out the heat, helping to keep your home cooler and more comfortable without consuming as much energy.

What’s more, by improving the insulation properties of your home, brick can help you save money on your energy bills all year round. Whether you’re thinking about installing new windows or upgrading your central air system, replacing or adding the bricks of your house may be a cost-effective and quick approach to reduce energy expenses.

With its unique ability to regulate temperature no matter what season it is, brick is an excellent choice for anyone committed to conserving energy and saving money!

7. Brick is environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Brick is a sustainable and environmentally friendly material that can be used in a variety of ways. It is made from natural materials, such as clay and water, and does not produce any harmful emissions during production. In addition, brick is recyclable and can be reused or repurposed in several ways. For example, old bricks can be crushed and used as gravel or landscaping fill. 

Brick is an increasingly popular choice for sustainably-minded builders and homeowners in Ontario, Canada. In fact, the use of brick helps to conserve energy and resources throughout the product’s life cycle. From the extraction of raw materials to the end-of-life recycling of used brick, this durable material sustainably supports our built environment.

8. Brick is non-toxic and safe for children and pets.

Brick is a non-toxic material that is safe for children and pets. Due to its non-toxic nature, it does not off-gas or releases any harmful chemicals into the air when used in homes with young children or indoor pets.

In addition, because brick is fireproof and non-combustible, it does not contribute to indoor air pollution or pose any safety risks for young children or vulnerable family members. Therefore, for families with young children or inside pets, brick is a great choice for flooring and home building materials.

Not only does it provide a non-toxic and secure living environment, but it also helps to strengthen the structural integrity of the home by providing an extra layer of protection from fires and other disasters.

9. Brick can be used in a variety of home improvement projects.

Home improvement projects generally see a significant uptick during the summer months. Homeowners have more free time and the weather is conducive to working outdoors. That being said, you don’t have to wait until summer to start your brick project. Starting now can give you a leg up on the competition come 2022. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 

  • Walkway: A brick walkway is a great way to add curb appeal to your home. It’s also a relatively simple project that can be completed in a weekend. 
  • Chimney Repair: If your home has a brick chimney, chances are it could use some repair. Winter weather can take its toll on both the bricks and the mortar. Investing in repairs now will help to prevent costly damage down the road. 
  • Garden Wall: Building a brick wall around your garden is not only functional but also adds an element of beauty. Tall plants or climbing vines would look lovely growing up the sides of the wall. 

 

There are endless possibilities when it comes to using brick in home improvement projects. Whether you’re looking to add curb appeal, repair damage, or simply add a bit of beauty to your home, brick is a great choice.

Classic and stylish, bricks are a timeless material that can add character and curb appeal to any home. And because they’re so durable, well-maintained bricks can last for centuries.

So if you’re looking for a project that will make a lasting impression, call our team of experienced professionals today. We’ll have your bricks looking good as new in no time.

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.

Concrete vs. Clay Bricks

Clay Brick vs. Concrete Block

When compared to other forms of construction, the durability and resistance of masonry structures is seldom questioned. Masonry systems have stood the test of time, and rightfully earned a reputation for resilience against the elements. Considering even man-made perils, such as fire, masonry still consistently outperforms all other constructions; resisting against outright destruction which is characteristic of wood frame buildings, and outlasting the warping and ultimate collapse of steel-skeleton structures. Notwithstanding these irrefutable benefits, a masonry structure’s environmental and mechanical resistance will naturally vary and depend on the construction method and the materials employed.

Clay Brick

Undoubtedly one of the most fundamental and durable building materials ever invented, clay bricks have been used in construction for thousands of years. The method of construction and materials have been perfected over centuries, and the durability of clay brick is dependent on the following five factors:

1. The quality of the raw/fabrication material;
2. The manufacturing process and firing condition;
3. The resultant properties of the hardened brick;
4. The conditions to which the bricks were exposed since construction; and
5. The rate of maintenance and repair.

The naturally-occurring raw material known as raw clay consists of a complex mixture of minerals in varying proportions. Production begins with selection of the clay materials and ends with the firing of the clay units; with mixing, molding and drying occurring in between. Optimal proportions of sand, clay and water along with the drying and firing temperature are integral to the quality of the hardened brick.

The clay’s composition and the manufacturing process significantly affect the dimension and distribution of the brick’s pores which has a significant impact on its durability. Consequently, treatments to enhance durability after construction is reduced to acting on external conditions – as changing the brick’s composition post-production is not possible. Preventing the invasion of water in to the brick’s mass, controlling moisture and managing the brick’s salt content are the main methods of managing the brick’s exposure to harmful conditions and increasing its durability.

Concrete

Unlike clay brickwork, concrete block masonry is a relatively recent development which started being used as a building material in the mid-19th century. Concrete block walls provide sound structural resistance along with thermal and acoustic insulation all while accommodating for fast and easy installations – facilitated by the block’s precise unit measurements and modular characteristics.

Concrete blocks are composed of Portland cement, aggregates and water with production being highly automated in large industrial plants. The mix of materials is placed in a metallic mold, vibrated in to shape, and cured at an average temperature of 70°C for up to 18 hours. The durability of concrete block masonry is less dependant on externalities, and more on design and construction errors. While concrete can fall susceptible to things like efflorescence (the migration of salts from the interior to the surface material of the masonry) the effects are mainly aesthetic, and without compromise to structural integrity. Furthermore, pathologies can be prevented by deploying low-absorption blocks with high compressive strength and rebar protection.

While both concrete blocks and clay bricks can serve similar functions, skilled masons understand the inherent strengths and weaknesses which influence the conditions in which they are deployed.

Source: Ghiassi, Bahman, and Lourenc̦o Paulo B. Long-Term Performance and Durability of Masonry Structures: Degradation Mechanisms, Health Monitoring and Service Life Design. Woodhead Publishing, 2019.

Masonry in Hamilton

Along with Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Ontario is one of the original provinces, and in 1867 it formed part of the federated colony which was to become a sovereign nation. Although not known for its architectural qualities and still quite young compared to it’s global, sovereign confederates, Ontario is home to some of Canada’s oldest and most unique structures.
Among these historic and celebrated structures is Dundurn Castle, the 18,000 square-foot neoclassical mansion located on York Boulevard in Hamilton Ontario. The castle was raised over a period of 3 years -ending in 1835 – and its construction costs totaled $175,000; equivalent today to over $6,000,000. Established at the former site of a British military encampment, the castle’s heritage and stunning masonry façade overlooks the city of Hamilton, while the back graciously faces Burlington Bay. Hamilton’s masonry marvel is situated on grounds which feature many historically and architecturally significant structures; their heritage value lying in their Italianate, Gothic revival and Classical style design and in the prominent politician and businessman, Sir Alan Napier MacNab for whom they were built. The prominent and picturesque qualities of the buildings and landscape include the 19th century front entrance gates which were originally imported from England and the stone pillars which were cut from the Dundas Mountain. Purchased by the city of Hamilton in 1900 and receiving a significant investment for the renovation of its brick construction, the castle’s halls and rooms along with their characteristic panoramic views are now open to the public.

Hamilton’s ancient architectural implications extend to the English Gothic style St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church: designed by one of the founders of the Canadian architectural profession, William Thomas.  Receiving his architectural training in England, the Anglo-Canadian architect was renowned for designing some of the finest decorated Gothic Revival architecture in Canada. St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church – erected over the years from 1854 to 1857 – boasts a spire that now towers over neighboring structures at 180 feet, and the church holds the title for the highest steeple sculpted entirely out of stone in Canada. Features like the cut-stone masonry and meticulously-proportioned buttresses which reinforce the corners of the tower contribute to preserving its provincial and municipal heritage.  With most of the church’s grey limestone being sourced from Hamilton’s quarries, it is regarded as one of Hamilton’s finest masonry buildings, and was federally designated as a National Historic Site in Canada.

Hamilton’s lands bear some of Ontario’s richest stone-cut masonry formations, dating back to the early days of Canadian settlement, and confederation. With many locations being designated as National Historic Sites, the city has dedicated considerable resources to maintain, repair and restore its historically significant masonry structures.