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What Is Brick Restoration and Why Do I Need It?
While brick houses and commercial properties are built to last for many years, that doesn’t mean that ongoing maintenance, repair, and restoration aren’t sometimes required. Brick restoration is an important technique that will ensure the structural integrity of your brick construction, and make sure your brickwork looks beautiful for many years to come. When looking for brick restoration experts you want to find someone with a wide range of knowledge in all aspects of masonry and brickwork. In Chicago, speak to the brick masonry experts at Masonry Chicago for a free estimate, and find out how they can restore your brickwork to its former glory: call 773-231-5371 or email [email protected]
What’s the difference between repair and restoration?
Whether you’re a business owner with a brick office building or a homeowner with a brick home, when it comes to residential or commercial masonry repair you may hear the terms repair and restoration used frequently. But what’s the difference?
Brick repair is usually carried out when bricks become damaged and large cracks appear in brick structures. Generally speaking, repairing brickwork will involve replacing damaged bricks with new bricks and using caulking or cement to fill in any cracks, ensuring the structural integrity of the brickwork and often the structure as a whole.
Brick restoration is generally a more involved process than repair and is concerned with not only the integrity of the structure but also the appearance of it. In Chicago, there are many older historic brick buildings, so restoring them requires more than just fixing cracks – quality restoration, from experts like Masonry Chicago, is required to bring these important buildings back to their original beauty.
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Why do I need brick restoration?
There are many reasons why brickwork needs to be restored, from loose bricks and cracked mortar, to dirty and discolored brickwork.
- Discolored bricks – bricks are porous and so subject to environmental damage, whether from rain and sunlight or pollution and dirt. This can change the color of bricks over time, and cause them to become dirty and less attractive.
- Mortar damage – as time passes the pointing or mortar that holds the bricks together begins to wear away, which can affect the structural integrity of your brick construction.
- Loose bricks – unfortunately sometimes bricks can come loose, either due to damaged mortar or damage to the bricks themselves, and these weaker areas can affect the safety of the building as a whole.
- Water damage – in a rainy or damp climate water damage can be a problem for brickwork, causing them to wear away.
How can brick be restored?
Depending on the damage there are different techniques used for old brick restoration, whether it’s brick house restoration, brick wall restoration, or even brick patio restoration, and the repairs required and the size of the project will depend on many factors.
As mentioned earlier bricks can become discolored for a number of reasons, including dirt, pollution, and moisture. Bricks can also fade in the sunlight, meaning that older bricks and those in south-facing walls will often be lighter than newer bricks or more sheltered walls.
The process of brick face repair will generally start by scrubbing or pressure washing off any stubborn stains. Once the bricks are clean, a quality brick stain will be used to bring the desired color back to your house or building.
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Mortar is vital in masonry as it is what sticks everything together. Traditionally it was made from lime but now it’s more often cement. It can wear down over time reducing the strength and stability of the structure.
When repairing damaged mortar it’s important that the new mortar matches the old, so you don’t have a stark difference in color between the areas that have been restored and those that have not. Your brick restoration experts will also carefully remove any damaged parts of the old mortar, without damaging the brick.
Depending on how damaged loose bricks are your brick restoration company may need to remove some of the bricks and carry out brick replacement. This can be delicate work as it’s important to remove the damaged bricks without further damaging any surrounding bricks.
For quality work, the company will need to find replacements, carefully matching brick color, so that they don’t look out of place.
Once the main body of your brick restoration work is complete, one of the key services offered by many masonry experts is waterproofing. Rain and other water can damage brickwork over time, as it is a porous substance. A water sealant or repellent will keep your brickwork looking as good as the day the professional masonry team finishes their work. You will need to get the structure resealed every 5-7 years but it is a worthwhile service as it will keep your bricks looking pristine for many years to come.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I identify my brick manufacturer?
When carrying out brick repair and restoration it’s vital that any replacement bricks match the existing brickwork, so you don’t end up with a patchy finish and different colored bricks. The best way to ensure the match is good is by using as close as possible to the original brick, so finding your brick manufacturer can be very helpful.
Some bricks will have identifying marks stamped on them by the manufacturer and you can use these, along with the size and shape of the brick to find exactly which type of brick was used. There are also online brick matching services that will do custom brick matching to help you find exactly the right brick for you.
When you find your brick manufacturer it’s important to get samples of their current bricks, as the materials used to make them may have changed over time. You’ll want to check that not only the color of the brick matches but also the shape and size.
Can you repair a damaged brick?
In general, it is better to replace a damaged brick rather than try and repair the brick directly. You will have a stronger and sturdier result if you install brick replacement, rather than try and repair an old and worn down brick.
How do you revive brick walls?
Depending on the damage done to the brick wall you may need to consider these restoration services:
- repointing the mortar
- cleaning and staining the bricks
- replacing damaged bricks
- securing loose bricks
- waterproofing the finished wall
How do you restore color to brick?
The first step in the process of recoloring your brickwork is to remove any dirt and fully clean the surface. Then a stain can be applied to give you the desired surface color. This process can be completed by adding a water-resistant coating if desired.
How much does it cost to resurface brick?
The cost of resurfacing brick will depend very much on the size of the surface the repairs are for and exactly what work is required. Masons generally charge between $40-$75 per hour, or if you are working on a size basis the price ranges from $20-$40 per square foot. The best way to find the exact cost of your project is to contact a masonry business directly.
If you are in Chicago contact family-owned, masonry repair professionals, Masonry Chicago, now. Call 773-231-5371 or email [email protected]
Brickwork professionals in Chicago
Masonry Chicago has been creating and restoring quality brickwork in Chicago for over 20 years, and understand how to repair and maintain the brick buildings that our city is known for. Our customers and community trust us as dedicated and professional masonry experts.
Offering a wide range of masonry services including repair, restoration, renovation, brickwork, and waterproofing contact us today for a free estimate on 773-231-5371.
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