Stories From the Field

Stories From the Field

Post: Masonry Restoration Case Study

Wednesday April 6, 2016

AAA-1 Masonry & Tuckpointing is renowned for its exceptional masonry restoration work. We take great pride in what we do, and judging by the letters and comments we receive our clients do too! If you've clicked through our web pages and landed here, then chances are good that you're more than little curious about masonry restoration. So I thought it would be fun to walk you through the process of what we do in a single photo taken from a recent project (see below).

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On the left side of the photo is a mostly untouched 120-year-old masonry building. Although underutilized for years, many of the bricks in this building remained in a structurally sound condition (bricks close to the ground where the snow and rain have collected for years have not fared as well). All the way on the left side of this photo (Area #1) you can see a portion of the wall as we found it. The bricks on this wall have become dark with age, pollutants and weather. The mortar joints have been tuckpointed over the years with repeated applications of mortar but this method of repair has not improved the condition of the wall in any lasting way.

Once the bricks were deemed to be structurally sound, we carefully stripped the outer wythe of the wall. Thanks to the forward-thinking building methods employed by the original builders, we were able to safely remove these bricks without catastrophic failure of the back-up wall … even 120 years later! You can see the portion of the wall with the outer wythe of brick removed in Area #2.

Once these bricks were removed, they were carefully inspected to verify their condition. After grading and sorting, the bricks then underwent a gentle but very thorough cleaning process to remove all that grime. The transformation from dirty brick to clean re-claimed beauty was quite incredible!

Once dry, these bricks were used to rebuild large sections of the adjacent building (Area #3). With these reclaimed beauties, new windows and new stone windowsills, the restored structure on the right is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also should last another 120 years!

We really enjoy breathing new life into old buildings, but that's not all we do. We also grind out and tuckpoint mortar joints, replace lintels and shelf angles, caulk windows and doors, and fix and seal new brick-and-concrete block construction (which is how most of the homes and buildings in the last 20 years have been constructed). Let our licensed masons assist you with your next project and get ready to be pleased!

—Rob


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