In general, masonry work that has been properly constructed requires only very minimal maintenance or repairs to retain it’s good condition. On older buildings it will be much more likely that the joints between the brickwork and stone will be degraded and be showing signs of deterioration which can be attributed to any number of problems.
Problems that can cause your brickwork or masonry to deteriorate include moister damage from leaking roofs, damaged guttering and drain pipes or leaking plumbing. Ingress of moister at ground floor level due to inadequate damp proofing is a major cause of masonry damage, other problems may even affect sills, lintels, eves and parapets. Structural settling can also be devastating to brickwork.
Sometimes it can be the case that problems with masonry and brickwork arise due to poor workmanship of the original Mason. Poor mixing of incorrect proportions can lead to frost damage and sulphate attack by soluble salts contained within the bricks themselves.
Sometimes issues of damp are hard to avoid. The normal evaporation of moister from the bricks and mortar can be affected restricting the normal evaporation process due to extreme shading by overhangs and close proximity of adjacent buildings.
Before attempting to take on any repair or restoration of your damaged brickwork or masonry, the underlying causes of your particular problems should be addressed. The amount of the repair will be governed by the degree to which the decay has penetrated. In the worst circumstances partial rebuilding of the structure may be the only remedy. Carefully probing in to the bed joints of the building will be the best indication of the condition of the brickwork. Where the mortar has completely degraded it is a waste of time simply to re-point and is often necessary to rebuild the entire structure.
Preparation of the mortar is paramount as it may vary in composition widely according to requirements, but the general rule is that the strength of the mortar should never exceed the strength of the actual bricks themselves. Over strength mixing can lead to serious degradation of softer bricks and stone, this being attributed to the hard mortar resisting and restricting evaporation through its dense surface leading to saturated bricks, the affected brick work is then subjected to a hard frost and it will crack and break down the structure of the bricks.
There are many different types and styles of pointing. Flush pointing is a common finish on all fair faced work, both internal and external. Joints are filled flush to the masonry surface forming no recess to collect dust. Struck and Cut style pointing is usually internal and used to pick out the bricks in a feature, which is done by running a trowel along the bed joint and pressing in at the lower edge of the joint. Rounded or Bucket handle and weather struck pointing, recessed pointing and tucked pointing are just a few more examples of jointing methods used by builders over the last 2000 years, luckily most property in need of maintenance today was only built in the last 300 years. If you need to carry out re-pointing or replacing of brickwork or stone to a listed building in Nottingham you should be aware that all repairs must dry to a shade that is consistent to that of the original property or you will be made to remove or color it until it does.
When your in need of brickwork repairs or building and restoration work doing and need the expertise of a seasoned professional, Dcs-Services have a gleaming reputation and are one of the finest builders in Essex.
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