Brick and stone buildings are beautiful feats of construction and architecture and are worth preserving. Our team at Abbot Building Restoration is passionate about keeping these buildings well-preserved and restoring them to their original beauty. To that end, we employ several methods of masonry restoration.
In this article, we’re looking at seven common methods of masonry restoration.
Repointing involves removing deteriorated or damaged mortar joints and replacing them with new mortar. This helps to strengthen the structure, improve its appearance, and prevent moisture penetration. Repointing is typically done using compatible mortar materials and techniques to match the original construction.
This may seem pretty basic, but a good cleaning can do wonders for a brick or stone building. We perform masonry cleaning to remove dirt, stains, biological growth, or pollutants that have accumulated on the surface over time. There are multiple cleaning methods, such as pressure washing, chemical cleaning, abrasive cleaning, or steam cleaning. The appropriate cleaning method depends on the type of masonry, its condition, and the nature of the stains.
Patching and Repair
This method repairs damaged or deteriorated masonry units, such as bricks, stones, or blocks. Restoration specialists fill cracks, spalls, or chips in the masonry using compatible materials to restore structural integrity and aesthetic appearance.
In cases where the masonry has become weak or friable, consolidation techniques are employed. This process involves applying a consolidating material, such as epoxy or lime-based consolidants, to strengthen and stabilize the masonry substrate.
Masonry structures can be susceptible to water penetration, which leads to deterioration and structural problems. Waterproofing methods, such as applying water-repellent coatings and sealants, or installing damp-proof courses, prevent water infiltration and protect the masonry from moisture-related damage.
Additional reinforcement may be necessary in cases where the masonry structure has experienced significant damage or is structurally compromised. This can include the installation of steel beams, tie rods, or carbon fiber strips to strengthen and stabilize the masonry.
Replacement and Restoration of Decorative Elements
Historic masonry structures often have intricate decorative elements that may require restoration or replacement. Skilled craftsmen can replicate and replace ornate features, such as cornices, moldings, or sculptures, using traditional masonry techniques and materials. Many older and historic buildings in Boston have these decorative elements that are indispensable to the character of the building.