Restoring a brick building to its old glory may seem as easy as replacing damaged bricks with new ones. Unfortunately, taking that approach often results in cracks, leaking, and other issues that come without proper research before the job. With this in mind, it becomes evident that brick repair in Massachusetts involves expertise.
In this article, we discuss the areas that Abbot Building Restoration researches and compares before any brick repair project begins.
The size and appearance are not the only aspects to consider when replacing existing brick. Modern bricks have many properties that differ from bricks of the past. A few of these differences include rates of thermal expansion and contraction, moisture vapor transmission, porosities, and compressive strength and weight bearing capabilities. It is important that we research these functional properties to match it existing bricks with an equivalent replacement. While this task may seem painstaking, it is crucial to the integrity and durability of the brickwork. Further, research can save from having to repair or replace more bricks after the job is done.
Just as modern and older bricks differ, so do mortar and joint sealing compounds. Modern versions of these compounds are much stronger and stiffer than past varieties, and can lead to cracks in brickwork if the wrong type is used. The mortar should always be softer than the masonry, which can only be determined through appropriate research and matching.
Segregate New From Old
Some brick repair work is painfully obvious, and shows the lack of research and care put into the project. While we take all the steps to find a similar match for existing brick, sometimes an appropriate match or enough of the existing brick is not available. This is when strategic planning comes into play. Segregating the old brick from the new at different areas of the building can help assure that the look of the project matches the strength and durability achieved.