Tag Archives: masonry

The Problem with Ignoring your Chimney Issues

chimney on roof in front of wispy clouds

What’s the problem?

It is very important not to ignore any issues that are happening with your chimney. It will be much cheaper and much less of hassle to correct small issues than one very large and disruptive issue. Chimney REPAIRS are significantly cheaper than fixing and replacing a chimney that has fallen onto a roof or off a roof. Chimney repairs can cost in the hundreds to possibly the low thousands. A full chimney replacement can cost around $10,000 sometimes. That $10,000 replacement is not including the cost to repair the roof if your chimney falls on to it.

repair on roof by chimney

There are many different fairly common chimney issues like leaning and titling, pulling away from siding, cracks in the bricks or masonry, fireplace leakage, and chimney settlement. We can help with all of these issues but it is very important that they are brought to our attention as soon as possible to avoid any major problems. We can also help to address and correct the underlying issue of why the chimney is having issues to begin with. The longer a homeowner waits to maker repairs on a chimney it is more likely that the cost of repairs will continue to increase.

santa putting presents down chimney

 Although it is summer now winter will be here before we know it and with winter brings Santa Claus. Santa needs a nice problem free chimney if he is going to deliver presents. Santa does not want to get hurt because of a neglected chimney so make sure to get regular inspections and give us a call if an issue arises that needs repairing. 

Why Inspecting Your Masonry is So Important

Sometimes when you look at your brick home (or business) the last thing you notice is the bricks and their condition. You might look at landscaping that needs work or roofing that needs to be replaced, but you don’t think about the bricks deteriorating. Masonry failure is not something you should ignore in your Virginia home or business.

Prevent Large Scale Masonry Failures

If masonry is not repaired thoroughly some of the brick and stone will fall. It is imperative that we prevent any disasters from occurring in our homes or businesses. It doesn’t matter if it is your home or business, this isn’t something you want happening-the falling of stones could be devastating.

Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry can assist with repairs, but we can also tell you what to look for to avoid failure:Symptoms that might mean my brick or masonry is failing

1. Cracking: There are multiple types of cracks that can occur – some are dangerous and some are not a huge problem but it is hard to tell without an expert inspecting it. The age of the building, the type of building, and how the building was built play into cracking. Have cracks inspected to determine the extent of the problem.

2. Efflorescence: You might notice a build up of a white substance on the brick. If there is a lot of moisture in the wall it can come out through the masonry. This causes the white build up. It is the salts that are collected when the water moves through the brick to the face of the brick.

3. Spalling: If you notice pieces of brick flaking off, this is called spalling. Small or large pieces can come off, and either is a sign of a problem. Freezing and thawing can sometimes cause this problem.

Don’t Wait for Masonry Repairs

Paying attention to the brick and masonry on your home or business can save you a lot of money in the long run. Repairs can be much less expensive than masonry failure. It can also improve the curb value of your home. It’s important to note that whether your home or business is relatively new or a historical, older home. Brick and masonry problems can occur to any structure depending on weather conditions and other external factors. Give us a call for a free estimate on your masonry repairs in Virginia.

Brick Repointing for Your Historic Home Exterior

Many of us in Virginia live in historic homes, and we all know that a unique set of problems and interesting “features” can come with that. While older homes are beautiful and have lots of character, it is important to take special care when repairing and restoring them. This is because different building materials and techniques were used in the past, and it may not be your best bet to mix the two (old and new) for a “franken-house.” In particular, brick repointing can be a place where mixing old and new can lead to disastrous results.

brick repointing virginiaWhat is brick repointing?

Brick buildings are constructed using brick and mortar to create a solid structure. Masonry has been used for centuries, but the materials and techniques have changed over time. While bricks and mortar used to be softer and left with spaces to “breathe,” bricks and mortar now are much harder and take less time to set up. This can become a problem when modern masonry workers try to repair historic homes with brick repointing.

The pointing of the bricks is the external-facing mortar. Time, weathering, and decay will create spaces that can be an entry point for water. If it is not repaired, this can cause major damage to the bricks and the rest of your home. This is where brick repointing comes in. The old mortar is chiseled out and then replaced to create a stronger brick facing with no cracks or spaces. One or more passes will be made with the mortar. We make sure that the new mortar used matches the original mortar as closely as possible. This is important to make sure that they have similar characteristics such as permeability or strength. These are details you can count on from the team at Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry.

brick repointing historic homesHistoric Homes and Brick Repointing

In historic homes, bricks are usually softer and the mortar used is lime-based. This mortar takes longer to set up, and it is not widely used because of stronger solutions currently available. However, this is the best option to use for historic homes with soft bricks and current lime-based mortar. If you have a historic home with previous brick repointing and you are currently having problems with cracks, water leaks, or other issues, it may be caused by a mismatch in the mortar.

When the wrong mortar is used to perform brick repointing on historic homes, it can result in disastrous consequences. Modern mortars are very stiff because they are usually used with stiff bricks that have no give. When these mortars are used with historic homes, they do not take into account that the original builders let things “settle” and move with soft bricks and soft mortar. When you place a soft brick with the hard mortar, it can lead to cracks in the walls, gaps, etc. They are simply mismatched. Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry will work to make sure we match your original mortar as closely as possible in permeability and strength. This will assure that your brick repointing job will last for many years to come and not cause any unwanted issues.

If you are experiencing problems with past mismatched brick repointing jobs, please contact us at Reliable Waterproofing and Masonry. We are happy to work with you to restore your historic home to its former glory.

Can My Brick Home Cause Water Problems?

Weep Holes in Virginia Brick Homesbrick and masonry virginia

If you have a brick home in Virginia it is likely that you have noticed a small gap in the lower part of your home’s exterior. Many homeowners wonder if this gap in the brick was an accident, or a mistake made by the builders. You will be happy to know it was not a mistake made by your bricklayer, in fact, it was intentional. They did not forget to add mortar to that spot. Brick is much like a sponge. It is porous and absorbs water. The purpose of that small hole is so that water may drain from the brick and the basement. It also allows air to flow to help dry the brick. While that is its purpose, whether or not that actually helps waterproof your home is up for debate.

Those holes do have some drawbacks. For example, they are often wide enough to allow pests such as bugs, mice, and even snakes to enter. Also, modern homes are built air tight, but older homes were built to “breathe”. They allowed air and water to flow freely from the inside to the outside and vice versa. The modern weep holes do not allow the proper ventilation and moisture can become trapped inside, leading to mold and mildew, wood rot, water stains, and even deterioration of the brick. One of the best ways to prevent these problems is through waterproofing. Sump pumps, interior and exterior drainage systems, and vapor barriers can help restrict moisture in your home.

Brick and Masonry Services and Solutions

If you notice signs of water damage, make sure to contact us here at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We offer all types of waterproofing services for your needs. We also offer masonry and brick re-pointing to update your home. Brick doesn’t handle long exposure to moisture well. It will begin to crack, crumble, and flake. Keep your brick home up to date and safe from moisture with our services. We also offer foundation repair, concrete repair, crawlspace repair, and more. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help you protect your home.

Brick, Stone, & Masonry Problems in Virginia

Common Problems with Brick, Stone, & Masonry in Richmond, VA

It is hard to escape the masonry problems that affect older homes in Richmond, VA. At one time or another, you are likely to encounter these issues. Nothing is indestructible, especially when it is constantly exposed to rain, snow, hail, wind, heat, and freezing temperatures. Your brick, stone, and masonry will get old and broken down, just like a roof, or any other part of your home or business. That is why you need to take care of it as you would any other part of your home or business. Some common problems that can affect brick, stone, and masonry are:commong brick stone masonry problems virginia

  • Crumbling – created through water damage, foundation failure, and/or age.
  • Chipping – caused by age, water damage, foundation failure, and a variety of other problems.
  • Flaking – caused by water seeping into bricks through pores, and heat making the brick expand and flake.
  • Cracking – floor, ceiling, wall, stair step, and foundation cracks are all things that you should watch out for.
  • Efflorescence – a white, crusty calcium residue left over when water evaporates and leaves a salt covering behind.

Masonry Problems & Repair Solutions by Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry in Virginiabrick stone masonry problems in richmond virginia

These issues are all common problems that affect brick, stone, and masonry, so if you notice these problems around your Virginia home, make sure to contact us here at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry as soon as possible. These could be signs of more urgent problems, especially if you are noticing more than one. Luckily, we have a variety of solutions such as brick re-pointing, concrete restoration, masonry repair, foundation repair, and waterproofing.

So, no matter what your problem may be, we can help. Our team of professionals is experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of repair, and many of our repair tools and products are supplied by Earth Contact Products–also known as “the Very Best” in foundation repair and waterproofing products–so you can rest easy knowing you area receiving top quality repairs, products, and service. Contact us today to learn more about our foundation repair, waterproofing, and masonry problems and repair services. Our service area includes Richmond, Virginia and all of Northern Virginia. Give us a call today!

Can Masonry Problems Lead to Water Problems in Your Virginia Home?

Masonry Saturation and Leakage in Virginia

Masonry can provide a good moisture barrier. However, there are factors that can lead to water leakage. Some of these factors are:
Masonry saturation solutions by Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry

  • Weather exposure
  • Density of masonry surface
  • Porosity of the masonry unit or mortar joint
  • Voids in masonry

All of these play a role in how resistant the masonry is to water penetration. Saturation happens when water passes through the masonry or absorbs entirely into the masonry wall. The moisture buildup can lead to water entering the living space of your home.

The most common area where masonry saturation causes leaking into the home is where the chimney passes through the roof. If you see staining on the ceiling where the chimney passes through, this is caused by masonry saturation.

Another area of concern for masonry problems are room additions. The leak commonly occurs at the top of the interior opening of the addition. Any opening in a masonry structure with exposed masonry above can result in leaking. Any time exposed masonry above a room opening leaks, it is probably due to masonry saturation. If you see signs that you have water leaking into your home due to masonry saturation, the experts at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry can help.

Masonry Saturation Solutions in Virginia

The professionals at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry will come and inspect your home for masonry saturation. Some of the things we will look for and repair are:

  • Obvious voids that need tuck pointing on the exterior masonry surface
  • Check for voids in the flashing and raise the height
  • Exterior problems can be repaired with waterproofing products

When determining the cause of water leaking into your home, masonry saturation is sometimes overlooked. Leakage diagnoses can be a tedious process. Let the experts at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry give you a free inspection and find the source of the leakage and do the proper repair needed to keep water out of your home.

We do brick re-pointing to keep water from entering your home. This process starts by removing any old pointing to a depth equal or slightly more than the width of the joint. Then new mortar is installed using the same color as the original mortar. The mortar will take a day to set.

We have over 30 years of experience in waterproofing, foundation repair and masonry services. We will inspect your home for masonry saturation and repair the water leakage into your home. We use only the best products available for masonry repair. If you are in need of masonry repair, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We have the solutions for you and will stop water leakage due to masonry saturation. Contact us today!

 

Masonry and Brick Problems to Watch for in Your Virginia Home

Symptoms of Masonry and Brick Problems in Virginia

Masonry and brick are subject to deterioration, especially at the mortar Brick and masonry repair in Northern Virginiajoints. Mortar consists primarily of lime and sand so over time, this lime and sand can deteriorate due to rain and other sources of water. Look around your Northern Virginia home and look for some of the symptoms of masonry and brick problems such as:

  • Settlement cracks – These masonry cracks are usually stair-step cracks in your masonry. 
  • Expansion cracks – A vertical of stair-step crack that is usually located in the upper portions of the masonry can be caused by thermal expansion. Bricks expand when heated by the sun and if expansion joints are not present, can cause cracks.
  • Steel expansion cracks – Cracks that occur at the upper corners of doorways, garage doors, or windows is usually caused by the steel lintels that support the masonry above these openings.
  • Bulging or bowed wall cracks – Cracks can appear throughout an entire wall or the wall is bulged or bowed. This is usually the symptom of age related failure due to improper reinforcement of the masonry.

If you see any of these signs of masonry or brick problems, contact the professionals at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We have the solutions for your masonry and brick problems. 

Brick and Masonry Solutions from Reliable for Virginia Homes

Water entering through any voids you may have in your masonry or brick

Masonry and brick repair in Richmond, VA

After re-pointing

can cause significant damage to your home. Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry uses the process of re-pointing to remove any old point to a depth of equal to or slightly more than the width of the joint. Depending on the depth of the joint, one or more pases will be made with the mortar and we will match the color of the current mortar. The mortar will take a day to set and cure.

You can be reassured that the products we use are the best in the industry and the new mortar will match the original mortar type, color and texture of the existing mortar to avoid incompatible materials and make sure that it looks good as new.

Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry can also repair any chimney repair you needs. Don’t ignore a chimney that is leaning or is in need of brick repair. This can be a danger to you and your home.

For any of your masonry and brick repair in the Northern Virginia area including the cities of Richmond, Petersburg, and Hanover, contact the professionals at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. We have over 30 years of experience in the Northern Virginia area. We will get your masonry and brick repair done and your home will look like new. Don’t let the cracks in your bricks be ignored. The sooner they are repaired, the least amount of damage that will occur to your home. Contact us today!

Common Masonry Problems

Professional Masonry Virginia

When it comes to your masonry, you want to make sure to have the best quality. You want masonry that will last and looks good, too. Your brick walls go through a lot, Mother Nature is not very gentle. Between seasonal changes, storms, temperature changes, and the everyday wear and tear, your masonry will obviously encounter some problems. So, in order to keep your masonry in its best shape, you need to avoid, and take care of, some of the common masonry problems. Some problems include:

  • Efflorescence
  • Spalling
  • Settlement cracks
  • Washed out areas/ Rust stains
  • Loose Plaster
  • Mold or algae growth

Causes and Solutions for Masonry Virginia

Masonry Virginia

Efflorescence is when a chalky white powder appears on the exterior of the bricks. This is caused by moisture being trapped inside the brick reacting with the salts inside. Usually this problem will disappear with the seasons, but will come back for as long as the moisture is not removed.

Spalling is when the bricks start cracking and flaking because of, again, moisture working itself into the brick. This causes the face of the brick to fall off and leave the bricks useless.

Settlement cracks not only have a negative effect on your masonry, but also mean deeper problems with your home’s foundation. Settlement cracks happen when the foundation of your home starts to sink and settle into voids left by the expansion and contraction of the soil from moisture levels.

Washed out areas and rust stains are mostly cosmetic problems that affect the outside of your brick walls. Rust stains occur when a metal fixture corrodes and the resulting rust washes down the wall’s surface during a rain storm or poor drainage. Rusting nails below the paint surface can also cause the typical brown stain. Washed out areas are simply caused by large amounts of moisture causing water stains on your masonry.

Loose plaster can be caused by a variety of things. Whether the weather, like wind or rain, or settlement, loose plaster is a very common problem with masonry, but, luckily, is relatively easy to fix.

Mold or algae growth occurs when a leaking gutter or downspout leave moisture behind that encourages the growth of mold, mildew, and/or algae. Unfortunately, even the smallest damp spot can cause these to pop up.

All of these different problems are fairly common when it comes to masonry, and most of them are relatively easy to fix. They’re even easier to fix when you call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. Just remember to give us a call. We’re happy to help with all of your masonry Virginia problems. We’ve got a great team of experienced professionals who are ready to help you with masonry repair or waterproofing issue you have. Call today!

 

What is Brick Re-Pointing?

Brick Re-Pointing Virginia

No matter what, if you have masonry in or around your home, you can be sure that the elements will have major effects on it. Rain, wind, and frost all can have negative effects on you masonry, and along with time, wear and tear, and decay, you brick walls will need some extra help to keep them in their best shape. If not taken care of, the pointing will begin to crack and create voids, letting in water and moisture that will get into your bricks and into your home. This will allow mold and mildew to grow in and around your home, and since half of the air you breathe in your home comes from your basement, it’s safest to get rid of that moisture as soon as possible. It will also cause cracking in your walls and foundation, water stains, and damage to your possessions, it’s just smart to get this problem fixed as soon as possible.

Professionals in Brick Re-Pointing VirginiaBrick Re-Pointing Virginia

The first part of the re-pointing process is to remove any old pointing to a depth equal to or slightly more than the width of the joint. Depending on the depth of the joint one or more passes will be made with the mortar (which can be made to match the current color of your mortar). The mortar will then take about a day to set up and cure. It is very important to make sure that the joint profile is rectangular as the new mortar used needs ample chance to bond with the existing masonry. We try very to hard to match up our mortar to your original mortar, this is important to the process, because they need to have similar characteristics such as strength and permeability.

We want to make sure your home, and its masonry, is in great shape all the time. We can help you do that. We have a great team of experienced professionals who are knowledgeable in all of our waterproofing and masonry repairs and processes. We at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry are ready to help you with all your brick re-pointing Virginia needs. Give us a call today!