Restoring Historic Building Using Masonry Techniques
Buildings erected using masonry are no longer built the way they used to be. Old masonry structures which were built using stones and bricks are not only hard to find, they are rarely built anymore. This is due to the high cost of real stones and the labor costs involved in laying large stones. The masonry structures which remain need to be maintained. Owners of Masonry structures that need restoration or significant repairs should consider a number of steps to complete the job successfully. Here are some important steps for producing quality restoration work:
- Surface Cleaning: The first step towards restoration is thoroughly cleaning the surface with the aid of a mild acid and a pressure washer. One needs to ensure that too much acid is not added to the solution as this can prove to be damaging otherwise to both stone and the brick. Once the solution has been made, one should scrub with a brush having firm bristles in order to remove all the loose dirt. Skillfully using the pressure washer would also work in this regard. One just needs to ensure that no form of damage is caused to the surface owing to the high pressure of water.
- Tuck-Pointing: Next step would be to proceed with tuck-pointing the whole surface. Using this method the entire wall or structure should be tuck-pointed because grinding out the bad areas won’t do the job as it creates color differences in the patched areas. Instead of working out just the problem areas, if one were to do the entire surface, then it would lead to a quality job which everyone will appreciate.
When doing the tuck-pointing one should ensure to replace or remove any missing or broken parts of masonry. As the work keeps progressing, one should ensure to do the replacement work so that the mortar color consistency remains the same with the mortar joints. Bad joints are the one which are cracking or falling apart. Special attention must be given to the caps of the masonry walls if they have concrete or stone as this proves to be highly effective against water and natural deterioration. If the capping is compromised under any circumstances, the wall can then be damaged by the natural forces of rain, ice and snow.
- Reinforcing Using Wall Anchors: The walls which are really in bad shape and crumbling, for them the best option would be to reinforce them with wall anchors. These wall anchors are drilled using a metal anchor bolt which uses a special epoxy to hold it in one place. Other techniques include using galvanized mesh however those are used for crumbling stucco walls. Replacements are also needed for steel lentils over windows and doors for they can be quite dangerous if they are not reinforced properly.