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Services

Masonry Repairs, Cleaning and Restoration

Masonry Repairs

Masonry damage is usually noticed when water is leaking into a house or building or when the masonry is severely shifted or bulged. Usually at this stage of deterioration the repairs involve removing and rebuilding the entire deteriorated area to assure a sound and safe structure as well as achieving its original appearance.
During restoration service
During restoration service
After restoration completed
After restoration completed

Precision Restoration Co. restores all types of masonry structures such as exterior/interior masonry walls, masonry porches, chimneys, parapet walls, retaining walls.

During restoration service
During restoration service
After restoration completed
After restoration completed

Our craftsmen take pride in the work they perform and pay close attention to detail. We are experienced with all types of masonry such as brick, block and many different kinds of stone including lannon stone, field stone and cultured stone.

Our craftsmen go the extra step to assure all new mortar matches existing mortar in color, texture and joint style as closely as possible.

During restoration service
During restoration service
After restoration completed
After restoration completed

Masonry Cleaning

There are a few different ways masonry cleaning can be achieved. It is very important to determine the strength of the existing masonry to proceed with the proper procedure. Precision Restoration Co. carefully analyzes each situation and applies a test prior to complete application of the recommended procedure as to not harm the existing surface.

The different procedures are as follows:

Power Washing with Only Water

This technique is typically used on hard and soft surfaces such as sandstone, limestone, lannon stone and concrete by controlling the amount of water pressure and using the proper tip. In most cases this technique will remove surface dirt or mildew staining.

Chemical Washing With High-Pressure Water
During masonry cleaning
During masonry cleaning
After masonry cleaning
After masonry cleaning
This technique is typically used on hard and soft surfaces such as sandstone, limestone, lannon stone, brick and concrete by applying an acidic chemical to the surface and then removing the chemical with high-pressure water. In most cases this technique will remove surface dirt, heavy dirt, mildew stains and carbon stains.
Prior to chemical washing
Prior to chemical washing
After
After
Sand Blasting With Air Pressure

This technique is typically used on only hard surfaces such as lannon stone, field stone and steel by using a fine-grade sand and high air pressure. In most cases this technique will remove heavy mortar smears, paint, tar, rust, carbon, surface dirt and mildew stains.

Power Washing With Sand Mixture

This technique is typically used on hard and soft surfaces such as sandstone, limestone, lannon stone, field stone, concrete and brick by mixing a fine-grade sand at the tip with controlled water pressure and an amount of sand so when the two hit the targeted surface, it is very soft but effective. In most cases this technique will remove surface dirt, mildew staining, lightly flaking paint, rust and light-to-medium mortar smears.

Tuck Pointing

Tuck pointing (aka "repointing") is the procedure of removing existing deteriorated or cracked mortar between brick, stone or block to a specific depth and applying new mortar.

A rare maintenance task for brick masonry is the repair of mortar joints. The longevity of mortar joints will vary with the exposure conditions and the mortar materials used, but a lifespan of more than twenty-five (25) years is typical. The longevity of brick, however, may well exceed one hundred (100) years. Consequently, occasional repair of mortar joints is expected over the life of brick masonry. It has been observed that the most common reason for repointing brick masonry is to improve water penetration resistance. Repointing deteriorated mortar joints is one of the most effective and permanent ways of decreasing water entry into brickwork. This is because the most common means of water entry into a brick masonry wall is through debonded, cracked or deteriorated mortar joints.

How do I know if I need Repointing?
Historical home in Waukesha
Historical home in Waukesha
Repointed with a convex bead
Repointed with a convex bead

The most common means of determining areas to be repointed is visual observation in combination with light scraping of the mortar joints using a metal tool.  This procedure can detect cracked, spalled or crumbly mortar joints.

Indications for Repointing:

  1. Mortar erosion more than 6mm deep
  2. Crumbling mortar
  3. Hairline cracks in the mortar
  4. Cracks between the brick and mortar

Precision Restoration Co., carefully analyzes each situation to be repointed and assures all defective areas are properly cut back to appropriate depth without damage to adjacent brick, stone or block.

repointing
tuckpointing
Our craftsmen are highly skilled in this area to assure proper placement of new mortar by layering, compacting and tooling along with accurate color matching to existing original mortar joints without smearing new mortar onto adjacent brick, stone or block.

Caulking

There are many different products available to us for different areas of application.

Precision Restoration Co., carefully analyzes each situation to determine the proper sealant needed for each specific areas.

Common areas to be caulked are exterior perimeters of windows, doors, flashings, movement joints in masonry, vertical control joints and where different products meet.

Areas where caulking should be applied and checked
Areas where caulking should be applied and checked
Windows And Doors

Sealant around windows and doors should be checked every three years. If sealant is cracked or separated from adjoining masonry walls, water can penetrate behind the masonry causing white staining to masonry surfaces (efflorescence) or deterioration of the galvanized wall ties used to hold the masonry to the structure, thus causing the masonry facade to shift or even fall off of the structure, leading to extensive expensive masonry repairs.

Flashings

Sealant of flashing should be checked every three years due to the expansion and contraction of the metal flashing. Flashings are most commonly used above and around dormers, where chimneys meet roof levels, parapet walls, or where different products meet. If the sealant from these areas is cracked or separated from adjoining surfaces, water will enter directly into the structure causing interior damage to wood joists, rafters or drywall, leading to expensive interior repairs.

Movement Joints In Brick Or Concrete

Sealant in vertical or horizontal movement joints should be checked every three years. Vertical movement joints are most commonly used on buildings or walls over forty feet long and are spaced every twenty feet apart allowing for expansion and contraction of the building or earth supporting the building. Horizontal movement joints are most commonly used on buildings with multiple floor levels and are placed on the exterior of each floor level. The importance of sealant in these areas is to keep exterior water from entering into the building and preventing water from entering behind the masonry facade.

caulking

Waterproofing

Water penetration through porous masonry can cause costly damage that could have been avoided with the application of the proper waterproofing product.

When combined with chlorides or freeze-thaw cycles, water penetration into masonry causes immeasurable interior damage and rapid deterioration of block, concrete, mortar joints and brick. For this reason it is important to use a product that seals out water without sealing in water vapor.

Waterproofing exterior masonry with a clear non-residue sealer known as Alkylalkoxy Silanes in a preparatory blended solvent provides long life to masonry surfaces and prevents water penetration behind masonry.

Please call or e-mail if you would like additional waterproofing product information.

waterproofing

Chimneys

At Precision Restoration Co. we also provide the following specialized chimney services.
chimney
  • Chimney and stack demolition with complete site removal and clean-up
  • Chimney rebuilding & replacement
  • Relining of interior chimney stack
  • Chimney caps - rain/animal covers installed and replaced
  • Chimney crowns - repaired or replaced
  • Fireplace refacing - brick, stone, and cultured stone
  • Tuck pointing
If you require a chimney repair, make sure the firm you hire is thorough. Check with your local Better Business Bureau, National Chimney Sweep Guild, Wisconsin Guild of Chimney Service Specialists, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. 
Common Questions

"How can I keep the masonry chimney from deteriorating?"

No matter what anyone tells you, there is one thing you should know: Water deteriorates masonry through freeze/thaw cycles. Therefore, it is to your chimney's advantage to avoid as much moisture as possible.

chimney deterioration
Exterior moisture such as rain and snow can be limited with proper construction. The most important component of the exterior is to have a waterproof concrete crown on top of the chimney that is approximately 4" thick with a 2" overhang on all sides and a water-formed brake on the bottom of the overhang. Unfortunately, most chimneys are not built in this manner. This is comparable to building a house without having an eave or overhang on all sides; no quality builder would recommend this. The rain and snow coming into direct contact with the sides of the building, whether made of brick, stone or wood siding, would make maintenance on those surfaces an annual event. Additionally, applying a commercial-grade breathable water repellent to the chimney will help protect the brick and mortar from the weather elements as well.
exterior moisture
Interior moisture in the chimney cannot be limited. Furnaces generally produce one gallon of water every hour they run. Additionally, hot water heaters generally produce a half gallon of water every hour they run. The interior lining of your chimney is constantly being ruined by this continuous flow of moisture. As time passes, the interior clay liner of your chimney becomes less able to confine the products of combustion. Failure is often the end result. Should your chimney require a new liner, we recommend "Ventinox" stainless steel, which will be properly sized for the current appliances venting into the chimney. The chimney is then insulated with "Ther-Mix" masonry insulation, which will dramatically reduce condensation. This method insures a prolonged life of your exterior masonry's integrity and appearance. Furthermore, the liner is guaranteed by the manufacturer for the life of your home.

"How do I know if I am having interior moisture problems? Are there any signs I can look for?"

Common signs that show interior moisture problems are:

  • Water leaking out of the bottom of the chimney at the clean-out door in the basement
  • Bricks at the base of the chimney in the basement are often wet or dark-looking
  • White chalk-like stain on the exterior brick or mortar (efflorescence)
  • Brownish stain oozing from brick and mortar in attic
  • Chimney in attic is wet during cold winter months
  • Brick and mortar above roof line are failing
Note:  In some cases your chimney & masonry clay lining repairs are covered by insurance.

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  • Contact Information

    Precision Restoration Co., Inc.
    7000 Hayes Dr
    Hartford, WI 53027
    Phone: (414) 578-3200
    Email: restoration@execpc.com

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