Methods, Techniques and Considerations
We are committed to excellence in masonry restoration, repair, and preservation. We maintain time-tested methods for restoration while continuously improving our clients' options for challenging repairs, stabilization, and preservation projects.
Alliance Restoration takes a minimalist approach to access when feasible. We perform repair and restoration work from aerial boom lifts and light footprint scaffolding as often as possible. An advantage is that the project area never becomes a “messy construction site”. Many of our client buildings and homes are occupied while we complete our work and these site considerations can make all the difference for our clients as work is underway.
2. Cause-Based Approach to Masonry Repairs and Restoration
Usually, the damage that is seen in masonry repair projects is caused by multiple factors. Rather than just patch the readily apparent issue, we look to address the cause before repairing the damaged area. The goal is to have a repair that not only looks good but will perform well over time.
3. In-House Mortar and Materials Matching
Matching mortar color, texture, and strength is an essential part of a satisfactory repair. We take great pride in blending our work with surrounding materials. There are many factors including mortar type, amount of water in the mix, mortar tint, temperature, humidity, aggregate type/size, and tooling and cleaning techniques which all contribute to the final appearance. A conscientious and systematic approach to these factors increases our success rates in challenging situations.
4. Crack Stabilization
Alliance Restoration has a number of excellent methods in our repertoire for crack stabilization in masonry applications. Even when the source of the movement is corrected, the crack that remains should usually be stabilized using a secondary method, as it is a weak point in the wall. Simply repointing with mortar will often fail.
5. Preservation and Maintenance
We can provide comprehensive maintenance plans for sealants and project-specific water repellent applications. We can apply the products properly and help you determine service-life expectancy for the material and treatments to help reduce future issues.
1. Pointing and Historic Mortars
It is of the utmost importance to use softer mortars in historic restoration and repair work. There are several reasons. Historic, lime-based mortars are more permeable and allow moisture to escape the building. Historic mortars are softer and will fail before causing the adjacent masonry unit to fail. Historic mortars are also lime-based and because of this, they have a self-healing property when delamination and micro-cracking occurs. Historic mortars will not create a ledge-shearing effect in settlement and normal building expansion and contraction. Appropriate mortar type and proper application is a high priority when you chose Alliance Restoration as your masonry restoration contractor.
2. Traditional Finishing Techniques
Historic masonry joints were finished in a different manner than modern concave brick joints. Appropriate finishing methods will depend on the type of brick or stonework and the time period that the building was built in.
3. Water Repellents
The use of water repellents should be carefully assessed before use on historic structures. Applying a water repellent to an entire (historic) building often should be avoided as the downsides can outweigh the benefits. Breathable, penetrating water repellents should generally be used in high weather exposure areas or areas where water damage is an immediate threat to the structure. Alliance Restoration can help in assessing water risk areas and selecting appropriate treatments.
4. Preservation Treatments
After materials testing to determine effectiveness, preservation treatments can be applied to many historic masonry walls to help preserve historic mortars and masonry to increase resistance against acid rain which is causing accelerated deterioration to many historic structures. These treatments can be especially important for buildings constructed from softer stone and brick buildings with very soft historic mortars.