What Are the Most Common Types of Professional Mason?Masons work with concrete, stone, and brick, installing retaining walls, patios, chimneys, and building homes. Even small features, such as a pathway or accent wall using a stone veneer, can vastly improve the curb appeal of your home. The primary mason specialties include:
- Stonemasons work with natural and manufactured stone as well as veneer products. They use their expertise to build the facades on homes, interior and exterior walls and flooring to match the look and design needed.
- Brick masons handle real and manufactured brick, whether it’s veneer or solid. Also known as bricklayers, their job requires attention to detail as the lines must be uniform. They often install columns, chimneys and fireplaces. Brick masons also build exterior walls and patios.
- Concrete masons work with block and poured concrete. They may color the surfaces, make concrete beams and columns or expose the small stones in sidewalks and walls. The process they use depends on what is being built and its location. A foundation requires a different approach than an exterior wall or sidewalk.
Why Hire a Masonry Repair Professional?Masons have the training needed for handling a broad range of home projects, from building a house to repairing existing features and foundations. Hiring experienced professionals can benefit you in a variety of ways.
EfficiencyAlthough it may seem that fixing a problem yourself is an economical move at first, in the long run, it can be time-consuming hard work. Professionals understand how to evaluate the situation. They can prepare the site and complete the task faster than someone without experience. This could also save you money on supplies, as they know what materials work best for the problem at hand.
ExpertiseProfessional masons have the expertise to assess the damage to your brick, stone or concrete. Sometimes what looks like a quick fix for a minor issue can indicate a more serious problem. A crumbling stone could signal dangerous foundation issues. A mason’s knowledge about the structure and materials can ensure the repair is done correctly.
Licensed and InsuredAny company or contractor legally allowed to offer construction services must be licensed. To maintain the license, they must follow several rules and regulations put in place by the state licensing board. By hiring a licensed masonry contractor, you ensure that they have the knowledge and expertise to do the job right.
MaintenanceWhen the location is appropriately prepared, concrete, stone and brick features can last for decades. For example, cement driveways require very little maintenance when the ground is ready for the slab. However, when done incorrectly, it could need repairs every few years, which could become costly. This can also hurt the curb appeal and resale value of your home. By hiring professionals to build or maintain the masonry features in and around your home, it can have a more attractive appearance for interested buyers.
Professional Project ManagementFor minor repairs, a project may only require one or two individuals for a short period. However, larger projects can become complex. When you hire a professional, licensed masonry contractor, they have the expertise to oversee the entire project and work to ensure it is completed according to your budget, to your specifications, on time. If you complete the project yourself, you likely pay retail prices for supplies. Since masonry contractors have industry connections, you can get the best pricing on construction materials, which can result in significant savings.
What Are the Downsides to DIY Masonry Repair?If you notice cracks in the brick, stone, or concrete of your home, fixing on your own can be dangerous, especially if you have to get on a ladder to reach it easily. Although adding mortar fills the crack, it may not correct the issue. Once a chip, fracture or other breach is visible, there may be underlying damage. Correctly fixing the issue requires preparing the surface. You can hide the defect, but the cracks will likely just come back. DIY kits may seem an economical way to go, but by not getting to the root of the problem, the damage can affect the structural integrity of your chimney, patio, wall or home. Having a professional correct a minor issue now can help you avoid major expenses later. When homeowners try their hand at masonry repair, many projects go sideways for reasons that aren’t immediately apparent.
Waterproofing Old Mortar and BricksIf your home has a brick exterior or patio, you may decide to waterproof the brick to increase its lifespan. However, if you seal it while there is still moisture inside, you could trap it, causing the brick to break down faster. A professional mason can inspect the brick and determine if a sealant is necessary and whether a breathable water repellent or non-breathable sealant is beneficial.
Using the Incorrect MortarThe DIY home renovation arena has exploded in the last few decades. Today there is a broad range of bricks and mortar types, and not all of them are compatible with each other. If you use a combination that doesn’t work, the structure can fail in a very short time. It can start a repair cycle that becomes costly in just a few years. If you own an older home in Plano or Fort Worth, modern mortar on historic brickwork often doesn’t match well. Different porosity means that the section you fix today will breathe and contract at a different rate than the existing mortar. The result can be disastrous.
Improperly Installed or Inadequate FlashingFlashing is an essential component for keeping your brick or stonework structure solid and intact. It’s a thin strip of water-resistant material used around the foundation, windows and doors to channel water away from your home. Typically made from composite, sheet metal or tar-like substances, it prevents moisture and water damage. Weep holes direct the water to the flashing, which means correct placement and quantity are critical.
Poor MaintenanceAlthough brick and stone are durable, routine maintenance can extend their lifespan. Keeping standing water away from the masonry can minimize the potential for salt crystals to form and discourage moss or lichen growth. Power washing or sandblasting can be beneficial when done correctly. Using the wrong solvents or cleansers can damage the integrity of the masonry.
Contact Texas Brick Experts TodayOur masons can transform your property using eco-friendly building materials, improving its curb appeal from concrete repair and restoring or refurbishing old buildings to new brick and stone construction. Brick Experts masons are masters of their trade, licensed, insured and bonded. Expertise and superior customer service ensure your complete satisfaction. Contact us today to discuss your ideas, timeline and budget.
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