Bricks and mortar are legendarily solid but all masonry will crumble eventually and require repair or replacement. As expert masons we can handle all your masonry repair requirements so whether you're looking at visible degradation of mortar and pointing, or you suspect your chimney may be past its best but don't know how to get up there and check it out then we should be your first call to have it checked, repaired, and improved.
There are two notably different types of masonry repairs that need doing and those are decorative and structural. Clearly the second is the most important and if you even suspect that your masonry's integrity is structurally compromised in any way then you need to call us in pronto to inspect it and make sure that it doesn't pose a danger to your property or your safety. It's often hard for a property owner to know the difference between an ugly crack and a crack that indicates subsidence, sagging, or movement that will eventually cause the structure to fail. Which is why we recommend you call us in for due diligence inspections before you buy, and regular maintenance inspections afterwards.
Cracks could be simple superficial problems caused by freeze thaw and heat expansion or examples of spalling where the surface is flaking off. However cracks can also point to a wall that is sagging or under pressure from soil movement. It could mean that lintels or arches are failing and no longer taking the strain. All of which means it is essential to have cracks seen to by the professionals. If we find structural issues we always take care to deal with them first and that might mean any of a number of techniques in our arsenal including bracing and adding in invisible buttresses. We fix cracked and crumbling brick and stone and ensure that the replacements perfectly match the original style so that our repairs can't be detected.
Pointing (the mortar in the gaps between bricks and stone), particularly in external walls will eventually need re pointing thanks to the attentions of the elements. Re pointing isn't an amateur job not least since the wrong kind of pointing mortar can actually cause further problems. The mortar must be matched to the appearance of surrounding mortar but hard mortar (mortar with a high content of Portland cement) will be less permeable than surrounding brick and this may actually help guide water into more porous surrounding masonry. We will always match the mortar perfectly both in terms of looks and performance.
In some cases old and historic brick degrades with the effects of sun, wind, and water and the best way to replace that brick, keeping the original look is actually to take the bricks out, turn them around to show the other side, and lay them again. Then to avoid the same process happening we can coat them in water repellent coatings that will preserve them and the look of your masonry.