Can Older Building Masonry Be Restored?

A lot of old buildings feature some very intricate and appealing masonry work. As those buildings age, that masonry can deteriorate without the proper care. For people who own old brick buildings or buildings with masonry features, then, the question becomes whether or not that old masonry can be restored to its former glory.

The answer is “yes,” masonry repair and restoration in Indianapolis, IN is possible, but it’s no easy task. You’ll need to make sure you know what you’re doing (ideally, you’ll hire a professional) and follow all the proper processes. With this in mind, here is some information about restoring old building masonry:

Hire a professional: It’s always in your best interest to bring in a professional to handle restoration of your brickwork, especially if it is unique or valuable. If you believe you have the skills to take on the job yourself, though, you should at least make it a priority to collect all the right tools for the project before you get started.

Know what kind of brickwork you have: The types of materials that make up your masonry features will influence the approaches you use in the restoration process. See if you can determine exactly what materials make up your brickwork. Any new bricks and mortar you need to add should be compatible with what’s already there.

Avoid the sandblasting process: One of the biggest mistakes you can make with restoration of old brick surfaces is to try sandblasting. This is a popular process to use for concrete, but concrete is much more durable. Brickwork can be irreversibly destroyed with sandblasting. The same is true with using pressure washers. Not only does the high-pressure water jet etch the brick, but it could also push cleaning chemicals deep into the brickwork to the point where they cannot be rinsed out, resulting in staining of the bricks.

Use special masonry cleaners: You can clean your masonry, so long as you do not use the aforementioned methods to do so. Most masonry companies will use specialized cleaning products, and it’s smart to use what the pros use. It’s a good idea to test out any product you purchase in a small, inconspicuous spot first before you proceed to use it on the entire building. This will help you make sure there aren’t any unwanted effects that come with using the product on your brickwork.

Start with small jobs: This is especially important if you’ve decided you’re going to take on the job yourself. You should start with smaller jobs before you work your way up to larger ones. For example, if you have some tuckpointing that needs to be done, it’s better to start with a small spot, like a chimney, than it is to focus on a large section of exterior brick wall.

If you’re interested in learning more about the processes the pros use to restore old masonry, we encourage you to contact Knauss Property Services, LLC about our masonry repair and restoration services in Indianapolis, IN.