If you have ever had to rebuild or repair damaged stone, block or brick walls, then you know the process is very time consuming, invasive and expensive. Performing fairly inexpensive routine maintenance every few years will save thousands of dollars on a typical retaining or wing wall in the long run. Often, the main reason for the deterioration of masonry walls is due to the freeze thaw cycle caused from water intrusion into the caps of these walls. During the warmer months water gets into the walls and then after it freezes in the winter and thaws in the spring it spalls the masonry units and mortar joints popping them out. This in turn, allows even more water to intrude and further damage the walls. This vicious cycle continues if left unattended for very long eventually causing complete failure of the structural integrity of the masonry walls. At this point, usually the walls need torn down and rebuilt 100% and it’s extremely costly.
A simple and beautiful solution to partly remedy this problem is to install a limestone or sandstone solid cap or coping. This is fairly expensive but not compared to the cost of having to rebuild the walls. A new stone coping looks gorgeous and provides a solid cap acting like a roof over your walls. Stone is not going to absorb water like brick, block and mortar joints on the top or cap of a wall. If you are experiencing brick, block, stone and mortar deterioration on your walls and do not have a true stone coping on it like a stone cap, then you need to seriously consider this option.
Here is a simple checklist and remedies for you to monitor and maintain your masonry walls on your home or building:
Have an expert in masonry restoration inspect and probe your walls every 2-3 years to assess their present condition, projecting their potential life-span or usage, and recommend critical maintenance, repairs or replacement as needed and make certain walls have proper drainage, below-grade waterproofing, etc.
If there is a stone coping on the walls, clean, re-tuckpoint or better yet, cut out old mortar of butt joints on coping and caulk using a good commercial grade urethane or silicone sealant as this will allow movement capability it’s not subject to crack or fail as fast as mortar will,
If no stone coping, then consider one and select from several quality options.
If you ever need major or minor structural repairs done to your home or building call Utmost Renovations – they have a vast amount of expertise in this area and you can’t afford to hire just anyone for this type of work.
Utmost is an A+ accredited business with the BBB and is A rated and a Super Award Winner on Angie’s List, and has lots of strong LinkedIn and Google+ Reviews. The owner, Mark Huffer is also an active member of professional organizations in the building trades such as BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) and IFMA (International Facilities Management Association).
Feel free to call Utmost Renovations for any assistance with this type of maintenance and repairs. We will be glad to help you with any project of this nature. Mark Huffer is the founder and president of Utmost Renovations–a premier masonry restoration and building renovation contractor and consultant. He is very well known and respected in the building restoration industry in Columbus and throughout Central Ohio with over twenty years of knowledge and expertise and a strong track record.