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Choosing a Masonry & Brickwork Contractor

Masonry offers a durable and beautiful option to upgrade the exterior of your home, but have you ever wondered which services masonry encompasses? Masonry contractors work with brick, marble, granite, limestone, concrete, and other materials to beautify your property. Whether you're in need of brick masonry, tuckpointing services, or hardscaping for your patio, the right stone features will transform the look of your home and improve its overall curb appeal. Connect with a skilled local contractor today to help with your masonry and brickwork project, and watch your space evolve!

[What is masonry]

What is masonry?

Masonry is a style of building that uses individual items or sets of items together in order to create a larger structure. Instead of building a wall using framing and drywall, masons would create a wall by stacking stones or bricks. Some structures that are created using masonry are chimneys, walking paths, and retaining walls. Typical masonry materials include concrete, brick, granite, and limestone. Compared to other techniques, masonry creates a very strong and durable structure.

[Joisted Masonryt]

What is joisted masonry?

The term joisted masonry applies to building categorization and building codes. Buildings can be constructed in 1 of 6 different classes:

  • Frame
  • Non-combustible
  • Masonry non-combustible
  • Modified fire resistive
  • Fire resistive
  • Joisted masonry
Underwriters use these classes to evaluate a property for potential risks. Joisted masonry burns at a slow rate, and is more fire resistant than framing with wood, but less fire resistant than the other building classes. Joisted masonry is often used to construct residencies, but not large-scale commercial properties, warehouses, or high-rise buildings. If wood framing is overlaid with a masonry-style veneer, it is still classified in the frame class.

[Masonry fireplace]

What is a masonry fireplace?

Masonry fireplaces are typical of older homes, and are constructed with brick or stone by a mason, at the same time the rest of the structure was built. Fireplaces don’t come in just one style, though. In newer structures, fireplaces are usually categorized as pre-fab or factory-built. This means they were created in a factory, tested and regulated, and were not part of the initial construction of your home or business. Other fireplace styles include free-standing wood stoves, electric, and fireplace inserts.

[painting brickwork]

How to paint brickwork?

If you’re interested in painting your brick, it’s best to consult a professional with experience. Brick is relatively porous and some brick styles aren’t as compatible with paint as other styles. An expert will help you choose the right paint and the right application process for your masonry fireplace, brick exterior, retaining walls, or other masonry elements on your property. Regardless, before you begin painting you’ll have to thoroughly clean your brick and identify any problem areas like cracks or breakage that could be indicative of a larger problem, so you can always start there.

[Veneer Masonry]

What is masonry veneer?

“Veneer” doesn’t have to refer to a layer of fake, plastic bricks, but more likely to one row of bricks constructed against traditional wood framing, instead of the many rows of brick needed to build a structure exclusively made of masonry materials.

Masonry veneer or brick veneer, unlike solid or joisted masonry, is not integral to the structure of a building. Masonry veneer is a layer of masonry that is added to the exterior of a structure to provide the same aesthetic, but with less durability and other added benefits of solid masonry. There are benefits to adding a masonry veneer, however. Veneer over framing makes for better insulation than a solid masonry element does.

[cracked brick]

What causes cracks in brick?

If you’re noticing cracks in your brick or brick veneer, the culprit could be one of a number of issues. Foundation settlement, as we know, causes both regular and stair-step cracking in foundation walls. Foundation settlement is often due to loose backsoil or the composition of backsoil, hydrostatic pressure, moisture, and other conditions.

Another reason for your cracked brick may be the expansion of bricks. A great mason knows to allow for extra space between bricks, as bricks are porous and may absorb moisture, causing them to shrink and expand. Without extra room, bricks may not be able to expand and move as they need to, resulting in splitting or cracking under pressure.

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