Masonry Contractors to Masonry Repair
Alamo Masonry Repair (AMR) began as a local masonry contractor performing new construction and specializing in custom stone works building patios, waterfalls, archways, retaining walls, fireplaces, and other new masonry structures including brick and stone homes and commercial block buildings with brick and stone veneer. Around '97 or '98 Alamo Masonry Repair started to lean away from the new construction and specialize in repair of masonry cracks and damage as we saw the need for masonry repair services that focused on the details and made a true effort to do masonry repair right, and not just a patch over the cracks. When we specialized in masonry repair, we changed our name to this focus. As with any major transition, it was not easy focusing on masonry repair. We had a lot to learn.
Matching Mortar for Masonry Repair
We quickly realized that there was far more to matching mortar for masonry repair than just adding some pigment to color the mortar. What we found is that most mortars had faded or darkened from their base tone of grey or white. This seemed easy enough to compensate and perform the masonry repairs, but we quickly found problems with the masonry repair industry standard of mixing some from a bag of grey mortar and some from a bag of white mortar to adjust this tone. While the blending of grey and white is the only way to match this tone, Alamo Masonry Repair learned that we could not do this with the pre-mixed bags of mortar without changing the ratio of binding materials and mortar type. This was evident in changes of color and hardness in one batch to the next on the same masonry repair project where we knew that we had measured the exact same amounts from each container.
When we found this, we began research into how this could happen, and the answer was simple. The binding materials have dramatically different weights, and when placed into a bucket and vibrated in transport, these materials separated into layers inside the bucket that we could not see. These studies led us into other research to better improve the industry of masonry repair, but we identified that to blend the grey and white tones you must mix the binding materials in proper proportions for the mortar type ratio on your own and not use pre-mixed bags to blend.
As Alamo Masonry Repair (AMR) continued to research, I was reminded of my formal studies in chemistry and lab works. I had finally found a way to apply the things learned in school to the career I grew up in.
Masonry Repair Services
Alamo Masonry Repair began offering mortar analysis and matching services to our customers to accurately identify the mortar type and compressive strength of their mortar in addition to the color matching services. Over the next ten years, we became not only the first to specialize in nothing but masonry repair, but as we gained competition, we became the most trusted name in masonry repair due to the practice of matching mortars completely and the professional masonry repair services we provided.
While the goal of Alamo Masonry Repair was to provide quality masonry repair, we also wanted to improve the industry and provide all customers the highest level of quality for masonry repair, and realized this was not possible on our own. We could only train so many crews to do masonry repair the right way. So in an effort to reach more customers and provide them the best in masonry repair, we opened our lab services to our competitors and homeowners. This quickly took hold, but it began to create a conflict to compete in the local masonry repair industry.
Masonry Repair in Dallas Fort Worth
This led Alamo Masonry Repair to change our name to AMR Labs, release our masonry repair training manual and bags of custom made premixed pointing mortar to the public, and step back and out of onsite masonry repair services allowing us to provide AMR products and services nationally. We have leased our website for local masonry repair in the Dallas Fort Worth area to a young promising business that seems to put forth the effort to providing high quality masonry repair services and competitive pricing.
For masonry repair services in the Dallas Fort Worth area, visit: http://dfwbrickrepair.com and request an estimate.
We provide testing and matching masonry repair services across the U.S.
1525 Corona Dr.
Granbury, TX 76048
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Brick Fireplace Repair
Many homes have brick fireplaces, but most people don’t know how to, or that they even need to be maintained. There are a few basic things to watch for regarding your fireplace.
Two of the first things to look at are at the top of your chimney. There should be a spark-arrestor cap covering the chimney. This prevents water from entering your home through the chimney, prevents sparks that could start a fire, and keeps all kinds of animals from nesting in your chimney. There should also be some form of cap (generally formed out of mortar) preventing the same in the area between the flu and the external brick of the chimney. Both of these caps deteriorate over time and should be checked regularly (yearly), and repaired or replaced as needed. While you are up here, take a glance down your flue watching for nests or cracking that may result in a burnout.
Next, look inside of your firebox inside of your home. Here you will be looking for any cracking or deteriorated firebrick. Some of the most common are cracks in the four corner regions and in the center of the back wall. Remember that fire is much like water and will follow the path of least resistance, and if there are any openings (even small cracks) the fire will flow through them. This is called a burnout. Once the fire has flowed through one of these openings, it is in the walls and may not be found before it is too late. Most of these cracks/openings can be sealed with high-temperature clay (fireclay) available at most masonry supply stores. It almost paints on and seeps into the cracks, and leaves your fireplace looking like new.
The last thing that we will cover is separation of the fireplace from the house, and/or the face of your fireplace. In many cases, the faces of fireplaces tend to separate. Though this is a serious concern because this veneer could fall, it is not necessarily a foundation issue. Sometimes the veneer is not properly anchored to the fireplace itself, and may begin to list away from it. In others, the fireplace may be settling and leaning one direction or another; causing this effect.
Before using your fireplace, you need to check it out to make sure that it is safe.
Copyright © 2007 James R. Nech/Alamo Masonry. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED