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
Or email us:
"Brick Repair- Matching Mortar"
Brick Repair and Foundation Repair Services
In the last five years, everybody is getting into the field of brick repair. I have seen this happening more and more. Foundation repair companies have started giving this service away as an incentive to help them gain a customers business. Many masonry contractors have taken advantage of this growing field. Even the local retail stores for home improvement have begun to carry special products for brick repair. This change in the industry can leave people misguided.
A leading symptom in people’s homes that points them to foundation repair are the cracks in the bricks and mortar around a home. These cracks can be intimidating to a homeowner, and give leverage to a skilled salesperson. Many salespeople in the foundation repair industry use this leverage to make their sale by promising that they will fix these cracks in the brick and mortar. They generally offer this as a free service to the customer. Now, I am no genius, but I know that nothing is free. If they are giving this service away, they have to be charging for it some place. In addition, this free service may be “free” because they know that they are not delivering the quality that is available in the market and they do not want it to have any technical ties to the money they are charging for this service. It is a simple tactic. Over charge them here and give this away over there for free. You should be cautious of these methods, and make sure that you are getting the quality you deserve.
Mason contractors have performed masonry repairs for thousands of years. In these ancient practices the primary goal was to simply reinforce the structure and seal its surface. They were not concerned with restoring the beauty of the work. This has remained the practice up until the past ten years. Ten years ago, Alamo Masonry, saw the need for improving the industry of brick repair. They determined that the then current practices were no longer functional and that it could be done better. After careful study and analysis they wrote the guidelines for a proper restoration which include a minimum depth of repairs and an exact process for performing them, among many others. In conjunction with these guidelines, Alamo Masonry also produced the first system for matching mortars in color and texture, and wrote a master formula. In addition, they wrote over 10,000 other formulas for individual color matches.
Brick Repair/Matching Mortar
Since this has been introduced into the market, many companies have emulated Alamo Masonry in their marketing tactics, procedures, or even tried to pass themselves off as Alamo Masonry. Some companies have made boastful claims that they have been matching mortars for 20 years or more, and have only been in business for 6-8 months. There have been a couple of companies claiming that they created this technique. While most others have simply followed the market, and seeing that this is what the consumer is expecting, claim “Yea, me too.” Some of these companies have gotten better at matching the mortars, but as yet they are still not comparable. You should be careful in the contractor you choose, and don’t allow yourself to be “Olivered”. Research your contractors through accredited reporting agencies.
Now even local home improvement stores are carrying various products for brick repair. All of these brick repair products are based on the antiquated methods of brick repair, and are not even close to doing it right. These products are generally sold to the do-it-yourselfers, and are quite enticing due to their simplicity and low costs.
There are products available for the do-it-yourselfers which are reasonably priced and will actually get the job done right. Currently Alamo Masonry offers a variety of products for brick repairs. Some of these are the Brick Repair Guide and Mortar Matching. This guide tells you step-by-step how to do the repairs, and the Mortar Matching service is easy and reliable. You send us a sample of your mortar, and we match it and return the formula to you. These certified mortar matches are available through Alamo Masonry, and are available to everyone. If you are not a do-it-yourselfer and are looking for a quality contractor, look for one who offers you the “Alamo Certified Mortar Match”. This will help to protect your investment and maintain the value of your home.
Coming soon from Alamo Masonry are Brick Repair Kits and various videos to assist you in performing masonry repairs. Look for these products as they become available. Now Available!
Copyright © 2007 James R. Nech/Alamo Masonry. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED