Masonry Repair Services - Mortar Analysis

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: and request an estimate.

Copyright © 2018 James R. Nech/Alamo Masonry Repair (AMR). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Call today for Masonry Repair Services - (Mortar Analysis and Matching)

We provide testing and matching masonry repair services across the U.S.

(817) 366-8376

Send Mortar Samples for Testing - Masonry Repair Services

*AMR Labs*
1525 Corona Dr.
Granbury, TX 76048

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Mortar Analysis

Mortar Analysis
Mortar Analysis is the process of testing the composition or performance of dried mortar. This has many application in the field of masonry from determining the formula of existing mortar for matching during masonry repairs to determining the quality of mortar used or if it matches the existing mortar. While we provide different testing for the various uses, our focus in mortar testing and analysis is for the purpose of determining the composition formula for matching the existing mortar of masonry restoration projects and historic mortar matching analysis.

Mortar analysis allows you to get a formula of the mortar composition and ratios used in the original mortar sample and identify the compressive strength and sand. These factors directly affect the ability of the replacement mortar to bond with the existing mortar and the color or texture of the cement. These factors are important in making the repairs last and look properly. If the mortars don't bond to each other, the repairs will pop loose and likely cause damage to the bricks.

Mortar Analysis Method

Proprietary Mortar Analysis

Our proprietary method of mortar analysis includes many of the common mortar testing methods per the ASTM test procedures of each, including compressive strength testing of mortar samples, the acid digestion analysis of the composition, and some other scientific mortar testing processes such as calculating the weight loss during testing to confirm results. We also offer additional testing for those who need more details about the sand or color of the mortar. You can add color matching or a sand sieve analysis to our mortar analysis testing for $150 each. For a more detailed description of testing or a complete list of tests offered, visit

Mortar Analysis Process

Mortar analysis procedures for ordering are as follow:

  1. Collect and label each sample (if you are ordering multiple tests) and package them in bags for shipping. Crumbled samples are ok, but try to get some pieces for crushing. We need a few pieces or about a cup of mortar.

  2. Send samples to AMR Labs at 1525 Corona Dr. in Granbury, TX 76048 using your preferred shipping method (U.S. postal service offers flat rate boxes that work well).

    1. Include samples, your contact information (phone, shipping, and E-mail), and a check or receipt from online payment, and any special instructions or needs.

    2. The cost is per sample tested. Be sure to make payment for how many tests are needed.

  3. From the time we receive the samples of mortar, the process takes 1-2 weeks to get your test results. In some cases it may be quicker. Test results are sent back by mail and e-mail if we have one provided.

  4. All credit card payments must be processed online.

  1. Mortar Analysis
    Testing Report/Formula


    Mortar Testing Report/Formula

Mortar Analysis - Testing Report and Formula

  1. Match the mortar type and relative crushing pressure

  2. Determine grade and color of sand

  3. send you a sample of your sand rinsed during analysis to compare to when picking your local sand.

  4. WE will E-Mail you the Testing Report and Mortar Formula (This Analysis Is Not A Color Match)

  5. (For Color Matching )

    1. Crushing Pressure and Sand Gradation can only be approximated due to the size, age, and shapes of samples being tested.

Mortar analysis and add-ons

  1. Mortar Analysis costs $350 per sample tested

    Mortar Testing $350/Sample
  2. Add a color match for $150 per sample to match

    $150.00/match mortar color
  3. Add a Sand Sieve Analysis for $150 per test

    $150/Sieve Analysis



Mortar Testing Services

We offer many types of mortar analysis and masonry testing including mortar color/composition matching. Some are listed below.

Mortar Testing

This mortar analysis analyzes the compressive strength of mortar, the mortar composition, mortar type, the sand gradation, and produces a mortar formula for matching the mortar composition and type of the existing mortar sample being tested or to analyze and compare two samples of mortar to determine if they are the same. This mortar analysis includes compressive strength testing, hydrochloric testing or acid digestion of mortar, magnified examination, weight loss, and sand analysis. A cleaned sample of the original sand is returned to you with the mortar testing report. This test is also used to determine if the old mortar is a historic mortar or rather contains historic lime.

Mortar Matching

In this mortar analysis, we analyze the composition of mortar samples, compressive strength, and color and produce a mortar formula for matching the existing mortar color and composition. This includes an analysis of the original sand.

Masonry Unit Testing

This analysis is designed to test the crushing pressure or compressive strength of mortar, brick, stone, block, or tile, and is used to analyze and determine if the mortar used is a good mortar for the masonry units or to determine what type of mortar should be used with the units. A good mortar is slightly softer than the brick or stone it is used to install to prevent damage to the masonry unit.

Mortar Testing and Matching Services

There is no reason for masonry repair to look like this.
Get the mortar tested and properly matched. View our photos to see what this project looks like after our mortar testing and mortar matching services.

Mortar Testing Lab Analysis/Masonry Repair