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:
Matching Brick Mortar
Mortar Matching for brick repair is a more detailed process than just matching the color. This is because the composition of the mortar that determines the mortar type directly affects the color. Additionally, the composition and mortar type determine the compressive strength of the mortar, the amount of water penetration, and the ability to bond together. Without matching these factors about the mortar, any repair is not going to last and will likely cause damage to the bricks.
Matching Mortar Accurately
The only way to match mortar accurately is through analysis of the mortar composition if the composition, formula, and ratio of sand is unknown, and through mixing the replacement mortar per this formula and ratio from the base ingredients and not from small portions of prepackaged mortar of the desired mortar type. The prepackaged mortars are not consistent throughout the package, but rather require the full content of these bags to make the specified mortar type. Therefore, to make smaller portions or adjust color of base tones, you must follow the same formula and ratio of ingredients used to make those packages applied to a smaller scale and color adjustments using the grey/white Portland.
The primary ingredients of mortar is Portland + lime + sand. The base tone between grey and white can be adjusted in the Portland. There are both grey and white forms of this material, and as long as your mortar formula contains the same amount of Portland in the ratio, the color of Portland is not relevant to anything but the resulting color tone. This is why mixing from the base ingredients of mortar allows accuracy and color adjustment at any scale of volume needed.
How to Match Mortar Color
When adjusting base tones (grey to white) or color tones, it is very important to know the color and gradation of the sand because the sand composes nearly 70-80% of the mortar and directly affects the color. This is why if you mix white type N mortar mix with a sand that is reddish brown with about 10% of the particles being smaller and black, your mortar will have a buff tone with a light grey appearance even when no grey Portland is used in the mix.
Mortar Matching Analysis
Our mortar matching or color matching analysis listed below provides basic testing of the mortar to confirm the compressive strength and bonding ability based on a known mortar type or where the mortar type is based on the compressive strength of the mortar sample being matched. It also provides basic information about the sand used and provides a sample of original sand used with the results. If you need more detailed information about the mortar composition or sand, you may need to add a sand sieve analysis or add both a sieve analysis and color match to a full mortar analysis.
Mortar Color Matching
Match the mortar type and crushing pressure
Determine grade and color of sand
Send you a sample of your sand rinsed during analysis to compare to when picking your local sand.
check for known contaminates in your mortar
Most repair projects only use one box of mortar.
Crushing Pressure and Sand Gradation can only be approximated due to the size, age, and shapes of samples being tested.
Mortar Matching procedures for ordering are as follow:
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. Some surface pieces are best for color matching.
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).
Include samples, your contact information (phone, shipping, and E-mail), and a check or receipt from online payment, and any special instructions or needs.
The cost is per sample tested. Be sure to make payment for how many tests are needed.
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.
All credit card payments must be processed online.
Pre-Matched Mortars - Order mortar mixes pre-matched to your formula.
Each box contains 2 bags of mortar.
Do-It-Yourself Brick Repair/Tuckpointing
Get The Brick Repair Guide now and learn step-by-step how easy Brick Repair can be.
If you use the buy now button below to get the book, it will process that order separately than anything using add to cart in order to put you on the download page.
Copyright © 2007-2016 James R. Nech/Alamo Masonry. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
We offer many types of mortar analysis and masonry testing including mortar color/composition matching. Some are listed below.
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.
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.
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.
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.