Residents or business owners of the Hoosier state who are privileged to have a building made of brick or stone will sooner or later need to face the prospect of masonry restoration Indiana style. There are many national and state resources to help, ranging from educational sites online and suppliers of tools, materials, and do-it-yourself kits to full-service contractors.
Help can be needed for inspection – to make sure property is in good shape or to catch problems before they become serious. Checking online can be the first step if a do-it-yourself homeowner wants to learn what is involved or where to get supplies and equipment. If repairs are needed to a structure, professional help may be the best choice. And, if a property is historic, knowing the traditional methods and materials that will retain the integrity of the structure can be critical.
Masonry, by definition construction using brick or stone but also often involving cinder block or concrete, is the most durable type of building. Stone often lasts centuries, and brick hundreds of years, but mortar that joins the individual units begins to deteriorate after thirty or forty years. As it crumbles, it allows moisture to enter the structure, may fall out and let in drafts and insect pests, and eventually will cease to hold the stones or bricks in place.
If you want to do simple repairs, such as replacing old mortar, on a do-it-yourself basis, it is important to educate yourself before proceeding. There are different forms of mortar, ranging from the old lime mixtures to cement and more modern plastic compounds. For a historic restoration project, cement and later innovations can be unsightly and may even compromise the value of a building. For any project, matching the color of the original mortar is important. Having the right tools will make the job easier and the results more pleasing and enduring.
When finding a contractor, it makes good sense to check the website of the Indiana Concrete Masonry Association, where member contractors will be listed. These professionals have agreed to bind themselves to the good business practices detailed in the by-laws of the association. Architects and engineers may join the group as well, and take advantage of the many promotional and educational resources offered to members.
Education, promotion of the industry, safety, and innovation are main focus areas of the Association, known as the ICMA. They work with local fire and building code committees, hold award programs and seminars on design and installation technology, and provide networking resources.
Whether your masonry restoration Indiana project involves weather-proofing, re-pointing for regular maintenance, repairing plaster or stucco surfaces, cleaning the effects of urban pollution or years of exposure, or something as simple as removing graffiti, the right procedure is important to the integrity of your building.
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