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Spalling: An Early Warning Sign?

Spalling is the breakdown of masonry surface layers in response to high temperature or internal mechanical pressure sometimes caused by corroding reinforcing steel. Spalling can often be a warning sign of more extensive structural damage extending into the building.

What Is A “Turret?”

In a previous newsletter, we referred to the “turret” around the entranceway of the English Tudor home. A turret is merely a small, circular tower built into to a more significant structure, usually on a corner or angle, to provide a decorative effect. The difference between a turret and an actual tower is that turrets […]

Vertical Expansion Joints

Among the critical masonry restoration services we provide is the installation of vertical expansion joints. To allow expansion in the structures we restored, we cut vertical lines at the corners of the building to allow the bricks to expand or contract to avoid cracking. 

What Is A “Light Well?”

In architecture, a light well (also known as an air shaft) is an unroofed external space provided within the volume of a large building to allow light and air to reach what would otherwise be a dark or unventilated area.

Concrete Sound Testing 

Common defects in concrete include voids and inclusions due to improper consolidation, poor surface finish or cracked surface due to plastic shrinkage, damage and cracking from residual stresses due to thermal effects, surface weakness, weak bonds between steel and concrete due to bleeding, cold joints, etc.

Mansard Roofs

A mansard (roof) encompasses a four-sided gambrel style hip roof with two distinct slopes. The steeper slope with windows can be found on one side creating an additional floor of habitable space, known as a garret.

Anatomy of a Portico

According to the dictionary, a portico is a porch or covered walkway with a roof supported by regularly spaced columns or enclosed walls. This pedestrian definition does not do justice to the intricate architecture that formed the grand entrances to ancient Greek temples.

Using Drone Technology for Building Inspection

Engineers often have to face the challenge of inspecting tall or structurally deficient buildings. Situations involving high rise buildings, towers, or steep roofs may be not safe or may be inaccessible for a human inspection.

Mortar Color Matching Protocol

While matching mortar color may seem like a simple proposition on first glance, there is a lot more to this process than meets the eye.  The base formulation of the mortar affects the color of the mortar. 

Poured Reinforced Concrete

Reinforced concrete is a composite material in which the concrete’s tensile strength and ductility (tendency to deform) are enhanced by the use of a reinforcing material — usually steel bars or a mesh of steel wire (rebar). The rebar is typically embedded into the concrete before the concrete sets.

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