The Importance of Matching For Brick Repair
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The Importance of Matching For Brick Repair

Brick repair from Abbot Building Restoration

In the renovation of 124-126 Rindge Avenue in Cambridge, Abbot researched and located new brick to match the original brick used on the buildings.

Restoring a brick building to its old glory may seem as easy as replacing damaged bricks with new ones. Unfortunately, taking that approach may result in cracks, leaking, and other issues that come without proper research before the job. Here are the areas that Abbot Building Restoration researches and compares before any brick repair is completed.

Functional Properties

The size and appearance are not the only aspects to consider when replacing existing brick. Modern bricks have many properties that differ from bricks of the past, including different rates of thermal expansion and contraction, different moisture vapor transmission, different porosities, and different compressive strength and weight bearing capabilities. It is important that we research these functional properties of the existing brick in order to match it with an equivalent replacement. While this task may seem painstaking, it is crucial to the integrity and durability of the brickwork, and can save from having to repair or replace more bricks soon after the job is done.

Mortar Strength

Just as modern and older bricks differ, so do mortar and joint sealing compounds. Modern versions of these compounds are much stronger and stiffer than past varieties, and can lead to cracks in brickwork if the wrong type is used. The mortar should always be softer than the masonry, which can only be determined through appropriate research and matching.

Segregate New From Old

Some brick repair work is painfully obvious, and shows the lack of research and care put into the project. While we take all the steps to find a similar match for existing brick, sometimes an appropriate match or enough of the existing brick is not available. This is when strategic planning comes into play. Segregating the old brick from the new at different areas of the building can help assure that the look of the project matches the strength and durability achieved.

To find out more about Abbot Building Restoration for brick repair, give a call at 617-445-0274.

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