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Ensuring Quality Brick & Masonry Work


By Carrie Dixon, Blog Editor

One of the most functional and versatile materials, brick, has been used for years as an exceptionally reliable construction material. When looking for a Brick & Masonry contractor use careful consideration and comparison. Shopping around should be based on reputation, reliability, experience and price ‘value’, not just lowest price.

 

Repairs:  Seek out a brick repair ‘specialist’. Don’t expect a handyman or even a typical mason to fully understand or properly address cosmetic or structural problems with your brick wall, arch or fireplace.  Hire a professional mason with experience with your issues and this kind of work is their ‘specialty’.

 

Experience: Many bricklayers claim to have between 20-30 years of experience, yet seem to have a new business name every year.  Check with the BBB periodically to verify the longevity of a given company in the brick/masonry repair category.

 

Timing: Rushing to get ‘brick-masonry’ repair done may prove to be a costly mistake.  Good repair companies will likely have some backlog or projects or work to do, especially in the busy spring and summer months.  Realize they are in demand for one good reason, you’ll likely find it worth the wait.

 

Materials: Although masonry work should last many years, there are key variables that could cause it to fail or deteriorate prematurely.  Choosing a brick that is soft or otherwise of poor quality, building with improper mortar (poor selection, or non-approved additives that serve to weaken the compressive strength over time), and inappropriate construction methods can all lead to premature problems.  There are also a few variables that may legitimately limit your masonry’s useful life.  Especially in repair work, the contractor is limited material selection to match pre-existing materials, for example, soft adobe brick.  Also, most masonry work is supported by a concrete foundation-designed and built by others, so if the concrete cracks, settles, or shifts, so will the brick work, at no fault of the brick mason.

 

Warrantees: Generally, the industry standard for most construction work calls for a one-year guarantee on both labor and materials.  The work of most construction trades should last several years, but even the best contractors generally limit their liability to one year.  This provides ample opportunity for you, the buyer, to thoroughly examine the work over several months, and get any potential problems corrected within a reasonable time frame.

 

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