FAQ: What Arlington Homeowners Want to Know About Masonry

Masonry is among the most classic, durable, and appealing building materials in Arlington. It has been used since prehistoric times and, astoundingly, there are prehistoric buildings still standing to this very day. In fact, the oldest building in the world that is still standing is made of stone and dates back to about 3600 BCE in the Stone Age—that's some serious longevity!

But, despite that evidence of extreme durability, most masonry is not going to last 5,600 years without professional repairs and maintenance. If your brick, stone, or concrete pavers are looking worse for wear and showing signs of deterioration, you need the help of Arlington masonry experts to get your structures and surfaces back in excellent condition. Do you have questions about Arlington masonry? This guide provides answers to some common questions, so you can make an informed decision about the care of your property.

Arlington's homeowners and commercial property owners can rely on the service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Arlington, Mansfield and Grapevine for high-quality Arlington masonry services, as well as other outstanding services. With the benefit of our dedicated care, maybe your masonry will be around to be discovered by archaeologists in a few thousand years!

What Is Masonry?

The word is used in two ways:

  1. It is the building of structures and surfaces such as walls, walkways, driveways, patios, chimneys, and exterior stairs from individual units which are laid in and bound together with mortar.

  2. It can also refer to the units themselves, which are made of stone, brick, or concrete.

Masonry is used for a wide variety of structures in Arlington, both for residential properties and commercial buildings.

What Are the 3 Types of Masonry?

Typically, when people in Arlington refer to the three types, they are talking about the three kinds of materials that are commonly used: bricks, stones, and cement blocks or pavers. However, there are other categories that refer to the way the construction is done. For example, rubble masonry is the use of rough, unfinished stones arranged in an irregular pattern.

What Do Arlington Masonry Services Include?

Installation, repair, maintenance, and cleaning all fall under that umbrella. At Mr. Handyman of Arlington, Mansfield and Grapevine, our Arlington masonry services include:

  • Brick replacement

  • Foundation repair

  • Chimney repair

  • Repairing stairs, walkways & driveways

  • Cement walkway repair

  • Stone or brick wall repair

  • Fence post & concrete deck footing installation

  • Brick or stone fireplace repair

  • Commercial masonry projects

  • Installing or repairing cement pavers—plus other deck and patio repair tasks

What Causes Damage to Masonry Materials in Arlington?

Stones, bricks, and pavers all have a natural resistance to fire, rot, insects, vandalism, and other forms of damage that plague materials such as wood, which is undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of these durable building materials in Arlington. However, masonry surfaces and structures are not completely impervious to damage. They can suffer serious problems which are often (though not always) related to excess moisture.

Here are some common causes of damage:

  • Building Settling: All buildings in Arlington shift and settle over time, and that movement in masonry walls can cause issues such as cracked stones and crumbling cement mortar.

  • Freeze & Thaw Cycle: When groundwater freezes in the winter, it constricts and puts pressure on surfaces such as patios or walkways, damaging mortar and pavers.

  • Overflowing Gutters: When gutters are crammed full of debris, rainwater spills over the edge then pours down exterior walls, causing problems such as cracked foundations, compromised deck footings, and damaged walls. This is one reason why gutter repair or replacement is so crucial.

  • Vegetation Growth: If you have a lot of trees or bushes near your structures, moisture-laden leaves will brush up against them and deposit excess water that can cause mortar to weaken.

How Do I Know If I Need Arlington Masonry Services?

Want to know if your stone, bricks, or cement are due for professional repair or replacement services? It's important to be aware of the symptoms of a structure or surface that needs professional attention in Arlington. Walk around your property and take a good look at all your masonry from as many angles as possible, checking for the following warning signs of trouble:

Loose or Cracked Bricks or Stone

When stone, bricks, or pavers have come loose from their mortar or suffered cracks, or pieces are missing altogether, they need to be replaced. Just like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the durability and soundness of Arlington masonry relies on the combined strength of the entire structure. Loose, broken, or missing pieces allow for the ingress of water, which can create serious moisture damage problems, and damage can also make a surface such as a patio hazardous to walk on.

Crumbling Mortar

Deteriorated mortar joints are a common issue because mortar is the most vulnerable part of any Arlington masonry installation. Over time, mortar ages and begins to crumble apart, undermining the support of bricks or stones and causing them to grind together or come loose and fall out. Mortar needs to be repaired at least every 15 to 20 years in Arlington, but it may need more frequent repairs depending on factors such as exposure to harsh weather and water.

Bowing or Compacted Bricks

Bowing occurs when bricks in a wall are either bulging outward or caving inward. This effect is usually caused by water incursion behind the bricks, which either warps the bricks and mortar, pushing them out, or damages the material behind the bricks and causes them to sink in. Whatever is happening, it needs to be stopped before greater damage occurs by removing the damaged bricks, repairing the damage underneath, and replacing them with new bricks.

Compacted bricks are individual bricks that have become compressed and lost their shape, which compromises the strength and integrity of the entire structure. They need to be replaced before they allow moisture inside the wall or cause other bricks to weaken or compact.

Grime & Plant Growth

Are your surfaces covered in a thick layer of dirt, grime, moss, or algae? This isn't so much a problem with bricks, stones, or pavers, but it can become a problem for those materials if it is neglected for too long. The grime and plant buildup harbors moisture and harmful bacteria that can actually eat away at surfaces and weaken them over time. Pressure washing is an amazingly efficient and effective method of cleaning, but it should be done by a professional such as the ones at Mr. Handyman of Arlington, Mansfield and Grapevine to avoid damage to the mortar from excessive pressure.

Does Masonry Increase Property Value in Arlington?

Absolutely! If you're thinking of selling your home or commercial property in the near future, repairing your structures and surfaces or even getting a new installation put in can go a long way towards increasing your selling price. These timeless, attractive materials add sophistication and the impression of long-lasting durability to impress prospective buyers to help convince them to seal the deal.

When You Need Arlington Masonry Services, Rely on Your Local Handyman to Get the Job Done Right!

Whether you're in Arlington or a nearby area such as Euless, Bedford, or Grand Prairie, you can trust the service professionals at Mr. Handyman of Arlington, Mansfield and Grapevine to have the experience and skill necessary to deliver exceptional quality masonry services.

Pick up the phone today and give us a call at 817-567-2433 to request a service appointment or to chat with our friendly customer service staff about what we can do to enhance your property and make your life easier!