What Homeowners Should Know About Parging - Our Guide

It is often said that the home is where your heart is, as it’s the place you stay and sleep, build a family, and create a life you envision. This is why building the home of your dreams isn’t a walk in the park because you will want to ensure it is well-constructed, visually appealing, safe, and durable. Every step of the construction process should be taken seriously, from the planning stage to the actual building down to its completion.

In this article, we’ll specifically tackle what parging entails as part of your overall construction. Keep on reading as well to find out what the two types are, how it works, and how to apply the mixture, before you hire masonry services.

What parging is

It is the process of using a mixture of cement, sand, and water used by contractors to cover small areas and coat the surface of blocks. For the most part, it makes use of a trowel with the mixture or coating pressed into the existing surface. The ultimate purpose is to ensure the refinement of your concrete or masonry’s surface and serve as protection against water permeation. Know that this plays a crucial part in the overall construction of your house.

Two types of parging mixtures or coating

There are two types of mixture or coating that are commonly used for parging. Take note of the following before you look for parging services in Toronto:

  • Cement-based coating: This mixture consists of cement, water, lime, and sand, and it is usually sold as a pre-made mix. There is a wide range of mixes that you can choose from based on colours. Ultimately, this type is considered to be a durable coating that can be used on any surface.
  • Acrylic coating: This coating is regarded as a modern type of parging mixture. Unlike a cement-based coating, this mixture has less cement content while containing adhesive and fibreglass. Finally, it offers versatility and quality work ideal for robust water insulation.

How parging works

If you’re wondering about how parging works and when it is applied, consider the following pieces of information:

  • For foundation walls: It is performed to cover and strengthen the surface of your foundation wall. A thin coating material is applied to the wall’s visible surface, giving it a smooth texture in the end.
  • For cracked concrete: It is performed to fix and hide the cracks of your concrete. The process includes removing the existing clumps, scrubbing the surface, filling the cracks with mortar, and applying the coating using the trowel.
  • For wall coating: It is performed to smoothen the walls’ surface to incorporate designs for aesthetic purposes. The process involves applying a thin coat of cement or mortar to the concrete surface of the wall.


There’s no denying that parging is a vital part of the overall construction. Not only does it provide a protective coating, but it also improves the overall aesthetics of your walls. Ultimately, it can impact the value of your house and give you and your family a comfortable place to live in.

We take pride in being one of the leading masonry companies in Toronto. If you’re specifically looking for parging services, get in touch with our experts at Red Robin Masonry – we’re happy to help!

How to Spot Common Chimney Problems - Our Guide

Chimney problems are serious issues. You must resolve them quickly, or they can lead to hazardous situations. Since chimneys exhaust the smoke from the fireplace, having a faulty chimney is essentially a fire hazard. As such, you want to understand how to spot these issues immediately.

In certain conditions, some problems are only detectable with a professional around. You may not be knowledgeable about chimney systems, so it can be easy to miss the signs that yours needs repairing. Even so, there are some signs you can observe to help you determine whether you need to contact the pros right away.

Here are some ways you can spot common problems with your chimney:

1. Check if the damper is difficult to use

If your chimney’s damper becomes tricky to use or if sealing it is starting to get challenging, it’s likely due to rust build-up. Because moisture can accumulate in the chimney, the damper may start to rust. Normally, you would check for rust to see if a piece of metal is rusting. With dampers, the indication may come earlier than the actual visual cues.

Too much rust can cause the flue lining to crack and break. If it does, a fire can break out, which is why it’s important to replace the damper early on. Additionally, identifying cracks in the flue lining requires a more in-depth inspection of the chimney using a special camera.

2. Check for white stains

If there’s too much moisture in the masonry, your chimney will get covered in white stains, which is known as efflorescence. While these stains are fairly easy to clean, addressing the problem will require more than that. As such, you will need to get the moisture in the masonry controlled, or the stains can cause the chimney to deteriorate. When that happens, the chimney can start becoming ineffective, potentially leading to hazardous situations.

3. Check for tiny pieces of the chimney in the fireplace

When the chimney’s flue lining gets damaged, the cracks will worsen over time, causing tiny pieces of the chimney to fall off. Also known as shaling, these tiny pieces will eventually accumulate in the fireplace, making it dangerous to use.

As mentioned before, a proper inspection will be needed to determine if the flue lining is damaged. For that reason, you want to have the pros check your chimney regularly. However, if you start to see cracks and crumbling in the fireplace, it’s important to call your local chimney repair company to prevent serious damage.

4. Check if the chimney crown is cracked

When you start seeing water or ice seeping through the chimney, it could mean that the chimney crown is cracked. This mechanism protects the chimney and prevents rain or snow from entering. If the crown’s crack worsens, more water can get through the chimney, moisture can accumulate, and as a result, shaling can escalate. When you spot cracks on the chimney crown, you want to get them weatherproofed immediately.


Chimney problems, while they are common, can be difficult to detect. Even with the indications, special tools and equipment may be required to assess the issue properly. That means calling the chimney repair professionals is critical to ensure that your chimney is in top condition.

At Red Robin Masonry, we provide excellent masonry services in Toronto. If you need waterproofing and chimney repair for your home get in touch with us!

3 Signs That Masonry Work Needs to Be Performed on Your Property

In Canada, residential homes and commercial buildings made of brick or stone walls may be subjected to wear and tear over time. These damages may be brought upon by the walls’ exposure to harsh elements, such as water infiltration and extreme heat. Because of these, masonry problems can eventually lead to a negative impact on your home or business establishment. That is why well-inspected and well-maintained masonry is vital for the foundation and structural integrity of your home or building.

It’s best to be on the lookout for signs showing that masonry works need to be done. That said, here are three obvious signs of early damage you should be wary of. Keep reading to see if you need to hire masonry services in Toronto.

1. Bowed brick (bulging brick)

Have you seen bricks in your outer walls either jutting out or caving in around a particular area? Those are bowed bricks, which may be caused by moisture that has penetrated behind the bricks. As a result, the moisture either forces the bricks out or softens the wood behind the bricks, making them sink in.

When you see this, it should tell you that something is happening behind your walls. For this reason, the bowed bricks need to be sorted out and fixed. Masonry works need to be performed where the impacted bricks are, as the bricks need to be removed and the damage behind the walls needs to be repaired. Hiring masonry services in Toronto can make all the difference.

2. Compacted bricks

When it comes to compacted bricks, catching them on your property is easily done, as these bricks have lost their original shapes. Chances are, they appear either bowed or cracked, which is obviously out of the norm. Neglecting compacted bricks can lead to serious problems. First, they create a hole in the wall where water can get through. Second, one compacted brick will affect other bricks adjacent to it, which will eventually impact the entire wall.

As soon as you see a compacted brick, it’s best to have it replaced immediately before it can affect the rest of the bricks. Along with this masonry work, you’ll have to have your foundation underpinned by push piers. This construction process will require spikes to be connected to your foundation and drilled into the ground for additional support.

3. Vertical corner cracks

Vertical cracks may be the least troublesome; however, they should not be neglected at all. Sure, cracks in your foundation may be pretty normal as a function of natural expansion. Understand, however, that they will allow water to get in the walls during a heavy downpour of rain, and that is where the problem lies. If left neglected, they can cause bulging bricks and damage to the inner wall.

What’s good about vertical cracks is that they are a relatively easy fix for masonry work. They can easily be worked on with urethane or epoxy injection to fill the crack. All you have to do is to leave these vertical cracks to masonry experts.


At this point, you now know what to be on the lookout for if you have brick or stone walls. As outlined above, inspect for glaring signs of damage such as bowed bricks, compacted bricks, and vertical corner cracks. If one or several of these signs are present, the next course of action is to contact a masonry company in Toronto and let contractors work wonders on your house or building.

If you’re looking for masonry services in Toronto, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

5 Steps to Take When Looking for Masonry Contractors - Our Guide

Masonry is generally regarded as a highly durable form of construction. Whether using materials, such as bricks, stones, or concrete blocks, masonry involves building structures from individual units. If you plan to construct your house foundation, build a fireplace, or perform stonework, hiring the right masonry contractors can make a difference in the result of your construction project.

In this article, we will share with you five steps to take when you’re looking for masonry contractors:

1. Start by planning for your masonry project

Before commencing any construction project, you should always start with a robust plan. It typically entails knowing the exact construction project you want to pursue and what vision you want to bring to life. Along with this planning includes establishing the scope of your construction project, listing the materials and resources you need, and setting the timeline for your project. From there, you can then proceed to look for a masonry company in Toronto that can pull off your project efficiently and effectively.

2. Check online or get recommendations from others

When looking for masonry contractors, you would typically have two routes to take. First, you can search online to get some prospects within your locality. Second, you can get some recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have worked with a company in the past. From there, you can narrow down your list of prospects for your masonry construction project.

3. Check the portfolio, qualification, and certification

Now that you have a few prospects on your list, you can start getting in touch with them. While you’re at it, make sure to check their portfolios, qualifications, and certifications. When examining their portfolios, see what their areas of specialization are. As for the qualifications, gauge their knowledge, skills, experience, and level of expertise. Also, check to see whether or not they have insurance coverage so that they will be protected in case of any issues.

4. Schedule an appointment with a few prospects

After screening through your list of prospects, you should begin scheduling your appointments with them. During the interview sessions, present your masonry construction project idea and inform them what you hope to achieve. Doing this will help you learn about how they will plan to carry out your project. Get their suggestions on various aspects of the process, such as the best materials for design, laying patterns, and decorative features. Through this appointment, you will know the right fit for your construction project.

5. Ask for references and contact past clients

During the appointment, never miss out on asking for references from their past clients. After the interview, you can contact past clients to ask how their experience was with the masonry company that you’re looking to hire. Also, you can check online reviews about the services they rendered. Sum up all the information that you’ve learned about your prospects and decide on the best option for your construction project.


At this point, you can now make an informed decision when choosing the right contractor for your masonry project. Just make sure to follow the valuable steps outlined above, from having the right planning to researching for prospects down to evaluating for the best contractor. All these steps can make your masonry construction project a success!

We’re a leading masonry company in Toronto. If you’re looking for masonry contractors, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!