After living in your home for a while now, you’ve most likely roamed around long frequently enough to the point where you know the different bits and bobs of the property.

From that weird stain on the driveway to the bathroom door that always makes noise, you’re wondering if there are any kinks of your home that you don’t know about yet. Over time, you’ve probably tried to remedy the issues or leave them be because they add character to your property.

Among the different signs and tiny little defects that you can run into when taking care of your home, however, there’s one that you shouldn’t overlook: Bulging bricks.

What is a bulging brick?

Best defined as a common masonry issue faced by most homeowners and professionals alike, a bulging brick is a problem and a warning sign of a much bigger problem in a wall or path.

Caused by water seeping through the mortar joints of a stone or brick wall, this problem is easily identifiable by the effect that infiltrated water swells cause, leading to the “bulging look.” In rare cases this same effect happens when the anchors holding the wall together end up rusting and causing the wall itself to loosen under pressure.

Here are some of the most common reasons bricks end up bulging from brick walls:

  • Excess humidity in the wall cavities causing ice to form during the winter
  • Deteriorating mortar joints allowing too much water to seep in
  • Excess rust on anchors causing the wall to become loose
  • Cracks in the wall

When does the problem typically occur?

Cases of bulging bricks are reported most frequently during the winter months. Although the problem takes place all throughout the year, bulging bricks are more frequent during colder times because of the mix of elements that cause everything to line up and allow moisture to penetrate mortar joints and wall anchors.

However, it is worth noting that experiencing such a problem during winter must be acted on right away because the problem can worsen and cause the whole wall to collapse!

If you suspect that you’re experiencing a bulging brick in your wall, feel free to call Ontario’s foremost masonry contractors at Red Robin Masonry for a speedy inspection!

How can you spot a bulging brick?

When it comes to spotting this costly problem before your wall completely collapses, the first sign to watch out for is an unusual swelling on the brick or stone wall itself.

Considering the significant amount of condensation that takes place during the colder months of the year, the amount of movement that a bulging brick goes through will be too noticeable to fully ignore. Apart from the presence of a swell in the wall, however, another clear sign of a bulging brick is when the windows are no longer leveled with a brick, or they seem higher up than they usually would.

Is it possible to prevent a masonry wall from bulging with paint?

At Red Robin Masonry, we often get inquiries from concerned homeowners regarding whether they can prevent brick wall swelling by painting the wall to “waterproof” it. In short, you must not do it because it’s a terrible idea, especially when you consider the masonry and structural side of things!

Admittedly, it may seem like a smarter idea to waterproof a brick wall by painting it because it “addresses” the root cause of a bulging brick. Although a fresh coat of paint will prevent water from seeping in the crevices, it also prevents moisture build-ups on the inside from making their way out, inadvertently accelerating the deterioration of your wall’s joints and anchors.


Among the seemingly-minor problems that your home can experience, none possibly bear a greater need to be assessed and properly dealt with than a bulging brick. Through this guide’s help, you can remedy the problem at hand in a more well-informed manner in no time and ensure that no unsightly or costly complications occur!

Are you looking for a brick repair service in Toronto for your bulging brick problem at home? Get in touch with the leaders in Toronto masonry services to see how we can help!

All You Need to Know About Tuckpointing

Although many brick properties are advertised to last for a long time, nothing will last forever. Bricks use mortar to fill the joints, and over time, the mortar deteriorates despite the bricks still in good shape. In this case, you will have nothing much to worry about because you don’t have to replace your bricks; the only step is to opt for tuckpointing.

Tuckpointing is used to enhance masonry’s appearance, which involves the removal of a portion of the deteriorating mortar to fill the joints with a new one. A thin line of putty is applied down the joint center to create an illusion that the narrow joints are well-maintained. This process may apply to any type of brick structure, but it’s more common on historical brick homes wherein owners want to recapture the original thin joints’ appearance.

The Downsides Of Mortar

There are many reasons mortar joints fail. The most likely cause is extreme temperatures paired with moisture, pressure from the building’s weight, or faulty manufacturing.

Moreover, the mortar’s lifespan is less than 30 years, which is notably shorter than the bricks. Do note that bricks can last a hundred years, which is why people who don’t know about the process of installing bricks are surprised that they need repairs or replacement over time. However, keep in mind that it is not the bricks that require the replacement, but the mortar joints.

With that said, it’s also vital to know that mortar joints are weaker than bricks, which is why you will usually see cracks in the joints but not in the bricks. Typically, you don’t need to repair those hairline cracks, yet they’re a strong indicator that the joints are deteriorating, and it would be an excellent idea to address the issue right away before you are left with extensive damages.

The Importance Of Tuckpointing

Tuckpointing will prevent extensive damage from your brick structure, which will eventually lead to bigger structural problems you really don’t want to deal with. When the mortar joints are damaged, the surrounding bricks will also sustain additional pressure, which will lead to further destruction. Without opting for tuckpointing, you will put your property at risk of significant structural damage that will cost you lots of money and time.

One vital point to remember about tuckpointing is that regardless of how handy you are in the house if you don’t have experience and the right tools, don’t attempt to fix the damage alone. If the process isn’t done properly, it can cause new problems for your home. Additionally, you may not even have the time for this as the process is labour-intensive and requires precision to ensure a job well done. With that, make sure to leave the job to professionals instead.


Your brick structure can still be saved with tuckpointing, despite the mortar joints deteriorating. The process will guarantee you that your structure will be safe and sound and ready to face more years ahead. Just make sure to let the professionals handle this—performing the task by yourself may only create further damage that will cost you more money in the long run.

Suppose you notice signs that your mortar joints are deteriorating. In that case, it’s time to call a professional to inspect the issue and do the necessary repair before it turns into a big problem.

If you are looking for quality masonry services in Toronto, Ontario, then you have come to the right place. Red Robin Masonry is an award-winning masonry company for 11 years now, and we offer the best tuckpointing job to meet your home’s needs. Get in touch with us today for a quote!

With the winter season fast approaching, that time of the year again has come again to gather near your chimney and stay warm and cozy. Nothing beats the feeling of enjoying a hot cup of chocolate while listening to the crackling sound of wood and watching the fire glow. It is during these times that make you truly appreciate having a functional fireplace in your home.

However, to ensure that your wood-burning chimney will continue to keep you and your loved ones comfortable, you must be proactive regarding its maintenance. Routinary maintenance not only prolongs its lifespan but also ensures the safety of everyone in your home.

If this is your first time learning about fireplace maintenance, don’t fret! We will walk you through the basics in the sections below to help you get off to a smooth start.

1. Clean the Chimney’s Interior

One of the important things you must keep in mind is that the more you use your fireplace, the more that it will get dirty. Some substances remain after woods burn, such as ashes as well as soot and creosote.

Disposing of the ashes regularly not only improves the look of your chimney but also makes it more efficient in providing heat. Removing soot and creosote, on the other hand, helps protect you and your family from untoward accidents. These two substances are the brown and black residues you will find in the inner walls of the fireplace. They are highly flammable and are one of the major causes of a chimney fire, so it’s best to remove them regularly.

2. Always Test the Chimney First

It’s always a smart idea to make sure your chimney is functioning well before you start using it. To do this, you can light up a few pieces of woods first. Check whether the smoke is going out through the chimney or if it is entering the room.

If you are observing the latter, you must first determine what is causing the problem. It could be due to an obstruction in the chimney duct, soot buildup, or even a closed damper.

Always remember to resolve the issue first before loading more wood!

3. Use The Right Wood and Make Sure They’re Dry

Another point to remember is that not all woods are the same. The right woods for your chimney are oaks, maple, and birch; avoid using cedar, pine, and other softwoods.

If you are looking for the best firewood and are willing to spend extra money on it, hardwood is your best option. While they can be more expensive than others, they produce more heat and burn longer while producing relatively fewer creosote.

Furthermore, you must use only seasoned woods, or those that have been dried for at least 6 months. You can dry them faster by splitting them into small pieces of wood.


While your chimney provides an enjoyable warmth in your home, it can also bring about certain health hazards and even risks of accidents. To keep your family safe and sound throughout the colder months, you need routinary chimney maintenance. Clean your wood-burning fireplace regularly and be on the lookout for potential problems. If you come across any major issue, get in touch with your trusted technician right away to address it before it gets worse.

For reliable chimney repair services in Toronto, Ontario, you can turn to us at Red Robin Masonry! We are rated one of the best masonry companies in the GTA and are dedicated to providing you only with the quality and service you deserve. Get your quote today to get started!

5 Qualities You Want in Your Waterproofing Company

Toronto’s rainy seasons can pose serious issues for certain homeowners. Some houses can be decades old and will likely have sections of them that need repairing. Some newer ones may not be adequately sealed, therefore causing rainwater and other forms of ice to enter through the roof panels or the walls. Moisture and humidity invite plenty of mould growth, which can be harmful to families in the home.

As the rainy season moves on and winter sets in, ice is going to form, which can damage the structural integrity of some homes. When the ice melts, this can enter someone’s house and cause flooding and leaks. These seasonal changes, coupled with extreme weather, are why exterior waterproofing in Toronto is an essential service. A good waterproofing service in Ontario has criteria that make them a viable option to handle your abode.

Here are five unique quality to look for in a good waterproofing company in Toronto:


Their Specialties are Licensed and Insured

Exterior waterproofing entails the use of techniques that are similar to a building contractor. The Canadian government stresses the importance of the law in terms of local building code. When you conduct maintenance activities like basement waterproofing, you’ll need a building permit from the local government. A reliable waterproofing contractor has all the proper licensure for heavy renovation work. They are also insured to compensate for any damages that they may do to your home, which is necessary for the amount you’ll be paying.


They Have Proper Infrastructure In Place

Waterproofing can be done via DIY methods, but basement waterproofing is a tough task to complete without the proper equipment and knowledge. When water gets deep due to flooding and heavy rains, you’ll need the correct tools to remove the risks that may develop in a soaked basement. A well-established company will have access to tools and an entire book of knowledge to deal with the most daunting tasks.


They Specialize in Basement Waterproofing

Draining a basement after being soaked and thoroughly airing it out is one thing, but after it is all dry, you’ll need to seal your home from further leaks. A good waterproofing contractor will waterproof the rest of the house and identify the source of the leaks. They will also educate you on what processes to run when the rainy season comes around, helping you keep the area dry the next time floods come around.


They Need Experience

While some companies can be new and cheaper to hire, nothing beats a team of experienced contractors in a waterproofing service in Ontario. Some younger companies may have employed the assistance of one expert in the industry, which can be useful. The best comes from sticking to professionals who have years of experience under their belts. Experts know the most common failure points, where to apply compounds to fix leaks, and how to waterproof basement areas and dry them entirely after a leak.


They Have Good Reviews

You would never buy a product that no one recommends. The lower the ratings of the waterproofing company, the more likely they lack attention to detail when sealing up your home. With all the cracks and crevices and hidden spots in a house, waterproofing requires attentiveness and a rigorous work ethic. A good company is well aware of this and will have better ratings due to their overall understanding of the job.



Water is essential, but it can be damaging when it finds its way into the wrong areas. When it floods into a basement, this can turn into a monumental problem, as it contaminates the rest of your home. By investing in a waterproofing service in Ontario, you can be prepared for the rainy and winter seasons.

Red Robin Masonry is a premium waterproofing company in Toronto that is a master in its class. Sporting the complete set of tools and equipment infrastructure, the quality you get out of a masonry company like us is top-tier. Contact us to know more about how we can help you prepare for the changing of seasons.