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.

Conclusion

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.

Conclusion

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!

If you ever thought that your bricks will look after themselves once they’re installed, you’ll be in for a surprise when things go awry on that side of the house. Despite being a sturdy material that can potentially outlive you, it still incurs significant damage over time. What needs the most attention is the material that holds them together to keep them in good order and ensure that outdoor elements don’t enter your home. When you notice deterioration on a brick, it’s best to get a brick repointing done.

Get To Know Brick Repointing

This method involves the removal of a portion of the deteriorated mortar and redoing the joints with a new one. It helps prevent further water infiltration through the mortar and behind the wall. With brick repointing, it will make your wall look good as new without the physical damages.

The Right Time For Brick Repointing

As mentioned, it is not the brick itself that becomes a problem over time but what holds them together, which is the mortar. When you notice the mortar joints around the bricks starting to look worn or torn out, with visible cracking and crumbling, it’s time to have them repointed.

If you didn’t notice it first, then the next tell-tale sign is if the water is coming through the mortar or behind the wall, which will likely end up in costlier repairs. Moreover, if this is not addressed immediately, portions of the wall can detach from the rest of the structure and put your and your family’s safety at risk.

DIY Brick Repointing

If you want to try out a DIY project, you can do brick repointing by yourself. Here are several easy steps to follow:

  • Plan ahead: Before you start the project, it is vital to have a solid plan first. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment, ensure safety by installing scaffolds and wall anchors, and gather essential permits.
  • Prepare the equipment: Use an electric grinder to remove the damaged mortar. If you don’t have a grinder, you can use a hammer and chisel instead. Scrape the mortar joints to a depth of 2 to 2.5 times the thickness of the joint. You will need to remove the mortar from both adjacent masonry surfaces and the ones that are no longer adhering to the surface. If the mortar is ruined at a greater depth, it is best to remove the brick entirely, clean it, and reinstall it.
  • Apply the mortar: Before you apply mortar, be sure to humidify the brick’s surface so that it doesn’t lose its water by capillarity on contact with a dry brick surface. Apply pressure and compact the mortar in the slits. Then, make sure not to add anything to the mortar’s formula.
  • Seal the joints: Add the finishing touches to the joints by choosing a style that you like and sealing the joints.
  • Dry and clean it: When you’re done, let the mortar dry, which will take about three days. After that, you can clean the joints for proper finishing.

Conclusion

Brick repointing is an easy task if you have experience. Yet, that doesn’t mean you have to do it by yourself, especially if you are doubtful of your abilities. For this reason, it’s essential to call a professional masonry company instead and ask them to check for any issues on your bricks so that you can address them right away. Remember, deteriorating joints can turn into a huge problem when not fixed during the first signs of wear and tear.

If you are looking for quality brick repair services in Ontario, then you have come to the right place! Our experts at Red Robin Masonry are qualified professionals and utilize advanced tools and equipment to get the job done right. Get in touch with us today for a quote!

6 Benefits of Having a Retaining Wall in Your Yard

Retaining walls in your yard is a feature worth integrating. There are so many benefits that you can get out of this partition, such as structural support, and it can even make your yard more functional and beautiful. Because of this, if you’re thinking of ways to transform your yard, this type of wall is well worth considering.

In this article, we will share six benefits that you can get from building a retaining wall in your yard:

It Keeps Soil In Place

A retaining wall will help keep the soil in place as it acts as a barrier that prevents the soil from sliding forward in a landslide. Moreover, rain can exacerbate soil degradation, which makes a retaining wall an excellent solution to prevent this from happening. With this structure, you get an additional safety feature on your property.

It Helps Flood Control

Retaining walls are considered useful in flood control in the form of water drainage aimed at preventing flooding. Additionally, a retaining wall helps reduce gradients that allow water to soak into the soil instead of it running off the surface.

It Reduces Maintenance Needs

Since a retaining wall can help prevent erosion and keep your soil in place, this means that there will be little maintenance work involved. As a result, there’s no need to worry about soil replacement, plants that get washed away in erosion, and other issues. That way, you get to cut down on some of the labour that you have to do in your yard.

It Makes Garden More Functional

Hills and mounds are excellent features in your yard, but they are huge space-eaters. Some homeowners want to create terraces using retaining walls to add more functional space to the yard that can also be used for planting. Likewise, terracing creates an attractive facade for the yard that will showcase various features. You can also make the partition double as a seating wall.

It Beautifies The Garden

Depending on the height and material used, retaining walls can be an attractive structure in the yard, which will help boost its aesthetics. There is something beautiful with a touch of concrete or stone alongside a natural landscape that is simply unexplained.

It Adds Value To Your Property

The fact that retaining walls can beautify and make your yard more functional are reasons enough to boost your property’s value. Also, if you will be putting up your house for sale, most homebuyers will be thrilled that they don’t have to worry about building retaining walls themselves, which can be an added bonus that will make them give a higher offer to your property.

Keep in mind that your yard is an essential selling point, which is why you make sure to pay attention to this, especially when you have plans to sell your property.

Conclusion

If you want to make your yard stand out, be more functional, and provide you with more value, a retaining wall is an excellent solution. The six benefits mentioned are reasons enough for you to have it built in your property. Let your creativity shine through as you have this installed because there is no right way to install it—you can have it anywhere you like in your yard.

Are you interested in having a retaining wall built in your yard? We have got you covered! We offer reliable masonry services in Toronto, and our masons at Red Robin Masonry are some of the best in the city. Connect with us today and request a quote!

3 Masonry Issues to Watch Out For - What to Know

One of the biggest investments you’ll ever make in your life is the purchase and upkeep of your home. Taking care of your home entails quite a number of things, like making sure the pipes are running smoothly, that your household appliances are functioning properly, and that your fixtures are all properly installed. Maintaining these can be quite stressful—especially if you forget to inspect your home for any masonry repair work!

Any cracks or issues in your walls need to be repaired as soon as possible—you wouldn’t want to wait for these to get worse, after all! The cost of repairs can blow up to really expensive levels if left to deteriorate, which is why the sooner you act, the less you’ll spend.

Here are three masonry issues you’ll need to keep an eye on:

Shelf Angle Spalling

Shelf angle spalling is one of the most common issues homeowners will run into. A shelf angle is an L-shaped piece of metal that is inserted behind a row of bricks. It helps distribute the weight of the bricks between the house and the ground.

Spalling, on the other hand, is what happens when the surface of the brick beings to chip, which tends to occur when it rubs too much against the shelf angle. Too much corrosion or damage on the shelf angle will prevent it from fully distributing the weight of the bricks, thus placing your walls at the risk of collapsing.

If your walls are old or in a deteriorated state, be sure to have it inspected. Preventive maintenance is key, after all, as this masonry repair job can be quite lengthy to work on.

Crumbling Mortar

The disintegration of mortar joints between bricks will cause them to collapse and rub against each other, which will badly affect the integrity of your walls. This constant friction will eventually cause extensive damage and changes to its shape, thus resulting in loose or misshapen bricks. In larger numbers, these can be very dangerous for your home.

It’s important to catch this in its early stages, as a mason can easily replace or strengthen the existing mortar. If it’s caught too late, you may have to reconstruct the entire wall—which greatly increases the expenses you’ll have to shelve out for.

Of course, not everyone knows how to identify crumbling mortar. If you’re not too certain, consulting a masonry repair expert is your best bet. They’ll be able to give you an overview of the status of your masonry and attend to any issues before it’s too late.

Efflorescence

This problem can be tricky—it’s unavoidable, especially if you live in an area that’s gloomy and rainy. Efflorescence happens when soluble salts in the concrete rise to the surface and take on a stain-like appearance. Cold and damp weather, or anything that causes condensation, is often the culprit of this.

If you begin to see tiny spots of efflorescence, all you need to do is to pressure wash the concrete thoroughly. While it sounds simple, it has to be done carefully and meticulously. If you leave the stains on for too long, they can’t be removed even through pressure washing, as they’ll transform into calcium carbonate. Instead, you will have to use certain chemicals like muriatic acid—which should definitely be handled by professionals!

Bottom line

Catching problems before they worsen is always a good idea, which is why it’s crucial to know the most basic problems your masonry can get affected by. Even if your walls seem to be in tip-top shape, it would be beneficial to you and your home to call masonry services to inspect them. They might be able to spot something you missed, thus saving you even more money in repairs in the long run.

Red Robin Masonry is a masonry company in Toronto, Canada. We offer restoration and masonry services to make sure your structures are sturdy and well-maintained. Have some walls that need checking? Get in touch with us, and we’ll see how we can help you!

4 Tell-Tale Signs Your Retaining Walls Need to Be Repaired

Retaining walls play a crucial role in landscaping. They serve to resist the lateral pressure of soil in elevation, and they also beautify your yard. They usually come in various colours, styles, and designs meant to enhance the aesthetic and functional values of your property. However, they are also subject to wear and tear over time given that they are typically constructed outside and exposed to harsh outdoor elements.

But when can you determine that your retaining walls need to be repaired? Here are four tell-tale signs your garden’s retaining walls are in need of repair job now!

1. Crumbling

In most cases, retaining walls are made of clay, bricks, and stones, which means they can start to crumble in the long run. When crumbled, not only does it defeat its purpose of protecting the soil in elevation, but it can also become unsightly in appearance. As soon as you notice small pieces of stone around the structure, it’s best to get masonry services to restore the walls’ lost beauty and functionality.

2. Falling apart

If you see the retaining walls falling apart, it’s an obvious sign they need to be repaired. As mentioned above, these walls are made of clay, bricks, and small stones that are constructed together. Over time, they can fall down and break apart, leaving your yard in complete disarray. Before they even fall apart, contact a masonry company to fix them and make a difference in your garden or yard.

3. Worn or faded walls

Worn and faded retaining walls may not necessarily impact their overall functionality. However, they can ruin the aesthetics of your yard and property in general. Faded walls can be an eyesore in your greenery. The same is true for worn walls that can ruin the beauty of your lawn. To address these concerns, get masonry services to give your landscape a beautiful look and fresh appearance that the whole neighbourhood would love to see.

4. Natural calamities

If you live in an area that’s prone to storms and other natural disasters, then it’s a good idea to inspect your retaining walls regularly and have them fixed when necessary. For instance, you may want to examine your walls soon after a storm. Chances are, they may be worn or damaged. Check for any cracks, breaks, or damage to the wall. From there, get masonry repair work to preserve the beauty of your retaining walls and property as a whole.

Conclusion

Most homeowners use their retaining walls for landscaping in various ways. However, these structures need to be checked for damage every now and then. To know when to fix them, be wary of signs such as crumbling, falling apart, worn and faded walls, and natural calamities as outlined above.

When you notice one or some of these signs, it’s best to hire masonry services to repair your retaining walls. These professionals can make a difference in the overall beauty and functionality of your property’s retaining walls.

We’re a leading masonry company in Toronto. If you’re looking for top-notch masonry services to fix your retaining walls, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

5 Benefits of Installing Masonry in Your Home Construction

Masonry is a type of stonework that involves the process of laying down bricks, stones, or concrete with mortar to create a building or structure. Throughout the years, masonry as a building system has demonstrated its quality, flexibility, durability, and classic aesthetics. That is why it is used in various construction projects specifically in building foundations, columns, walls, steps, and other similar structural components.

Even today, many houses and commercial infrastructures are built through masonry. Many designs and construction methods have been developed to enhance the quality and performance of masonry works. As it continually develops, its benefits continuously improve as well.

Here are five significant benefits of having masonry services for your home construction project:

Benefit #1: It keeps your home safe from damage

As you may know, masonry is solid and durable and can withstand almost any hard impact directed to it. Due to its proven integrity and durability, many commercial, government, industrial, and institutional buildings were built with masonry.

Some of the hard impacts or damaging elements it can withstand include:

  • Hail or heavy snow
  • Thrown pieces of stones
  • Termites and pests
  • Vehicular crashes

Benefit #2: It can limit the spread of fire in your home

Masonry in itself is fire-resistant as the material is non-combustible and highly durable. It can withstand prolonged exposure to fire better than any other construction material. If a fire happens in your home, your masonry firewalls or partitions can prevent further spreading.

Some other underlying benefits of getting masonry services for your home include:

  • It can help protect you and your family from fire and other natural and manmade disasters
  • It can help maintain and keep your valuable property away from destructive elements
  • It can lower the insurance rate of your home
  • It can save you significant costs on the damage that a fire causes to your property

Benefit #3: It keeps your home better insulated

If you want to insulate your home better, you should consider having masonry in your home as its mass helps maintain a constant temperature inside your house. As a result, you will notice that you use your heating and cooling system much less frequently, saving you significant energy costs in the long run.

According to experts, masonry provides better insulation capabilities than other construction materials.

Benefit #4: It can save you costs in the long run

Having masonry services in your home is undoubtedly cost-effective compared to other materials. It can be pricey in the beginning due to the construction materials, but you will eventually reap its benefits in terms of better durability, fewer maintenance costs, and longer lifespans.

Masonry is cost-effective in various reasons, including:

  • It is durable, meaning it would not need much repairs and replacement
  • It offers various textures and designs that you wouldn’t feel the need for additional wall coverings
  • Its design is timeless, and its colour doesn’t fade quickly, saving you costs on restyling
  • It doesn’t rust due to weather, not needing regular maintenance and repainting

Benefit #5: It increases your home resale value

Since masonry has many benefits, as mentioned above, the resale value of your home increases over time. Aside from its beauty and classic elegance, its durability is what charms the interests of home buyers.

More than the aesthetics, home buyers look into the quality, durability, and integrity of the house. They would look for a home that can last them a long time and return the value of their investment.

Conclusion

Masonry can offer many benefits to your home. It can withstand strong direct impact due to natural and manmade disasters, can keep your home better insulated, and is cost-effective and highly durable. Aside from that, it can work to your advantage if you plan to sell your house in the future because masonry can significantly increase your home’s resale value.

If you need an expert and reliable masonry company in Toronto, make sure to get in touch with us at Red Robin Masonry. We are recognized as one of the best masonry companies in the area!

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.

Conclusion

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.

Conclusion

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!