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Will my wall fall down?

Will my wall fall down?

Will my wall fall down? I get asked this question frequently and it’s a good question. One of the worst things that can happen is a catastrophic collapse of a masonry wall or foundation. Determining the structural integrity of wall is a complex process, but there are 2 typical problems and solutions. Cascading Failures On… Read More

The Evolution of Masonry

The Evolution of Masonry

Masonry is arguable the oldest profession in the world, and the philosophy behind it has remained unchanged for thousands of years. Until now….. In the traditional school of masonry the principle is that masonry units are porous. They have holes and this is important. Masonry walls were not designed to be watertight, but actually had… Read More

Why bricks break!

Why bricks break!

 37,479 people have watched this video! Expert mason Dan Bloom explains why bricks break and crack. There are 4 Major causes. Water, Salt, Movement, and Grade Level. Read More

Work or Water? Mixing Mortar 101

Work or Water? Mixing Mortar 101

3,672 people have read this article! More work or More Water ? Mixing mortar is something that every do-it-yourselfer does at some point — and very few get right the first time. I hear lots of complaints that the bag doesn’t have instructions on how much water to use; the result is usually sloppy, wet,… Read More

Why do bricks have holes?

Why do bricks have holes?

13,631 People have read this article! We get asked this question all the time. Bricks have core holes or recesses (called “frogs”) for several reasons. The most important is a principle called “keying in.”  When bricks are laid in a bed of mortar, the mortar squeezes into the holes which, when dried, locks the bricks… Read More

Lime vs Portland cement? Which is better?

Lime vs Portland cement? Which is better?

70,314 people have read this article! Check out my video or read the article below! There are only two kinds of cement used in masonry, Lime and Portland. Cement is like flour, the essential ingredient in baking that can be used to make bread, muffins, etc. Similarly, cement is the essential ingredient for brick mortar,… Read More

Basic guide to stone foundations

Basic guide to stone foundations

36,963 people have read this article! A foundation is a structure that creates a strong, level base on which to build. It’s critically important that the foundation is properly built and levelled or there will be serious problems elsewhere in the house. Improperly done foundations cause settlement issues, wall cracking, bowing, water penetration and a… Read More

Water and Salt: The enemies of brickwork

Water and Salt: The enemies of brickwork

The main causes of damage to your masonry are water and salt. Usually they combine to form a lethal combination. Bricks are not designed to be at grade level due to their porosity. Water will penetrate the bricks and then freeze and thaw over and over, critically damaging the bricks. When bricks are baked, they… Read More

How we match bricks

How we match bricks

13,365 People have read this article We can easily match all common brick types. But the process is not always straightforward. Occasionally bricks on old homes, and sometimes on brand new ones, are unavailable in small quantities or even not available at all. In these cases, we have to look for the best possible match.… Read More

How Mortar Breaks Down

How Mortar Breaks Down

7,209 people have read this article! One of the keys to preserving masonry is to recognize problems when they occur, and to make the necessary repairs before the problem gets wore. Most masonry products are built the same way. Masonry “units” – which can be bricks, concrete blocks or stones – are laid on beds… Read More