I’ve been conducting experiments at Algonquin College! What fun. Their Masonry Lab with its specialized tools and machines all hooked up to computers is not an environment most masons ever get to play in. The textbook says X will happen. I get to test and see what that really means.
Masonry is a science, it’s an art, and it’s done with muscle memory. When I met a group of Chinese masons on the Great Wall of China I couldn’t speak Chinese with them but I could pick up one of their trowels and pointing tools and demonstrate a comfortable dexterity Read More
Here’s my thinking on deposits, maybe you agree. You want someone who’s been in business a while, who is experienced, and who is serious about being in the business. Who has Working Capital and who can afford to do the job, and then get paid.
Window sills are a place where water often gets in, and can cause damage not only to the exterior wall but even the interior walls. Why? Usually there are a variety of materials competing at this part of the house, each with a different rate of thermal expansion and contraction. Read More
Weeping holes are generally found in the bottom row of bricks around your home, usually every third brick. Some inexperienced masons fill them in, thinking they’ve found another hole, when they’ve been asked to repair other holes. Weeping holes provide a run-off point for moisture that condenses behind the brick Read More
Metal chimney caps have become ever more common. They sit atop a chimney with the flues for the fireplace or furnace sticking out, and they provide a useful function. They keep water from getting into the core of the chimney, and with their two inch minimum overhang they direct water Read More
If you have brickwork then you will probably need to have some of the joints fixed at some point. I’ve visited sites where repairs made by other masons have proved to be a thin layer of cement spread across cracked or damaged joints. It’s a fast, easy fix, and should Read More
Every year I am invited to give quotes on resurfacing concrete, usually stairs, landings and walkways. Here’s the basic fact to hold on to. The original concrete, aged as it is, has been getting stronger, and it is a single coherent mass. A new layer, even using the best cement, Read More
This Summer, only part way done, I’ve encountered three homes where someone had parged over paint. If you were a mason in masonry school, I’d hope there’s an exam question that asks about proper preparation for parging. One that sort of mirrors the instructions on a bag of parging cement Read More
I am part of a wave of trademen who don’t agree with the use of stone dust in building stairs with interlock. Why? Simply because stone dust absorbs moisture and that moisture leads to a greater heave and thaw, a greater expansion and contraction due to temperature changes. I’ve re-set Read More