4 Signs Your Chimney Is In Need Of Repairs
With the holidays past, and winter in full swing at this point, a fireplace can lend a warmth and festive atmosphere to your entire home. Before you light up your hearth this winter, however, it might be in your best interest to ensure that your fireplace and chimney are safe to use. Many homeowners are under the impression that a simple chimney sweep is all they need to get their fireplace up and running safely, but there is a little bit more to it than that. While a certified chimney sweep should be able to perform an inspection and let you know about any issues you may have, for actual repairs, you will want the expertise of a professional masonry service. To better help you identify when your home’s chimney is in need of repair, we have put together a short list of four signs you can be on the lookout for to help identify when your chimney is in need of repair.
Check For A Chimney Cap
This one is easy, and you won’t even need a ladder for it. The chimney cap’s singular purpose is to make sure that rain stays out of your chimney flue. While it is not technically a part of the masonry of your chimney, its presence is still vital to the survival of your chimney’s interior and exterior. In many cases of a home needing chimney repair, our Massachusetts Stone Masons will show up only to find that a chimney cap isn’t present. This is such an issue because water is the #1 source of deterioration in almost all home components, mold, rot, mildew, moss, freeze thaw, etc. Water in your chimney, or in the masonry of your chimney is always bad news, and if your chimney doesn’t have a cap, you are more than likely overdue for chimney repairs. At a minimum, you are going to want to have a cap installed.
Cracked Chimney Crown
The crown on your chimney forms its second line of defense against water. The crown is the 2″-3″ concrete or mortar slab that has been poured over the very top of your chimney, and covers the bricks of your chimney and surrounds the top flue tiles. Besides covering the hollow areas of your chimney, the crown also helps to protect the porous sides of the brick, helping to keep them from absorbing too much moisture.
Check Your Chimney Tuckpointing
Tuckpointing is the process of repairing mortar joints, and just like with the exterior of your home, it is something that needs to be done between every 30-50 years. The best way to check and see if the mortar on your chimney is in good condition is to take a screwdriver and scrape it across the mortar to see if it is soft or if it crumbles away. Good mortar will barely have a mark left on it after running a screwdriver over it while bad mortar will fall away and leave a gouge. Any areas that you encounter this soft mortar should be repaired as quickly as possible. If you leave this problem unchecked, the mortar will eventually fall away and the bricks will come loose.
Check For White Staining
White discoloration on a chimney is a surefire sign that you have a moisture problem. This white staining is called efflorescence, and it’s the natural salts in the brick and mortar being brought to the surface by moisture, and then left behind when it evaporates.
If you are looking for a residential masonry contractor for all of your chimney repairs in New England or the Boston area, give us a call today at 508-335-8441 or fill out our online request form.
Popular Types of Massachusetts Stone For Stone Masonry
The Massachusetts stone masonry industry regularly use many types of natural and artificial stone. Choosing the right Massachusetts stone for your Massachusetts Stone Masonry is important.
Here are some different types of natural Massachusetts stone, found in the three, main geographical rock types:
Igneous Igneous rock is formed by the cooling of magma or lava and may or may not involve crystallization characteristics. Natural, igneous stone types include Granite which is one of the hardest stone around and requires special stonemason techniques to work with. It is generally used by masons for its strength and durability in countertops, kerbstones and flooring.
- Other igneous rock types include the softer Pumice and Scoria to the more harder Obsidian and Basalt stone which are used in Massachusetts stone masonry for groundwork and building blocks.
Metamorphic Metamorphic rock is rock which has undergone transformation from an existing rock type, involving extreme pressures and temperatures over long periods of time, resulting in profound chemical and physical ‘metamorphism’.
- Marble is a typical and popular metamorphic rock which has, by tradition, been carved into statues, and for facing Renaissance stonework.
- There are many types of marble differentiated by their colour, petographic type and other factors.
- Some common types include the white or blue-grey Carrara marble quarried in Carrara, Italy.
- Marble is used by stonemasons mainly for it’s decorative characteristics in flooring, tiling and in fireplaces.
- Another popular metamorphic rock is Slate. Its hardness and granularity provides a sharpness which is popular for memorials and inscriptions. Its layered form enables masons to split it into thin plates and use it as a roofing material.
Sedimentary Sedimentary rock is formed in water from the sedimentation of other rock, calcium deposits and organic particles. Again, a long process and application of heat and pressure to form strata layers into a structure called bedding. Within this bedding you may also find fossil fuels and ores.
- Common Sedimentary rock are limestone.
- Frequently used examples of limestone include Yorkstone, Sydney and Bath and Portland stone which most of the City of Bath is made from.
- Kentish Ragstone is another famous limestone from Kent used by Kent stonemasons of the past.
- Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and Kent’s Castles such as Leeds Castle are all famous stoneworks made from Kent Ragstone by Kent masons.
- Travertine is also a popular limestone which is used for its soft aesthetic looks. It is frequently used as a cladding, in flooring, walls and in bathrooms
Choosing the right Massachusetts stone for your Massachusetts Stone Masonry is important. If you have any more questions, be sure to contact your local Massachusetts Stone Masonry Contractor.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4371965
If you are looking for a Stone masonry contractor in the New England and Boston area, please call 508-335-8441 or complete our online request form.
Turn to Professional Boston Masonry Contractors for Brickwork That Is Strong, Beautiful, and Functional
When you need Boston brickwork done on your property, it’s important to make certain that it’s done right to ensure both a beautiful and a durable result. Boston Masonry contractors in your area can help you achieve both of these goals through their expert design and execution of both decorative and functional masonry elements.
Brickwork adds instant polish and sophistication to any part of your home, and, when done correctly, represents a lasting addition to your property. There are all types of places that brickwork can be incorporated into your home space, and these elements can have either decorative or practical functions. Whatever your masonry needs are, it’s important to contact a professional to do any masonry work that you have in mind. In order to successfully work with brick, specific tools and knowledge are required, particularly if the item in question is serving a structural purpose. In order to ensure that your brickwork looks beautiful and lasts for years, contact your local masonry professional today.
There are a number of ways in which you can incorporate gorgeous Boston brickwork into your property as a decorative element. These include brick driveways, patios, and walkways. All of these do, of course, serve a practical function, but constructing them out of brick allows you to emphasize their aesthetic role in your property over their utilitarian role. Brick comes in all different shades and shapes, and your masonry construction expert will be able to work with you to determine what type of brick will work best in your property in a decorative role. With their help, you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular brickwork that reflects your style and showcases your property to its best advantage for years to come.
Your masonry professionals will also, of course, be able to assist you with other structural masonry elements as well. When it comes to this type of masonry work, such as constructing a retaining wall, it’s vital to have a professional brick expert do the job. Doing such a task requires very specific knowledge to ensure safety both during the construction process and afterward. As a building material, brick has its own quirks and rules, so it’s important to employ a professional who is well versed in all of these so that the resulting structure will serve its desired function and will endure the test of time. These brick experts will be able to create structurally sound brick elements for your home that will increase its beauty and its value.
Whatever your brick-related needs may be, your local masonry expert will be able to help with with them. Your Boston masonry contractor will have the tools and the experience at their disposal to create beautiful brick elements for your home that will be both structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing well into the future.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rebecca_Paul
If you are looking for a Brick masonry contractor in the New England and Boston area, please call 508-335-8441 or complete our online request form.
Masonry Chimney Repair – Getting it Right For Your Massachusetts Home
There are chimneys in most homes, adding to the warmth within the home. The difference between various Massachusetts homes’ chimneys is the actual construction and design of the chimney. A masonry chimney is one type of flue that is quite common in many homes, and many times with age will require some sort of repair.
Use of any flue will eventually age it and age through elements will definitely erode any structure, making it necessary to maintain your masonry chimney in the most proper way. It’s inevitable that everyone isn’t a masonry flue repairer, which means that you must not only know when your flue needs fixing, but just who to employ for the job.
It is most often needed to perform some sort of masonry chimney repair when your home’s vent has been in place for many years. This is most common when purchasing a Massachusetts home that hasn’t been occupied in a while. Even if you have occupied your home but haven’t used your vent in a while, the nonuse could allow it to wear with age. If you don’t frequently clean or provide maintenance to your flue, it can often erode or become damaged through time. Any of these situations could greatly require the need for a Massachusetts masonry contractor to provide the most appropriate repairs for your chimney repair needs.
Getting just any Massachusetts masonry repair contractor will not do. You must do your due diligence and research companies to find those that are most experienced and skilled in the repair as this is a major fixture within your home. If the job is not performed correctly, you will end up having more costs down the road and most likely worse damages than before.
With a masonry flue created of solid units made from brick, stone, or other masonry material, the company you choose should be able to provide the materials needed to perform the most accurate and proper repair to your specific vent. Masonry chimneys are also lined with specialized fire clay flue liners, meaning that the company you choose should also be able to provide the most appropriate lining for replacement to your original chimney.
When you are able to distinguish the need for masonry chimney repair, you will be better able to choose the right company based on what you need. You should be able to find a company that can provide you with a great repair service, that is accompanied by a great price.
You can learn more about chimney crown repair, and get much more information, articles and resources about chimney repairs by visiting chimney repair.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4165006
If you are looking for a masonry contractor in the New England and Boston area, please call 508-335-8441 or complete our online request form.
What Are the Importance of Walkways Within Your Boston Garden’s Landscape?
What are the importance of walkways within your Boston garden landscape? They are an essential component of your garden’s appearance. It does not take long for the places where folk frequently tread to begin to look walked and faded if there are no walkways to guard it. Your Boston masonry contractor can help you eliminate that problem by installing a custom walkway in your garden.
The wonderful thing about walkways comes from the cultured mix of both the materials used and the shapes they and the walkway’s trail take. A bed of either heavy sand or small-pebbled gravel is generally laid and then the interlocking bricks are hammered into place employing a wooden or rubber mallet.
Well made walkways will have a slope or crown to them, which is simply a hump in the middle that allows water to empty off so that it doesn’t puddle on the walkway.
Other common elements that are included in walkways are casual seating areas such as, benches and platforms, for example. There may also be handrails for bridges or raised areas, or lighting elements for night ambiance, and maybe a great pool setting to reinforce the entire area.
Other additions like bird baths, feeders, squirrel hutches, pet-friendly plants, and other additions can make lively animals move in and round the walkway to give great entertainment and life to the gardens round the walkway. A few simple touches will make your Boston garden spring to life!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=P._Morgan
If you are looking for a Stone masonry contractor in the New England and Boston area, please call 508-335-8441 or complete our online request form.
Outdoor South Shore Fireplace Masonry
Outdoor masonry South Shore fireplaces add a classic touch, and create a warm and magical atmosphere to any outdoor space such as garden, patio, backyard, or pool area. Though expensive to build and maintain, masonry fireplaces have an old world charm and romance associated with them. These are ideal places around which a family can gather and share sweet moments.
Traditional masonry fireplaces are built with footing, a firebrick-lined firebox, and a brick-lined or stone chimney. Attractive and durable South Shore fireplaces can be crafted out at a reasonable cost by a highly-skilled mason. Brick and sandstone are the raw materials commonly used. Masonry fireplaces may be designed from volcanic pumice stone, high quality marble or attractive natural sandstone. Usually masonry fireplaces are built with hearths matching the stone used. Masonry construction is proof against rain or snow. These fireplaces usually have chimneys to emit hot gases and smoke.
In some designs, flat pieces of rock are installed by hand for custom fit, providing a unique design and style. The bottom part is fixed up to six inches below soil surface. Robinson rock, a natural stone, is also popularly used for fireplace construction nowadays. Fire Rock’s pre-engineered fireplace system is a new provision for building a masonry fireplace more quickly and economically than a hand-built, brick and mortar structure. It is cast from South Shore masonry material, which does not yield to rust.
Traditional fireplaces use wood to build the flame. If you are looking for a masonry fireplace with gas either natural or propane, you will not have to deal with smoke, sparks, cleaning up ashes or gathering wood logs. Finding a mason contractor to build your outdoor fireplace is of course the first step in ensuring a beautiful outdoor space.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/268562
If you are looking for a Residential masonry contractor in the New England and Boston area, please call 508-335-8441 or complete our online request form.
The Art of Masonry in Worcester
The building materials that are most commonly used in this type of construction is brick, tile, concrete block, marble, stone, granite, glass block and or travertine using some form of mortar. Masonry is considered to be a highly durable form of building technique with certain types of materials. But, the quality of workmanship and material will determine the overall construction of a structure.
The building of retaining walls, walls of buildings and monuments are some of the most common applications of masonry building techniques. Concrete blocks and bricks are generally some of the most common building materials that are used in masonry construction. The reason behind this is because these two types of materials have more strength than materials such as wood for instance. Rebar or other types of steel reinforcements can be added also to help improve the tensile strength of a structure.
One of the oldest forms of masonry is stonemasonry in the history of construction. This type of masonry is one skill that has always been in high demand throughout ancient and modern times. This is considered to be a traditional skill. Some of the best forms of stonemasonry can still be seen today. Many of the castles in Europe and the Great Wall of China are still standing today. The stonemasons even in ancient times were highly skilled in this type of construction. There work is still standing today due to the quality of the construction materials used and the skill that was involved.
There are many advantages of using building materials such as brick or stone. Buildings made out of these types of construction materials keep a building cooler in the summer and warmer during colder months. Brick, marble and granite for instance do not need to be painted and does not attract insects like wood. Masonry is also very heat resistance and is harder to catch on fire like wood or other construction materials. Masonry structures are also more resistant to extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
Masonry is a skill that very few master. When deciding to build a structure out of stone, brick or concrete blocks it is important to higher a skilled mason. This will not only save one the headache of trying to do it yourself, it will insure that the end project will last for many years and in some cases centuries. Without the art of masonry many of our most treasured structures and monuments would not be here for us to enjoy today.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4835428
Brockton Outdoor Fireplace Masonry
Brockton Outdoor masonry fireplaces add a classic touch, and create a warm and magical atmosphere to any outdoor space such as garden, patio, backyard, or pool area. Though expensive to build and maintain, masonry fireplaces have an old world charm and romance associated with them. These are ideal places around which a family can gather and share sweet moments.
Traditional Brockton masonry fireplaces are built with footing, a firebrick-lined firebox, and a brick-lined or stone chimney. Attractive and durable fireplaces can be crafted out at a reasonable cost by a highly-skilled mason. Brick and sandstone are the raw materials commonly used. Masonry fireplaces may be designed from volcanic pumice stone, high quality marble or attractive natural sandstone. Usually masonry fireplaces are built with hearths matching the stone used. Masonry construction is proof against rain or snow. These fireplaces usually have chimneys to emit hot gases and smoke.
In some designs, flat pieces of rock are installed by hand for custom fit, providing a unique design and style. The bottom part is fixed up to six inches below soil surface. Robinson rock, a natural stone, is also popularly used for fireplace construction nowadays. Fire Rock’s pre-engineered fireplace system is a new provision for building a masonry fireplace more quickly and economically than a hand-built, brick and mortar structure. It is cast from masonry material, which does not yield to rust.
Traditional fireplaces use wood to build the flame. If you are looking for a Brockton masonry fireplace with gas either natural or propane, you will not have to deal with smoke, sparks, cleaning up ashes or gathering wood logs.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Josh_Riverside
If you are looking for a Brick masonry contractor in the New England and Boston area, please call508-335-8441 or complete our online request form.
Boston Fireplace Ideas: Designs For Stone Fireplaces
Fireplace ideas that use stone as their primary element are now becoming really popular. They are labeled as one of the best options that you can go for if you want a hearth that can easily go well with any kind of interior design and architectural style. Fireplace mantels made from stone work ideally for both traditional and contemporary looks.
When go through different fireplace ideas for stone fireplaces, you can choose from a wide variety of stones that are available at building material suppliers and building contractors. Aside from the large variety of stones, there are tons of other ways for you to have these laid down so that you can come up with astonishing fireplace design plans. Let’s have a glimpse at the different concepts that you can opt for. If you want a basic design for your stone hearth, you first need to consider whether you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor design. Indoor designs and outdoor designs vary a lot in terms of mantel structure and size. You can choose to get a classic fireplace built in of your interior walls. This is the exact opposite of a standalone, which is typically installed against the walls along with a separate decorative mantel. Built in fireplace designs are really a popular choice for small spaces. For these types of designs, enough space is created inside the wall.
The interior carved area and the wall edges work as the mantel. In this kind of style, you can decorate your entire wall using your own set of creative ideas using different large and small stones.
Another great option that you can consider is to have unique designs for an outdoor fireplace, which have the basic structure dug inside the earth along with a nice decorative stone border that’s in line with the ground, which looks class apart. An outdoor hearth that’s designed with a unique shape or structure that’s made from stones will surely add an exquisite beauty element to your landscape outside the house. Lastly, you can try having fireplace mantels, which are the most popular of all basic hearth designs that can offer a pristine closed enclosure for both indoor and outdoor fireplace design plans. You will have a lot of options to choose from if you decide to go with a fireplace mantel. No matter what style you use, you will have a lot of options to choose from in terms of stones as well.
Let’s have a look at the different options that you have in terms of stones. For natural hearth designs, limestone is considered as a great option to choose because it’s natural color helps give out a classy but soft fireplace mantel that’s designed to perfectly suit your taste. In addition, it has a neutral color that can easily complement any kind of home decor and wall paint colors. On the other hand, granite and marble are also noteworthy options to consider especially if you have plans on having grand-looking design for your fireplace.
Boston Natural Stone – Natural Beauty Deep Within
Natural stones are highly popular among home owners, not just in decorating interior of the house but exterior too. Very few people know about the wide applications of these stones in outdoor spaces. Being a popular trend in landscape designing it adds character and definition to an exterior space. The rising fame of landscaping with natural rock is due to the reason that these stones easily match the basic look of homes.
Natural form of tile is fit for both formal and informal background designs. The applications of these stones are unlimited when it comes to landscaping. These are widely used to facade a house front, facade an outdoor fireplace, facade stone columns, frame a pond, line walkways and patios, edge a garden bed, face retaining walls, and create outdoor living spaces.
Natural stones are a real way of enhancing the natural beauty of outdoor space. Being a natural product it flawlessly matches the features in the landscape such as ponds, waterfalls, retaining walls and many others other than walkways. This natural product imparts unlimited architectural and practical functions. A slight creativity and thought process can bring plenty of innovative ideas for stone landscaping.
Natural stone for landscaping can offer you long lasting design with classy touch if you want to create a curb appeal on a new home. You can make you home completely opulent by skirting facades on the fronts of homes or stepping stone walkways. The brilliance it will add around your home will be commendable. You can further add interest by carefully placing boulder in a garden or landscape. Besides, cautiously selected stones can be used to create living spaces and outdoor rooms a fantastic place to spend time.
For garden areas retaining walls can be a significant addition as they actually have practical purposes such as garden beds or preventing soil erosion. Furthermore, they also impart significance to a landscape or garden and become appealing to the home fronts. Another very good application of natural stone is to use them around ponds or to outdoor rooms and elevate patios.
Although, it was all about how you can elevate the beauty of your landscape or garden, these amazing stone do have practical uses inside home i.e. around fireplaces. Using natural to fireplaces make the space warm and inviting. These stones can be wonderful backdrop for romantic evenings or dinner parties with the family. For decorating such places a thin stone veneer made from natural rock comes in an extensive variety of colors and styles. These natural stones are capable of adding the touch of class and elegance not only inside home but outside too.