Salt Problems and Water Proofing
Moisture can penetrate into brick and masonry, causing natural salts to form. When this happens, the salt crystals expand and cause the brick and masonry to spall. This can only be stopped by preventing the penetration of moisture or making the brick or masonry more breathable. We do this by replacing inferior mortar with a well matched lime mortar. This replacement mortar assists the expulsion of water from the structure and reduces condensation and mould growth, ensuring longevity for the structure. Our staff are well experienced in such repairs.
Tuckpointing is a way of using two contrasting colours of motar in the mortar joints of brickwork, one colour matching the bricks themselves, to give an artificial impression that very fine joints have been made
Concrete repairs include elimination of corrosive condition to enhance appearance. Our concrete crack stitching is done with a modified epoxy blend of mortar and concrete, bonding across cracks to minimise future movement and restore structural integrity.
Stone Replacement & Repointing
In any heritage building stone can become damaged over time, from weathering, ground movement, vandalism or in the course of structural alteration. While we do not undertake stone masonry nor stone façade restoration, at Heritage Brick Restorations we undertake minor repairs and replacement of stone sills, stone steps and building blocks, as well as paint removal, stone cleaning and repointing. Repointing involves the replacement of damaged sections of mortar joints, using compatible heritage lime mortar.
This service is undertaken using traditional lime mortar, unless specified otherwise by our clients, and we can provide the appropriate grade of heritage lime mortar to match your project. We manufacture and provide our own non-hydraulic lime putty. For projects requiring hydraulic lime, we use RoundTowers NHL lime , depending on the structure and physical surrounds of the restoration. We do not use any additives, as many have been shown to impact negatively on the durability of the mortar. We use a wide range of tools for extracting mortar for repointing, which are carefully selected to minimise dust and restrict damage to the original brick and masonry.
As chimneys are exposed to the elements, with none of the protection eaves afford to walls, they are particularly susceptible to weather erosion and spalling. HBR specialises in safe removal and replacement of chimney bricks, paint removal, and flue reconstruction. We have specialist aluminium tube scaffold for chimney repairs and roof work and our staff are certified in scaffolding.
Cracked Stitching Helifix
The Helifix Crack Stitching Kit comes complete with all necessary materials for effective and reliable stitching of cracked masonry. Bonding HeliBar stainless steel bars into appropriate bed joints or cut slot stabilises the masonry and minimises further development of the crack.
Hot Pressure Washing
One of the best ways of bringing your building back to life, when dirt and mould have made your building appear dirty and aged, is to hot pressure wash the structure. This work is undertaken by staff experienced in heritage work and able to identify the appropriate level of pressure for each specific surface.
*An important point on hot pressure washing: we advise against washing structures which have moisture problems and advanced decay.
Lime Mortar Matching
With so many uses as bedding, pointing and facing material, mortar plays a critical role in the structure and survival of historic buildings and their component materials and features. A pointing mortar fills the gaps between building materials, providing support at the surface and forming a continuous face to help protect against the weather. It needs to be strong enough to withstand weathering but its role is ultimately sacrificial – that is to say that, in the event of a problem such as movement occurring, it is the mortar that disintegrates, not the host material. So, in the vast majority of cases the mortar should be weaker than the host material.
Brick Matching Services
Historically bricks were the most common building material across Victoria in the late 19th Century. There were many brickyards in Melbourne and their output was staggering. At the height of the Melbourne building boom, in the years 1889-1890 alone, these local brick-making yards produced upwards of 270 million bricks.
These quality antique bricks of the nineteenth century are not reproducible using modern production line methods and therefore locating and matching heritage bricks is a formidable task for property owners undertaking restoration. At HBR we have amassed an extensive stock of antique bricks from Melbourne sites and we have thousands in stock. We can source uniquely shaped, unusual and reclaimed heritage bricks and bluestone building blocks.
Brick Restoration & Rebuilding
Our staff have a wealth of experience in heritage brickwork conservation and restoration, having worked on many of the domestic, public and commercial buildings of Melbourne’s heritage. We use traditional building methods and traditional materials.
Helifix Crack Stitching
Brick crack stitching repair: our staff are trained in using the Helifix system, using specially engineered rods to bond over cracks to minimise future movement and restore structural integrity.