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Frequently Asked Questions


How often should I have my brick or stone re-pointed?"

Repointing is the process of removing deteriorating mortar from the joints of a masonry wall and replacing it with new mortar. Properly done, repointing restores the visual and physical integrity of the masonry. Improperly done, repointing not only detracts from the appearance of the building, but may, in fact, cause physical damage to the masonry units themselves.
A good repointing job is meant to last, often in the range of 50-100 years. Shortcuts and poor craftsmanship not only result in a job that looks bad, but also in one that will require future repointing more frequently than if the job had been done correctly in the first place. The mortar joint in a historic brick building has often been called the wall's "first line of defense." Good repointing practices guarantee the long life of the mortar joint, the wall, and the historic structure. However, while careful preservation, restoration, and maintenance will guarantee the long life of the freshly repointed mortar joints, it is important to remember that these mortar joints will probably require repointing at some time in the future. It is the nature of mortar joints to deteriorate. Nevertheless, if the historic mortar joints proved durable for many years, then careful repointing should have an equally long life, ultimately contributing to the preservation of the historic brick building.

How often should I have my building caulked or waterproofed?"

Good question. The life cycle of various types of sealant vary alot. The most common and widely used sealants are urethane and silicone based products. On average, you can expect to get 5-10 years from a urethane based sealant vs 15 - 20 years from a silicone based sealant. However this life cycle depends on alot of factors:

1. Installation. If it was not installed properly it will not hold up.
2. Climate.
3. Substrate it is being applied to

Some of the other most common reasons for caulking failure are using inferior-quality caulk, using the wrong caulk for the job, not preparing the surface properly and not using a sufficient amount of the caulking. The two primary types of caulking failures are adhesive failure and cohesive failure. There are different types of caulking intended for different kinds of jobs, and the most important ways to prevent problems are choosing the right caulk and preparing the surface correctly.

Adhesive and Cohesive Failures

Adhesive failure means that the caulk stops adhering to one or both surfaces to which it was applied. This type of failure might not appear right away, so proper testing and preparation of the surface is critical. A small test area is always recommended for adhesive compatibility prior to starting the job. Cohesive failure happens when there is a tear within the caulking itself, not in the adhesion to the surfaces, which frequently occurs as a result of sealant deterioration or the substrate moving at a different rate.

What are signs that my control joint or window caulking has failed?

Signs that the outer envelope of the building has been compromised usually shows up in the form of water infiltration to the interior of the building. Water penetration can cause a whole host of expensive issues for any building. Contact Armaco Construction at the first signs of water penetration for a free estimate.

How do I know if I need my chimney restored?"

Some signs that your chimney is deteriorating may be that you see pieces of the mortar joint, or stucco, laying at the base of the chimney or around the roof where the chimney meets the roof. When deterioration has went beyond this point you may see evidence of water staining or dripping on the inside of your building or into the actual fire place.

Is it my chimney or my roof that is leaking?

If you are having these sorts of problems, have us out to inspect right away. We often get calls after a new roof has been replaced. The roof may well have needed replacement, but if you are in need of chimney work also, it is best to have this done prior to your new roof going on.we have a network of contractors skilled in all aspects of construction that we would be happy to refer you to.