What is Masonry Restoration?

Masonry restoration is the phrase used for working with any form of masonry on an existing structure that does not encompass actually building it. Restoration includes disassembly, rebuilding, cleaning, and sealing.

How do I know if my structure needs Masonry Restoration?

When you notice that the surface of masonry units alters their appearance (i.e. your masonry units are missing their face, chipping, flaking, crumbling, cracking, deflected or displaced) it is worth further investigation. Also, if you notice “bowing” in your wall. These are just common indications, if you are unsure, please contact us and we will inspect your problem and offer you solutions and pricing to fix it.

What is Pointing?

Pointing is a term for removing mortar from a joint, and then replacing it with new. The mortar that binds bricks or stones together, deteriorates after an extended period and must be repaired or replaced to prevent water and air infiltration, and serious structural damage.

How is Pointing done?

During a typical pointing operation, Datum crews carefully inspect all masonry joints for indications of deterioration. Defective mortar is cut out with power or hand tools to a depth sufficient to ensure solid backing for new pointing. Joints are then aligned, dampened, and a specially formulated pointing mortar is applied and tooled.

Why is Concrete Restoration needed?

Environmental conditions eventually cause all concrete, both interior and exterior, to deteriorate, crack, and spall. If these conditions are left uncorrected they spread quickly, causing an overwhelming disintegration of the concrete. Conversely, if proper corrective measures are taken, the concrete can be fully restored to provide years and years of additional service.

What happens if I don’t address issues with my structure?

One thing you can count on is that sooner or later water and moisture will penetrate your structure one way or the other. In the case of masonry and concrete structures, once moisture penetrates these structures, it can form salts and or freeze. If it freezes it can expand inside the crack and cause the crack to expand. With weather cycle of freeze and thaw, the mortar joint will crack and water will cause structural damage. The longer it is left the worse the problem, and then the costlier the repairs down the line.

Why is Waterproofing important?

Water infiltration is one of the most common factors in the deterioration of structures, yet its cause is often difficult to isolate and correct. Datum’s experience in this field spans many decades. We have the ability to analyze the problem, and to recommend and perform long-lasting, cost-effective repairs for both above-grade and below-grade leakage problems.

What is Efflorescence and what causes it?

Efflorescence is the formation of a white crystalline substance on the face of brick. This is caused by an excessive amount of moisture within the wall leaching through and out of the masonry. As water passes through the mortar joints, salts are collected and transported to the face of the brick where it then crystallizes. Efflorescence may often occur in brick of newly constructed buildings. Efflorescence in this type of condition can often be easily removed by scrubbing the affected areas with water. However, efflorescence that occurs well after construction was completed generally indicates that a large amount of moisture has penetrated behind the brick and is unable to effectively drain back to the exterior. This results from many factors which may include weep drains becoming clogged or brick cavity walls being occluded with mortar droppings. Both of these conditions hinder or limit the ability for moisture to drain to the exterior.

What is spalling and what causes it?

Spalling is when portions of the brick flake off from the main body of the brick. Sometimes the spalled pieces can be very large portions of the original brick. There are several reasons that brick spalling may occur. Spalling may be caused by installation of brick coatings intended to not allow the brick to “breath” (moisture in the form of vapor not allowed to transmit through the brick to the exterior). When this occurs and is compounded by a lack of drainage provisions, moisture trapped behind the exterior surface of the brick will freeze and exert pressures in the brick material sufficient to break a portion away from the rest of the brick (spall). Spalling can also be due to the brick materials being made from soft clay material which will readily absorb moisture that may freeze within the brick, resulting in spalling. A third reason for spalling could be due to movement of the structure. The movement may exert sufficient pressures onto individual brick that breaks the brick apart. This latter phenomenon has its most common occurrence at structural lintels in buildings.

What is Masonry Stabilization?

Over time, as a masonry structure is exposed to water penetration, seismic movement, and the resulting deterioration of the original construction materials, it may be necessary to replace and/or re-attach all of, or a portion of, masonry units on the façade of a building. Depending on the type of construction materials used in the structural wall, various types of replacement ties are available to add wall stiffness and re-anchor the stone or masonry façade to the structural wall behind it. In addition to providing full replacement of significantly deteriorated portions of brick or stone veneers, Datum Restoration, Inc. utilizes helical anchors, mechanical anchors, and mechanical stone anchors to provide façade stabilization.

What is a Lintel?

A horizontal support of timber, stone, concrete, or steel across the top of a door or window.

What is a Shelf Angle?

A shelf angle or masonry support is a steel angle which supports the weight of brick or stone veneer and transfers that weight onto the main structure of the building so that a gap or space can be created beneath to allow building movements to occur.

What is EIFS?

Exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS) is a general class of non-load bearing building cladding systems that provides exterior walls with an insulated, water-resistant, finished surface in an integrated composite material system.

What is a Parapet Wall?

A parapet wall is an extension of a wall that continues above the roof surface. They are primarily used as guard rails and to prevent the spread of fires. Parapet walls can take a lot of abuse. The freeze-thaw cycles and water accumulation make for a perfect combination to cause damage to parapet walls.

When are concrete repairs needed?

Concrete is susceptible to damage. Environmental conditions eventually cause all concrete, both interior and exterior, to deteriorate, crack and spall. If these conditions are left uncorrected they spread quickly, causing an overwhelming disintegration of the concrete. Conversely, if proper corrective measures are taken, the concrete can be fully restored to provide years and years of additional service.

What is epoxy and chemical grout injection?

Cracks and voids frequently occur in structures subject to impact, heavy vibration, and persistent penetration by water. At Datum, we have the equipment and the expertise to inject epoxy or chemical grout into such voids to stabilize, strengthen, and waterproof the damaged structure. Our experience in these techniques includes work on tunnels, subways, building foundations and other structures where conventional repair procedures were impractical.

What can coatings be used for?

Coatings are more than just paint. Coatings are available in a spectrum of colors with a variety of different purposes that can both beautify and protect a structure. Coatings protect a structures surfaces from dirt, deterioration, water penetration, graffiti, and much more. Coatings application goes far beyond just building surfaces. We have applied these coatings to seal concrete surfaces on parking decks, pedestrian plazas, swimming pool decks, balconies, and to guard against below-grade dampness in basements, utility and pedestrian tunnels, and subways.

What is carbon fiber strengthening?

Widely used in structural engineering applications, light-weight high-strength carbon fibers can be used to reinforce structural elements such as concrete slabs, columns and beams, as well as masonry walls and wood trusses. From basic concrete repairs and seismic retrofitting to increasing the load capacity of a structure originally designed to withstand far lower service loads, Datum Restoration, Inc. uses this composite strengthening system to structurally upgrade and protect existing structures. Carbon fiber added to existing structures can both extend the life of the structure, as well as add flexibility to its original design. Not only can this solution be very cost effective, but also it is often the least disruptive approach to addressing structural deficiencies to existing structures, allowing them to be functional again in a relatively short period of time.

What is an expansion joint?

An expansion joint is a mid-structure separation designed to relieve stress on building materials caused by building movement induced by: thermal expansion and contraction caused by temperature changes, sway caused by wind, seismic events, static load deflection, and live load deflection.

What is pressure washing?

Pressure washing is the use of high pressure water spray to remove loose paint, mold, grime, dust, mud, chewing gum, and dirt from surfaces and objects. The cleaning system most frequently used by Datum, is water (with a mild detergent) under high pressure. Our equipment allows us to accurately regulate the water pressure to assure throughout removal of all loose dirt and grime. without damaging the surface, itself.

What are the benefits of pressure washing?

In areas of heavy industry and air pollution, the cleaning of masonry and concrete surfaces has become increasingly important for two reasons. The first is appearance; a dirty structure does not speak well of its occupants. The second is preservation. Caustic substances carried in the air, unless removed within a reasonable period, cause deterioration.

How is graffiti removed?

Graffiti is removed in various ways. The surface is what determines the method of removal. It is best to remove it as soon as possible to discourage additional vandalism and to prevent further deep staining from taking place. It’s important to remove it before its had a chance to set. As paint dries, the pigment and solvent penetrate the porous material and hardness over time. The longer it is on, the more difficult it will be to remove. To prevent damage to your structure only a professional should complete the removal. Contact us today!

What are caulking and sealants?

Both caulking and sealants are used to fill gaps or cracks between building materials. Caulking and sealants prevent the passage of air and moisture through points where dissimilar building materials are joined. Thus, a properly caulked building is more energy efficient, and its interior surfaces are protected from deterioration, corrosion, rust and rot. Typical areas requiring caulking are expansion joints, perimeters of doors and window frames, copings, and other joints where a tight seal is required.

What is the difference between caulking and sealants?

The main difference between a caulk and a sealant is elasticity. Caulks are fairly rigid when dry and are intended for use in areas with minimal expansion and contraction. Sealants are made from flexible material – most commonly silicone – making them ideal for areas prone to expansion and contraction.

Why do I need new caulking or sealants?

Because of settling in the structure and other factors, caulking and sealants often deteriorate and should be replaced to guard against damage to other building components. The secret to successful, long-term caulking and sealant performance is a combination of adequate surface preparation, proper material selection, and careful application. Datum uses only the highest quality polysulfide, urethane, and silicone sealants, and strictly supervises their application in accordance with manufacturers recommendations.

Why should I have my façade inspected?

Philadelphia’s Façade Inspection Ordinance, mandates that all buildings of six stories or more, or with appurtenances in excess of 60 feet, must be inspected at least every five years. A summary of that inspection must be submitted to the Department of Licenses & Inspections. Our team works closely with building owners and engineers to approach each inspection in a unique way. If your structure is outside of the city limits, it is still a good practice to have a façade inspection on a regular basis, by doing so,

Can you help me figure out why my building is leaking?

Water infiltration is one of the most common factors in the deterioration of structures, yet its cause is often difficult to isolate and correct. Datum’s experience in this field spans many decades. We have the ability to analyze the problem, and to recommend and perform long-lasting, cost-effective repairs for both above grade and below grade problems.

Can you help me figure out what to do so my building doesn’t fall into disrepair?

Yes! We offer preventive maintenance programs. We provide this service on a one-time basis or predevelop a customized and complete program designed to meet your specific needs for your specific structure. We will perform an inspection of your building’s condition and provide pricing and plans to fix any issues, whether it be in our area of expertise or our trusted team of sub-contractors. We place special emphasis on detecting deterioration at its earliest stages and reducing the possibility of further damage.

Why is preventive building maintenance important?

Sometimes overlooked by owners and managers, Preventive Maintenance is as important to a structure as the electrical and mechanical systems. Preventive Maintenance helps to a structure with a tight seal, as well as the integrity of windows and structural joints and seals. When a structure has a tight seal, it prevents the passage of air and moisture through common entry points throughout the structure. As a result, a structure with a tight seal is more efficient (lower heating, cooling, and energy costs), and the interior is protected from deterioration, corrosion, rust, and rot. Also, Preventive Maintenance assures a continuously attractive structure which contributes to employee morale and provides a favorable image to visitors, customers, investors, and the general public.

Can you help me maintain my building on a set basis?

Yes! We provide our services on a contract basis for commercial structures. We will keep your structure(s) in proper condition and looking their best. We offer many options for contracts. You may choose one of our services, a few, or all of them to provide a complete structure maintenance service package. That means, we inspect your structure(s), come up with a mutual agreed upon plan, and when work needs to me done that requires our services, we take care of it for you.

Routinely, we will monitor your facilities and perform the specific work at the specific frequency in the agreed upon contract. If it is an emergency situation and your structure(s) that we maintain need an unexpected repair, we will take care of it quickly and efficiently, at the agreed upon terms in the agreed upon contract. Just another benefit that having a Maintenance Service Contract with Datum Restoration, Inc. provides you.