In the historic neighborhoods of Washington DC, brick repair and restoration are essential for preserving the stately old buildings. Well-preserved brick and mortar protects the authenticity of the original architecture and boosts the property values of the homes. Historic neighborhoods are often desirable because of the sense of community pride and quality of life they give to residents.
Historic homes aren't for everyone. The desire to own a piece of history - with the unique workmanship and features of an older homes - motivates many owners. Historical neighborhoods tend to be stable, with well-landscaped streets and close communities. Many are walkable with easily accessed services such as public transit, entertainment, and shopping.
Old homes need regular maintenance and restoration. Preservation of those unique architectural and design features is essential to maintaining the value and desirability of the individual dwellings and the neighborhood. In many of DC’s historic sections, an important and visible maintenance chore is brick restoration and repair. The use of traditional tuckpointing methods and materials is key to maintaining the historic quality.
When it comes to repairs on historic brick homes, here’s what knowledgeable and responsible owners of historic DC brick homes look for:
Tuckpointing and Mortar
- RD tuckpointed the entire facade of our 1899 DC row house, got the necessary DC permits, and cleaned up nicely. They know how to work with the older homes on Capitol Hill and with the historical society.
- I learned more about 19th-century masonry than I ever imagined possible. I also received a history lesson on my home and that was wonderful.
- In keeping with the historic character of old DC row houses, RD tuckpointed with lime-based mortar. The mortar color and depth is consistent over the entire area.
Replacing and Matching Bricks
- Our primary interest in rebuilding the patio of our historic house in Georgetown was to retain its authentic feel, including re-laying an intricate semi-circular design of the bricks in one area. RD used all of our bricks, and in addition, others from their warehouse that matched our bricks.
- RD performed historic restoration work on bricks no longer available. They were very inventive, and since we could not purchase additional bricks, they turned the bricks around and put the damaged part on the inside.
- Neighbors were informed of when work was to begin and what to expect.
- Scaffolding was erected and, as work progressed, moved in sections per OSHA regulations.
- Windows were covered with heavy-duty plastic that was taped in place to minimize dust penetrating the building’s interior; windows of adjacent houses were also covered with permission from neighbor[s] before the project began.
- The project concluded with site cleanup and removal of all construction related materials.
"Our front steps and walkway have been transformed from one of the most unsightly on our block of 14 similar townhouses to the envy of the neighborhood."
Source: Angie's list 2011-1014 Renaissance Development (RD)
Renaissance Development, a leader in brick restoration and historic preservation, specializes in the restoration of a historic brick building’s mortar joints using traditional methods (tuckpointing) and materials. Contact us for a free site visit and project quote.