If you own a historic brick rowhouse, it's essential to keep up with the care and maintenance of the brick façade. This necessary maintenance will require consultation and professional tuckpointing by experts familiar with your brick home's historical authenticity and integrity.
First Steps: Spotting Trouble to Contacting Brick Restoration Experts
Once you notice cracks or deterioration of mortar or other issues with your brick façade, you'll want to find the right company, have two-way communication with them, and understand what repairs are needed before the tuckpointing begins.
Proposal and Project Plan
After the onsite evaluation, the company should deliver a written proposal for you to consider. You'll sign a contract based on what you agree to from this proposal.
Permits and Paperwork
Permits for the Washington, DC area, particularly concerning historic homes, can be complicated, taking two to four weeks to process depending on the scope of work. Renaissance Development takes care of all permitting, so homeowners need not worry!
When Your Home Becomes the Work Site
It helps to understand what is about to transpire on your property to avoid future problems that could create real trouble for your family and neighbors and add to further expense or longer project time.
Before any work begins, you should meet with the crew leader. You can go over job details and expectations and ask questions about what to anticipate on a day-by-day basis. Talk about what the crew needs. How will they get sufficient electricity for tools and water? Where will they put a porta-potty for workers, and how often will that be serviced? You'll want to know who will be on your property daily. Renaissance Development will assign a dedicated crew to your job, and these are the only workers you will have onsite. They will work only on your project until completed, unlike some companies that move workers around from job to job.
Inform Your Neighbors
You should make sure your neighbors are fully apprised of the project, especially when homes are close or touching each other. Ensure neighbors have a timeline with instructions regarding how your project may impact their daily routine and property. You and your neighbors will want to be prepared for noise and mess from grinders as they remove old mortar. Understand that there will be a lot of dust and debris flying from the work areas.
Renaissance Development will cover and seal your windows and even your neighbors' windows, where there is a likelihood of dust and debris build-up during the project. You and your neighbors should be prepared to have windows covered to keep debris from entering your homes. Similarly, Renaissance Development will cover and protect bushes and foundation plantings as well as possible. Discuss how that will be accomplished and the expectations regarding materials and application of covering to windows and protecting the landscape from dirty debris.
We Take Pride in our Professionalism
Make sure the company you contract abides by professional practices on your property and your neighbors' property. Renaissance Development takes pride in following these as needed:
- Safe scaffolding per OSHA,
- Daily crew cleanup,
- Daily removal of mortar debris,
- Cleaned brick and mortar joints before new mortar application,
- Low-pressure washed walls,
- Damaged bricks addressed,
- Proper lime-based mortar to match the original.
Your historic brick home should look refreshed when your tuckpointing project is completed. That includes restoring its curb appeal. Look for a final cleanup that includes window washing – yours and the neighbors – and washing the exterior walls. It should also include repairing your landscaping. Your final walk-through should reinforce your investment in maintaining the structural integrity and historical authenticity of your home.
This article has focused on details of the experience of having your home as a worksite. To see the full project description and checklist, beginning with identifying issues with your brick to the final cleaning and walk-through, download our complete guide here.
If you're considering tuckpointing for your historic brick home, Renaissance Development professionals know precisely how to get you through each step of the process in the most painless way. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.