Brick and Stone

Brick and stone have been used to build houses for thousands of years.  Most of those years, the houses stayed dry.  Its only recently that modern interference with time tested methods and materials has resulted in massive damage to our old buildings.  Common problems include raking out using electric angle grinders which damage delicate brickwork, removing lime mortar and replacing with impervious cement.  This causes water to be trapped into the structure of the wall, and this in turn will destroy the brickwork or stonework as it tries to escape.  In winter, the damp wall will split and flake as it gets cold and freezes.  These pages will show you some of the problems, and how to address them.

If you ever feel the need to 'repoint' your brickwork or stonework - STOP!  Think - and look.  Is it REALLY neccessary?  Why are you telling yourself it needs to be done?  We very seldom actually see brickwork that NEEDS to be pointed.  More often than not, a bodgit builder has convinced someone it is needed - most of the time it's not.  Done properly, raking out by hand, and repointing in lime mortar matched to the right hardness (softness) and grit content  is not cheap.  You'll probably be looking at around £90 to £100 a square metre.  

The pages in this section will show you examples of problems, and how they are caused.  We will show you solutions.  If you actually need work doing, we may be able to help you if our schedules allow.

Typical problems with brick and stone walls
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Rusting metal jacking masonry

Rusting metal causes major structural problems with buildings.  Iron expands up to 25 times its original volume, and acts as a powerful 'hydraulic jack' -...

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Brickwork spalling
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Removing paint from brick and stone walls
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Breathable microporous sealants
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Underpinning old walls
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Knowledge Base
Latest News
Pete's on BBC Radio 4 now!

Pete recently did an interview on BBC Radio 4 - You and Yours - which investigated a case history of failed cavity wall insulation.

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Guidance concerning Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings

This is the English Heritage Guidance document that covers almost all the issues I cover in this site.

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An Irish client and his magnificent restoration blog

Our client, John, wanted help with this restoration - it led to this great blog.

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Rising damp is a myth, says former RICS chief

Stephen Boniface, former chairman of the construction arm of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS ), has told the institute’s 40,000 members that ‘true...

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It's Condensation Season!

The phone is running off the hook with calls about condensation. Find out how to solve your issues.

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The Haynes Manual for Period Property

Ian Rock has written another of his great books.  This one is even better - We've helped Ian with this one and there's loads of photos of our guys doing timber frame work.  A great book, with lots of practical information you need if you have an old home.  Treat yourself and buy this - you won't regret it!

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