How to Demolish Brick Safely | Melbourne Cracked Wall Repair | Home Renovations

When working with unstable structures – ones that are typically affected by water ingress over many years – you need to call on a contractor that engineers solutions for structural repair and home renovation.

melbournebrickrepair.com has many years in providing solutions that work. We work with many clients that are eager to not only fix their family homes or investment properties but want to be assured that the work is being carried out safely in a method which minimises risk.


 

When propping roof structures, all assurances need to be provided, as appreciated by our many clients whom benefit first-hand from our safe brick demolition and reinstatement methods. We are vigilant in providing a safe working environment for, not only our staff , but also for your family and neighbours. We work with you to provide the best solutions that are supported by our qualified structural design team.

For structural assessment and remediation of your masonry (clay brick), concrete, and stone houses and buildings, contact melbournebrickrepair.com.

 

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Edwardian Brick: Rising Damp and Silicone Injection | Damp Course Installation Melbourne

As a result of drilling and silicone injection having been previously used on the above Edwardian brick heritage property, located in the Melbourne suburb of Flemington, the failure of the process is evident in that, rising damp has still occurred despite the previous owner’s intent in trying to fix the issue.

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Salt build-up behind the injected silicone is a very common result of injection which could have been avoided.

Despite the effort in trying to stop the moisture, the buildings previous owner was only trying to do what was right. The fact is that silicone injection seldomly works. It is really only for walls over 2 foot thick. It is certainly not for a heritage double brick structure. Discolouration, as seen above, affects both mortars joint and brick alike; hastening deterioration of both.

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Visible deterioration of the mortar joint has occurred above the drill lines from chemical dampproofing.

By using a physical barrier instead, this wouldn’t have occurred. Rising damp is a very hard thing to prevent altogether. In all actuality, every masonry structure will encounter some form of moisture transferral from the clay sub-found material. In the case that physical barriers are installed, the decay of mortar and brick is slowed dramatically. By also increasing airflow under the floor, you are also providing a good natural method of easing rising damp.

Contact melbournebrickrepair.com for further details on how to prevent rising damp.


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Want to Stop Rising Damp? Does Chemical Injection work?| Rising Damp Specialist | MelbourneBrickRepair.com

Over the years, the construction methods regarding rising damp have changed. With new ways of attempting to prevent the rise of dampness from footings and surrounding sub-foundations which are generally comprised of clay, there has also been an increase in the use of chemical injection systems. These systems have gained in popularity due to the inherent belief that plastic is non-absorptive. We believe that the injection system, whilst being beneficial in certain circumstances, can not be looked at as the single and best remedy. We will now break down the reasoning behind why both silicone and polyurethane inject systems that are utilised to counter rising damp are liable to not work.

1. Application

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After injecting silicone, the previous owner coated the exterior to cover up the staining caused by the silicone… it made matters worse!

As a result of drilling at regular intervals, the chemical injection systems use the basis that the brick will ‘absorb’ and disperse the silicone or polyurethane injection applied to try to prevent rising damp. Not only does this depend on the contractor, how well they drill and how much injectable they use, the nominal absorption of various brick will vary due to composition, age and even colour. Concrete blocks, natural stone and clay brick all have differing absorption rates. You can see from the photo above, the ‘cover-up’ bandaid approach does not work with the mortar being soft and still falling out despite the attempt to mask the symptoms of rising damp.

2. Plastic attracts moisture

So you’ve thought to inject silicone or a polyurethane into the masonry fabric of your building. Did you know that once you have injected plastic into what is otherwise a very porous and freely evaporative masonry matrix, you are actually going to harbour moisture in the bricks located in the injected region?! We have found that this will deteriorate your brick faster and often doesn’t stop the moisture tracking its way through both the mortar joint and the masonry unit.

3. Slowing of the Moisture Cycle

The mere fact that you have injected plastics into what was previously a very breathable and porous masonry structure, you are increasing the moisture retention in those areas.

Test it for yourself; If you saturate two clay bricks in water, coat one in cling wrap and not the other, and then place both into the sun, which do you think will dry quicker?

Of course, the brick with plastic will not dry at all. By eliminating the porosity and the rate of evaporation, you are hastening the corrosion caused by being constantly waterlogged…

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Injectable Silicone and Polyurethane, coated in a texture coat has hastened the fretting of brick in and round the area of application.

Conclusion

Silicone and Polyurethane chemical injection systems are somewhat useful in thickened masonry walls with optimal thickness of around 300-400mm.  This is due to the physical difficulty of retrofitting a physical barrier in order to prevent rising damp. To install a physical barrier at this depth is very slow going and is generally quite expensive due to it being labour intensive. But this does not mean that you shouldn’t spend the extra money to do something properly! It is against the basic principles of economics to pay a little for a lot… be aware of the quick fix that is cheap!

Chemical injection systems utilised on single skin brick cladding should not be used! Even on double brick structures which are generally only just over 200mm in thickness with a cavity or empty void in between… The mind boggles on how some contractors would think that this would work!

Physical barriers such as lead and slate were used in traditional damp coursing. These methods were very successful at preventing rising damp. Both materials were largely long-serving due to their individual material impermeability characteristics. They prevented the physical movement of moisture up the wall whilst maintaining their physical state.

Modern equivalents are generally reinforced polyurethane and other flashing material. These are just as effective and require less financial outlay than utilising lead and slate. The main benefit beside stopping the vertical movement of moisture is allowing the masonry to evaporate. This enables the brick, block and stone to remain as dry as possible which is the goal in trying to prevent dampness and the odours associated with saturated masonry.

Despite the thousands of dollars spent, the previous owner didn’t stop rising damp nor did they prevent the other aspect of moisture sub-footing conditions, subsidence. Underpinning is also a follow-on issue with rising damp.

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By spending more, and being wise in your choice of contractor, you will receive more… Throwing good money after bad is never beneficial. Fix rising damp once and for all with melbournebrickrepair.com. The Physical Damp Course Specialist.


 

Need Crack Stitching for Brick Repair? MelbourneBrickRepair.com

Is your house cracking up? Made it through winter and now you want to get the house airtight and weatherproof? You may need crack injection and/ or brick stitching.

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Cracking at mitre corners is very common in masonry. Fix it with brick stitching.

First, the mortar material in between the bricks should be removed. This will provide longer serving results for the repair. Next, the joints are lined with the steel reinforcement. These elements are either galvanised or stainless steel.

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The stitches are installed as regularly as required.

With the brick stitches in, next is the final tamp point.

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Replacement mortar is reinstated, making the repair complete.

What are Lichens? Lichen Removal Melbourne | VICRestorations.com

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A slate roof and bluestone parapet laden with lichen.

Want to clean lichen from your roof tiles, brick or stone walls? There are several methods which you can use to help remove the unsightly outbreaks.

The Dry Scrape

By taking the time to remove lichen this way, you can also improve the surface of the stone, tile, brick, or block that is harboring it. Lichen are a mixture of fungus and mould, created by spores and moisture. They can harbor moisture helping to breakdown the stone or masonry surface underneath.

By taking a dull object such as a straight piece of softwood, you can physically dislodge the lichen from the surface of the substrate. The following video shows the movement albeit has a chisel being dragged instead of a piece of timber. The stone in this case was also bluestone which isn’t easily marked. Caution should always be used with soft stone such as slate, marble, sandstone and limestone.

If you have an ornate statue or architectural feature such as an intricate carving, you will want to use other methods in conjunction with a very soft, dry scrape.

The Cocoon
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Lichen growth shown on a stone monument.

Wrapping a statue up in cling wrap for 3-4 days will help to soften dirt, mould and fungus that may have hardened. After the pollutants have softened, remove the ‘poultice’ and commence using a soft dry scrape method as shown above.

Biocides

Spraying chemicals has its appeal but it also has it’s drawbacks. If not diluted or used properly the typical ammonium-based sprays can cause damage or not work at all.

Wet and Forget

Use a garden sprayer to thoroughly saturate the lichen with a solution of 1 part Wet & Forget Outdoor and 5 parts water. Wait 15 minutes, and spray a second time. This will allow the Wet & Forget Outdoor to penetrate the lichen’s 2 layers. It is best to spray lichen on a day that is not too sunny, to prevent rapid evaporation and to allow Wet & Forget more time to work.  Read more…

Visit vicrestorations.com for further information and to make contact.