In the last five years, everybody is getting into the field of brick repair. I have seen this happening more and more. Foundation repair companies have started giving this service away as an incentive to help them gain a customers business. Many masonry contractors have taken advantage of this growing field, and made various proclamations. Even the local retail stores for home improvement have begun to carry special products for brick repair. This change in the industry can leave people misguided about who can perform these repairs, if they are being done properly, and weather or not these repairs should be left to a professional.
A leading symptom in people's homes that points them to foundation repair are the cracks in the bricks and mortar around a home. These cracks can be intimidating to a homeowner, and give leverage to a skilled salesperson. Many salespeople in the foundation repair industry use this leverage to make their sale by promising that they will fix these cracks in the brick and mortar. They generally offer this as a free service to the customer. Now, I am no genius, but I know that nothing is free. If they are giving this service away, they have to be charging for it some place. In addition, this free service may be "free" because they know that they are not delivering the quality that is available in the market and they do not want it to have any technical ties to the money they are charging for this service. It is a simple tactic. Over charge them here and give this away over there for free. You should be cautious of these methods, and make sure that you are getting the quality you deserve.
Mason contractors have performed masonry repairs for thousands of years. In these ancient practices the primary goal was to simply reinforce the structure and seal its surface. They were not concerned with restoring the beauty of the work. This has remained the practice up until the past ten years. Ten years ago Alamo Masonry saw the need for improving the industry of brick repair. They determined that the then current practices were no longer functional and that it could be done better. After careful study and analysis they wrote the guidelines for a proper restoration which include a minimum depth of repairs and an exact process for performing them, among many others. In conjunction with these guidelines, they also produced the first system for matching mortars in color and texture, and wrote a master formula. In addition, they wrote over 10,000 other formulas for individual color matches.
Since this has been introduced into the market, some companies have made boastful claims that they have been matching mortars for 20 years or more, and have only been in business for 6-8 months. There have been a couple of companies proclaiming that they created this technique. While most others have simply followed the market, and seeing that this is what the consumer is expecting, claim "Yea, me too." Some of these companies have gotten better at matching the mortars. You should be carful in the contractor you choose, and do not allow yourself to be "Olivered". Research your contractors through the Better Business Bureau or other accredited reporting agencies. This will ensure the quality you deserve.
Now even local home improvement stores are carrying various products for brick repair. All of these products are based on the antiquated methods of brick repair, and are not even close to doing it right. These products are generally sold to the do-it-yourselfers, and are quite enticing due to their simplicity and low costs.
There are products available for the do-it-yourselfers which are reasonably priced and will actually get the job done right. Two of these are the Brick Repair Guide and Mortar Matching Services. This guide tells you step-by-step how to do the repairs, and the mortar matching service is easy and reliable. You send them a sample of your mortar, and they match it and return the formula to you for your home. These certified mortar matches are available to everyone.