Repointing and Repair of Historic Brickwork



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Taken at the Re-dedication Service held at the school.

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After repairing and repointing the damaged areas
 
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After repairing and repointing the damaged areas
 
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After removing the hard cement mortar
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The store front (After)
 
 


The cottage they put us up in

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When we see a detail that should be preserved we immediately make the owners aware of our findings. We want to see the detail saved since this is what makes historic masonry unique. Here the original red mortar bands that were hard to detect before cleaning were noted and maintained.
 
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The aesthetic value and the architect's original intent is greatly appreciated now that this small but significant detail is restored in the completed project.

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The the rear wall also had black atmospheric pollutants that became impregnated into the porous brick. We performed a low pressure wash, a joint removal 2-1/2 times the joint thickness, repointed in a high lime content pointing mortar.
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Before Replacement of damaged Salmon brick.
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After Replacement of damaged Salmon brick and repointing

 


Some people get so upset about knocking down historic structures that they just pick them up and move them to another location. This project was in Delaware...last I checked. Whole house movers relocated the buyer and deGruchy Masonry stabalized the old brick wythes with some epoxied-in-place anchors. We also did brickwork and do anticipate the historic brick front as a future restoration project.

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Photo of the collection dam created to capture all solids and liquids for proper disposal.

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Spalled brick face before repair
Spalled brick face after repair
 
Zig - zag crack before repair
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Zig - zag crack before repair
Zig - zag crack after repair
 
Paint on brickwork before cleaning
Brick work after cleaning
 
Brick chimney before pointing
Brick chimney after pointing
 
Poured concrete foundation before coating
Poured concrete foundation after coating

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Customer comments:

Job Location Customer Comment
Allentown, PA It's been a pleasure to do business with very nice, honest people. Thank you! Patricia McHugh
Trumbauersville, PA Steve is a hard worker and he takes pride in the work that he does. He did an excellent job of matching the new mortar color with the existing mortar. He did a wonderful job and we are very happy with the way our house looks now. We highly recommend Steve and deGruchy Masonry.
Trumbauersville, PA WE ARE VERY PLEASED WITH THE FINISHED JOB. THE WORKERS WERE ALL PLEASANT AND EAGER TO EXPLAIN WHAT THEY WERE DOING TO THE HOUSE.
Bethlehem, PA I guess that masonry is just a messy operation. Good thing it was done in late summer so the garden was on its way out.
Bryn Mawr, PA THANK YOU! IT LOOKS WONDERFUL!
Easton, PA GOOD BRICK CONTOUR REBUILD. ALSO, EXCELLENT MORTAR COLOR MATCH. N. FARRELL
Allentown, PA Steve and Rob were consistently courteous, understanding and clearly committed to historic preservation. I was especially pleased that on a number of occasions, they took the initiative to suggest some repair.
Allentown, PA Very pleased with the job!!
Allentown, PA Enjoyed working with you and your staff, Andy. The house looks great! Mark Kintzel
Easton, PA We are very pleased with how beautiful our 165 year old brick home now looks. We didn't realize how much dirt was actually on the brick. We have received many compliments on the appearance of our house. Someone who had only been here once previously even noticed in the dark that it had been repointed. Steve and Rob were always courteous and friendly and Steve even does windows! Thanks again for making us proud of our brick farmhouse.
Schnecksville, PA We are very pleased with the two hearths and two chimney extensions. All the workmen were pleasant, neat about their work, and worked continuously.
Orwigsburg, PA Crew was consistently courteous and cooperative. We've even been told by neighbors how nice they were. The job they did was excellent and they left everything clean and neat when they finished.
Binghamton, NY Excellent job! A pleasure to work with all involved. We especially appreciate Jim Lopsonzski's cheerful, courteous and hard-working style. He went the extra mile for us. Ray A. Hull Chair, Board of Trustees
Nazareth, PA You did a fine job. The building looks great!
Tamaqua, PA Dear Mr. deGruchy, On behalf of the Tamaqua SOS I would like to say thank you for your generous donation of $853.50 toward the removal of the chimney at the Tamaqua railroad station. We are also very appreciative of the other credits you have given us on recent billings. Additionally, I would like to mention the caliber of workmanship and the courteous and understanding attitude of your employees. The work done by your people is of the highest caliber and the ''extras'' they have provided are deeply appreciated. We fully realize the effort put forth in cutting down the many bricks let alone all the additional work put into cleaning and tinting stained bricks to match the originals. No matter how frustrating the work was when things were changed in mid-stream your employees were courteous and understanding. All this just goes to show the top notch company you have built. We have not been bashful in telling the public how good your work and employees are and how pleased we are. Again, thank you for all you have done for our organization. Sincerely, William Melchior, Sec.
Pleasant Valley, PA A BIG THANK YOU FROM THE SOCIETY AND ALL THE RESIDENTS OF SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP FOR YOUR EXCELLENT WORK. YOUR CONTRIBUTION IS SINCERELY APPRECIATED AND HAS TRULY BEAUTIFIED THE CHURCH SCHOOL. - Betty Riter, Treasurer
Quakertown, PA Satisfactory and well pleased.
Coopersburg, PA The work the guys have done looks wonderful. Thanks for working with us on changes to the original plan/estimate.
Bethlehem, PA Our house now looks 100% better. I feel you gave us a fair price and a a outstanding job. Thank You.
Coopersburg, PA A difficult job done right. Highly recommended.
Glenside, PA Dennis and Steve were great in every way. I looked forward to their being at work on my home each day. I wasn't at my home when Jim and Karl were at work; but I am sure they were great too. Thank you all for a fine job. Nancy Ellen Ryan
Washington Township, NJ Dear Andrew, This letter is a minimum due you and your firm as a thanks for the wonderful work done at Port Colden during the last two years of the exterior restoration. Your attitude and expertise made the project not only a success, but a pleasant experience for all involved. Your crew was knowledgeable and attentive to all the small details that an architect can focus on. The wonderful thing about our collaboration was that all sides learned something in the process about preservation and restoration. Your firm has a great give-and-take philosophy. We were particularly grateful for the ''gift'' of the four chimney/ventilation brick stacks, that the School Board had rejected from the budget as too costly. Having the chimney stacks completed certainly adds a huge amount to the understanding and interpretation of the historic building. Without your contribution, these might never have been done. It was a pleasure working with you, and we hope to repeat the experience on other restoration jobs in the near future. Sincerely, yours, John E. Bolt, RA
Philadelphia, PA Steve and Rob were both terrific workers throughout the job.
Stewartsville, NJ A terrific job - staff was wonderful, completely trustworthy, did a thorough clean-up. A beautiful addition to our house - we completely endorse deGruchy.
Center Valley, PA We are well pleased with the stone work and pointing done, and would recommend deGruchy again.
Pittstown, NJ We're thrilled with the results! Charlie and Reds were excellent. They were here on time, hard working, extremely neat and very courteous. Charlie went over whatever they would be working on, asked if there were any questions or changes and made suggestions. They did a fantastic job. Thanks so much, Laura
Washington Township, NJ Dear Andy, On behalf of the Board of Education and entire school community I would like to thank you for your wonderful job you and your workmen did on the Port Colden School House. We are proud and happy to have been able to preserve this historical treasure. On a more personal note I considered it a pleasure to have worked with you. You answered all my questions and requests quickly and thoroughly. Your easy going style and gentle nature made this extensive building project almost enjoyable. Should you ever need a reference I would be most happy to give one. I would look forward to working with you again in the future. Regards, Nita Dean Business Administrator/Board Secretary
Trumbauersville, PA The completed work blended perfectly with the original brick work coloring.
Bensalem, PA Wow. Tell people to call me for a reference to the quality of your work.
Defuniak Springs, FL The crew was courteous, reliable, neat, and hardworking. We would use your company again and we would recommend you to others.
Bethlehem, PA Andy, I think the guys did a super job! Steve was always here and very pleasant and accommodating (even when the roofer was in his way). Sandy HB
Kitnersville, PA Andy and his crew were considerate, careful, attentive and extremely diligent - given the task they faced in re-pointing brick exteriors and replacing mortar on our 160 year old house. Andy's scrupulous attention to detail and color-matching was unsurpassed. Follow-up was superb - We highly recommend deGruchy Masonry.
Bethlehem, PA We are pleased with our restoration work. We both thought your staff was very attentive to all details - through the clean-up process too. Great guys!
Germansville, PA What a beautiful restoration work! I am thrilled with the results. Everyone at deGruchy Masonry has been fantastic. From the moment I met Andy and he reviewed my problem to the care and professionalism of his staff, they were clean, neat a good attitude on a difficult job and on time. Highly recommend them.

Two years later a persistent water infiltration problem corrected:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am the owner of a brick home built in 1850. Since 1999 I've had a problem of water coming in through the bricks. This water problem covered one quarter of the original part of my house, and over eleven years was spreading from the living room to the dining room. Through the years I hired many experts trying to solve this problem. Local contractors, general contractors, three different restoration experts, engineers and well known Lehigh Valley architects specializing in restoring old homes in this area. All of them offered their solution to the problem after carefully studying the house. Each summer I started a new solution only to find the house returning to its original problem by spring. So many threw up their hands and walked away from the project, having run out of ideas of how to solve it. It has been a very frustrating, frightening and expensive problem and I was worried that I would never get this mystery solved. It was by chance, through yet another mason who worked on my house that I learned of deGruchy masonry. One phone call to the pleasant and knowledgeable person who answered the phone and an appointment was made for Mr. deGruchy himself to look over the situation.

After years of experts going through my house from top to bottom, of course my expectations were low with this visit. Mr. deGruchy was at a disadvantage with me because I was skeptical before he even arrived. But within that initial 4 hour visit and inspection of my house Mr. deGruchy was pretty confident he found the problem and solution. Mr. deGruchy took the time to go over every detail of his study and followed up with written step by step plan. He answered all of my questions, as well as the ones I didn't know to ask. It was a big leap of faith for me, but one that I felt was worth a try. I am overjoyed to report that the water problem seems to be solved. The plaster in the house has been dry for three months now, during heavy rainstorms and thawing and refreezing of ice - the normal culprit that seemed to always bring me back to square one. Mr. deGruchy has installed a moisture monitoring systems in multiple areas of the walls and all readings are indicating that the moisture levels within the core of the walls have gone done. He will continue to monitor the readings himself for the next few months. I would also like to mention that his work staff was excellent. It was obvious that they have passion and pride in their work. Their main concern was always to do the best job possible and they exceeded all of my expectations, which were set quite high. I was impressed by their attention to detail, their love and knowledge of this art of restoration and their cheerful and courteous attitude. They arrived promptly each morning with a smile on their faces, were serious about their work and at the end of each day the work area was cleaned up and nearly spotless. They always made a point each morning to tell me what they were going to do that day, what they did the day before and what obstacles they faced and conquered. I have never met a more professional, sincere and honest group of men who you could see really loved what they do. Besides knowledge, which they obviously have, this attitude and work ethic is what sets the great apart from the mediocre. I am more than pleased, and yes relieved, with the work that has been done by deGruchy Masonry and I commend Mr. deGruchy for hiring and motivating an exceptional staff such as his. It is so rare to see such character in people today and it did not go unnoticed. I would highly recommend Andy deGruchy and his staff. I feel a great burden has been lifted in the solving of my water problem.

Sincerely,

Patrice M Salezze
Hartsville, PA Andy,

Everyone at Moland is very impressed with you and your crew.
Great people, Great work. I enjoyed dealing with Dave, Abe & Charlie.
Can't thank you enough for all you have done for us.

Dave Healy
Bethlehem, PA This was a big project that got bigger as it went along. The brick on the house had been neglected for years before we purchased the house and there was a lot of brick work that was needed. After talking with a number of people, including my neighbors and other people that were familiar with brick pointing, I quickly learned that this is something that needs to be done right. There is no doubt that Andy is an expert on repointing and on the use of lime mortars.

One of the surprises that was encountered during the job was that the reason for the tilted slates along the side of the house was there was an enormous tree root that went along the side of the house. Certainly a surprise and the crew removed the root and kept moving forward. We also didn't expect that all of the slates would have been in poor condition which is why we had to replace them with brick. Andy and his team were very good at thinking on their feet and making good decisions when problems would arise.

The brick pointing went very well and the guys were careful. It is a messy job but there really tried to keep the mess to a minimum. I wiped down the window sills and we had professional window cleaners come in after the job and virtually all of the residues are gone. Also, the group of workers is very solid and trustworthy. A pleasure to have working on the house.

One issue did happen and that was I thought that all of the necessary brick work was quoted at the start of the job but Andy later found that there was a large problem spot that he did not see when quoting the job. We worked this out but was not something that I had expected.

Andy closely inspected the job near the end and found some areas that needed improvement which they took care of and went above and beyond what was originally expected. A lot of this had to do with minimizing efflorescence and matching the mortar between the old and the new. Andy is a perfectionist which is a great asset when doing historic renovations. I know that Andy has already demonstrated his standing behind his work (needed a minor touch up at a missed spot on the chimney and was quickly corrected) which is reassuring.

Andy and his crew are definitely my go to guys for any project involving masonry.