No one asks the questions: "Why the parapet walls and the brick work are leaking and damaged? Why is the roof work damaged?" No one asks such questions. And 99% of the time the roofs are damaged and are leaking right by the parapet walls. All these damages originate from the coping stone joints or from the terra-cotta coping joints.
I have always provided my clients, potential clients, or anyone who is interested in my advice with sufficient information free of charge. I would also like to inform you that I am a working contractor, with high knowledge and experience of structural engineering and major structural corrections and repairs. I don’t just sit in the office behind a desk.
Below are some specifications, which provide people outside of the construction field with adequate information about construction, restoration and waterproofing:
A clear sealer will never fill any cracks, including hair-line cracks, visible or invisible (Not even hair line cracks on bricks or on brick joints).
Every sealer is like water, and can only be applied on top of 100% finished brickwork. The purpose of this is to prevent water penetration AND NOT TO STOP WATER COMING THROUGH CRACKS AND OPENINGS.
Only after all repairs and pointing are 100% completed, including caulking all around the windows and the building is 100% watertight, then the clear sealer should be applied to prevent water penetration into the structure.
After applying any clear sealer on a structure, nothing can bond into the structure for three to five years, only if you start removing bricks or cutting brick joints very deeply. Actually the project must be 100% completed including the sealant on the window frames, because as I said water repellent materials are bond breakers. Nothing can be bonded onto the surface after the water repellent has been applied, not even paint on the fire escapes or any other paintable areas.
All clear sealers are bond breakers, therefore all clear sealers must be applied after all pointing and waterproofing work has been 100% completed.
Brick joints must be cut a minimum of ¾ of an inch or deeper, if necessary, or until a sound surface has been hit prior to brick pointing work.
If the existing brick joints are totally filled, which occurs 80% of the time, and you try to point already filled joints, the maximum amount of waterproofing cement you can smear on top of an existing filled brick joint is no more than 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch (THIS IS CALLED SURFACE POINTING).
Many contractors claim that they do so many square feet of pointing, and that particular work and money is flushed down the drain because actually all they did was a little make-up (surface pointing), which does absolutely nothing for the structure. (All my cutting work stays open for a few days prior to filling the brick joints, so that there’s enough time for the owner and everyone involved to review the cut open, clean brick joints).
MY SPECIFICATIONS ARE 150% ACCURATE, AND TO VERIFY PLEASE CALL Sonneborn & Thoro Technical Information at 1-800-CHEMREX Or (1-800-243-6739)(BASF is one of the largest waterproofing manufacturers global wide), Or Prosoco Restoration Products at 1-800-255-4255.
AGAIN, I WANT TO STRESS THAT SURFACE POINTING IS A WASTE OF MONEY AND A WAY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF UNINFORMED CLIENTS.
THE SURFACE MUST ALWAYS BE 100% POWER WASHED AND COMPLETELY CLEAN BEFORE POINTING.
(QUITE A FEW TIMES WE CUT THE BRICK JOINTS AS DEEP AS TWO TO THREE INCHES AND DUE TO THE STRUCTURE MOVEMENTS, WE STILL SOMETIMES GET IN TROUBLE. JUST IMAGINE THE RESULTS OF ONLY A 1/16TH TO 1/8TH OF AN INCH OF SURFACE POINTING.)
THE MOVEMENT OF THE STRUCTURE AND PENETRATING FREEZING RAIN CAUSES DAMAGE TO BRICK JOINTS AS WELL AS TO THE BRICKS AND ALL THE STEEL WORK THAT IS CONNECTED WITH THE BRICK STRUCTURE INCLUDING ROOF JOISTS RESTING BELOW PARAPET WALLS. I HAVE MANY PICTURES IN MY POSSESSION TO PROVE THIS.
MOST BRICKS AND BRICK JOINTS CRACK DUE TO THE MOVEMENT OF THE STRUCTURE.
IF THE STRUCTURE IS STABLE AND WATERPROOFED, BRICK JOINTS WILL LAST FOREVER AS THEY LASTED ON MANY ANCIENT HISTORICAL STRUCTURES. THROUGH MY EXPERIENCE, I DISCOVERED THAT THE OLDER STRUCTURES ARE 100% BETTER THAN THE NEWLY CONSTRUCTED BUILDINGS. 20- 30 YEAR OLD BUILDINGS HAVE MORE DEFECTS AND DAMAGES THAN 90-100 YEAR OLD BUILDINGS.
IF THE ORIGINAL BRICK JOINTS ARE IN GOOD CONDITION, THEY ARE THE BEST TO HAVE AND SHOULD NOT BE INTERFERED WITH. THE ORIGINAL BRICK JOINTS ARE MORE THAN 4 1/2 INCHES IN DEPTH CONTINUOUSLY AND BONDED TO THE BRICKS BEHIND. OLD BUILDINGS ARE MINIMAL OF 3 BRICKS IN WIDTH OF THICKNESS. SO YOU WOULD RATHER HAVE 4 INCHES OF MORTAR CONTINUOUSLY, OR ONE INCH DEPTH OF POINTING WORK?
NOTE: MY ENTIRE CREW IS KNOWLEDGEABLE WHEN IT COMES TO RESTORATION AND WATERPROOFING AND EVERYONE FOLLOWS MY DIRECTIONS.
MANY CONTRACTORS, DUE TO THE FACT THEY DO NOT WANT TO RIG THE SCAFFOLD MULTIPLE TIMES IN ORDER TO SAVE TIME, APPLY THE CLEAR WATER REPELLENT SEALERS SIMULTANEOUSLY DURING THE REPAIRS AND POINTING WORK. THIS IS A RISKY PROCESS, IN WHICH I DO NOT APPROVE OF BECAUSE THE MATERIALS ARE NOT THOROUGHLY DRY AND IT IS DIFFICULT TO CONTROL THE MATERIALS FROM SPLASHING AND DRIPPING ON UNFINISHED AREAS. ALSO IT IS DIFFICULT TO VISUALIZE THE EXACT FINISHED PORTIONS WHERE THE WATER REPELLENT SEALER HAS BEEN APPLIED.
WATER REPELLENT SEALER IS THIN LIKE WATER AND IN MANY OCCASIONS LOOKS LIKE MILK, BUT WHEN APPLIED TO THE SURFACE, IT SEALS THE SURFACE FROM WATER PENETRATION AND AT THE SAME TIME IT ACTS AS A BOND-BREAKER MEANING YOU CANNOT BOND ANYTHING TO THAT PARTICULAR SURFACE UNTIL THE MATERIAL HAS WORN OFF, APPROXIMATELY 3-5 AFTER YEARS THE COMPLETION.
I ALWAYS TELL MY CLIENTS YOU CAN BUY KNOWLEDGE BUT YOU CAN’T BUY EXPERIENCE. KNOWLEDGE IS VERY HELPFUL BUT EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST.
Some contractors use Acrylic 60 as a bonding agent. Acrylic 60 is a waterproofing additive, and is not a bonding agent. It helps the materials to bond. If applied by itself it dries out very quickly and becomes a bond breaker. I saw this stupidity in many other contractors’ specifications.
(See specs of Acrylic 60)
If the owners like to cut corners and they are not wishing to get the job done by the book correctly and accurately, then I cannot be your contractor.
Please find attached specifications and estimate for work to be done at your building.
I AM A CERTIFIED LEAD-BASE PAINT CONTRACTOR