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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Glass Block Shower Is Re-Built In Cumberland, Maine

This glass block shower looked great when it was first installed. The fact that the original installer used glue instead of mortar to set the glass block most likely lead to the mold that had infiltrated the joints. The gluing method had not been discovered until we attempted to remove the bottom coarse alternately as to remove the mold. The structural integrity was compromised due to the lack of mortar. When reinstalling the glass block, proper measures were taken to eliminate the mold issue, such as using mortar as opposed to glue.It may cost a little more to do things properly but it will save you in the long run from having to rebuild.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Stone Retaining Wall Is Replaced In Portland Maine

A stone retaining wall at 51 Hammond Street, in Portland, Maine, Has failed and is in need of replacement. First, the existing wall is removed, a footing installed and a new stone retaining wall is installed. Are you in need of a retaining wall replacement? Are you ready for a stone retaining wall estimate? Request an estimate now by clicking here.
Learn more about retaining wall construction by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Solid granite steps installation with cobblestone landing in South Portland, Maine.

Four solid granite steps and a cobblestone landing are installed in South Portland, Maine.
The original failed concrete steps are demolished. The debris is removed. The site is excavated. Two steel reinforced concrete pads are formed and poured. The first steel reinforced concrete pad acts as a base for the cobblestone landing as well as a retaining wall that abuts the back of the solid granite steps. The retaining wall section of the pad will prevent the steps from being moved by the frost as well as a solid structure for the back of the steps to meet. The second pad will be a base for the steps. Next the granite steps are delivered and set on the ground to be cut to match the dimension of the original steps. The solid granite steps are then carefully set in place along with solid granite risers. A stone dust base is installed upon the landing’s concrete base. The dust will act as drainage for the landing as well as proper grading. It will also serve as buffer so that the landing properly meets both the top granite step and the bottom of the existing wooden steps. The cobblestones are first laid out to determine the best symmetrical pattern. Measurements and marking of the cobblestones is done before the stones are cut to the appropriate size. The cobblestones are then set upon the landing. Next the joints are filled with stone dust. There are quite a few other tasks involved. This is not a simple task by any means and should only be left to qualified professionals.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Blue Stone Patio Is Installed In Portland, Maine.

A Blue Stone Patio Is Installed In Portland, Maine,by expert craftsmen.

The proper installation of a blue stone patio requires skill and experience. The work itself is very difficult and requires knowledge that is not possibly to express, in a few photos.

First the site is carefully excavated, as not to disrupt surrounding structures and landscaping. The debris is carefully removed and disposed of. A stone sub base, consisting of inch and a half crushed stone, is installed. The stone sub base provides proper drainage as well as a substructure to prevent frost damage. A stone dust base is then installed and graded for proper water displacement. This will prevent water from pooling that would form ice patches in the winter. The stone dust base insures that the stones have a solid and smooth surface to be set upon. The stone dust base prevents stone fractures, resulting when a flat stone resting upon blunt objects has the force of weight applied upon it.
Next each stone is surveyed to determine optimal placement for esthetics. One by one the stones are set and checked for proper grade. A proper patio is never level with the horizon, to allow for runoff, and must follow the lay of the landscaping to match existing elements. A great deal of mastery is involved to install a patio properly. The final step is to fill in the joints with stone dust.
If you are considering having a blue stone patio installed, there are many local stone supply centers right here in Portland. It is a good idea to decide on a stone preference and be educated on the costs of varying stone.
It is important to note that the labor costs will exceed the cost of materials. It is crucial to seek the services of a reputable contractor. A reputable patio contractor will not leave you searching for a competent contractor, a few months down the road. When you notice that your patio has buckled, has turned into an ice rink or the stones are all cracked, you will wish you had hired a reputable patio contractor.
When you decide that you are ready to have your new blue stone patio installed, call the blue stone patio experts, call RL Sanborn Masonry in Portland Maine (207) 619-7473. Feel free to visit their website and request a patio estimate.

Monday, June 13, 2011

How Often Should A Chimney Be Inspected?

How Often Should A Chimney Be Inspected?
Answered by RL Sanborn Masonry, Portland, Maine Masonry contractor
RL Sanborn Masonry 2011
Chimney inspection frequency depends upon the purpose of the chimney. We recommend annual inspections for chimneys that are in use, especially when the use of the chimney is seasonal. A chimney can become hazardous and should be observed and inspected periodically. An example of a seasonal chimney would be a chimney in a home that is used only for heating. When the chimney is not in use there is a chance that birds or other animals will build nests. If you have an electric hot water heater, there is a chance that your chimney is not in constant use.
Obstructions in a chimney flue are extremely hazardous. The primary purpose of a chimney flue is to exhaust noxious gases away from the home. Flues should also be inspected to determine if they are intact. When clay flue tiles are not properly installed they will generally crack and or collapse at some point. A collapsed flue would cause an obstruction and allow emissions to infiltrate into living spaces. A cracked flue would do a little of the same and may not be noticed without close inspection. We recommend the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all occupied spaces. Carbon monoxide is not detectable by human senses.
Other areas of concern would be the chimney crown, chimney cap, top courses of brick and the flashing. If deterioration has reached the point where restoration is required, it would be prudent to act without haste. Falling brick is something to be considered, not to mention the damage that can result, when water infiltrates the interior of the chimney via failed crown, mortar joints or flashing. If your chimney is no longer in use, it should be inspected every five years or removed. We recommend maintaining chimneys that are not in use. The option of future restoration and use, as well as the value masonry adds to any structure, is a good reason not to remove a chimney.
If the mortar joints crack and are replaced every season then chances are that the issue is related to an improper footing.
Chimney Inspections Are Important!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Why Are Chimney Inspections Important?

Why Are Chimney Inspections Important?

There are many reasons why it is Important to have periodic chimney inspections. There are many hazards that can interrupt the safe operation of a chimney system.

One chimney often services multiple heating systems in the home such as furnaces, fireplaces and fossil fuel stoves. Any system, that comprises the use of fossil fuels, requires adequate exhaust to remove emissions.
This is possible due to the fact that most chimneys contain multiple flues. If a chimney has only one flue, it should only service one system. There are cases where two or more systems use a single flue. This is considered hazardous and a serious code violation.

If you believe your chimney has only one flue, yet you have more than one system exhausting to that chimney, there exists a hazard that needs correction.

A chimney is designed to remove noxious exhaust from household heating systems. It is akin to the exhaust pipe on a tractor trailer truck. The stack is elevated beyond the cab enclosure of a tractor trailer, in an effort to exhaust the emissions into the atmosphere above the occupants. Without a properly operating chimney, the occupants of the structure are exposed to dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is undetectable by the natural senses. Any home that contains a system that is powered by fossil fuel combustion should also contain carbon monoxide detectors. If your carbon monoxide detector detects carbon monoxide, the structure should be vacated at once.

Due to the harsh weather in Maine and the high concentrations of salt in the atmosphere near the coast, chimneys take a lot of abuse. Chimney enemy number one is a damp salty atmosphere. Salt in the air is corrosive to the brick and mortar of a chimney. Though a chimney may appear stable from the ground, at higher levels the mortar is generally softer. The crown and final courses will take the brunt of the abuse and are the most likely to show failures. When the mortar joints take on water they eventually reach a point of saturation. When the joints have failed and are saturated, water begins to infiltrate the structure. This leads to interior damage to the building as well as accelerated decay of adjacent mortar joints.

The best preventative measure is to periodically apply masonry sealant to exposed masonry as well as scheduling of periodic chimney inspection. For Cumberland County Maine, There is RL Sanborn Masonry, a Chimney Inspection Contractor.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Brief History Of Brick And Stone Construction

The use of masonry dates back over 5000 years. Stonehenge provides insight into the history of stone work as a form of construction.
The use of clay to form brick dates back to PPNB period(Pre-Pottery Neolithic B).

Tell Aswad , a Neolithic oval shaped Tell is 540,000 sq ft in size. Carbon dating back to between 8700BC and 8200BC, Tell Aswad provides a glimpse into the origin of the use of formed clay as a building material to construct massive structures. With clay the ancient cultures constructed buildings, using formed beds of reeds to mold the bricks into shape. This was followed by a drying process before the bricks were ready for use.

Masonry structures are built with the intention of outlasting the builder. A trained mason, who has devoted the majority of their life to the trade, has the knowledge to provide sound and lasting work.
Brick and stone structures not only provide practicality, they are of great historical value.

In Portland Maine there are stone masons and bricklayers who devote their lives to the art of stone and brick masonry.