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The Importance of Masonry Restoration: Fix, Educate, and Remediate

The Importance of Masonry Restoration: Fix, Educate, and Remediate


Masonry has been and will always be a portion of history worth preserving. As years progress, structures made of masonry tend to get damaged or wear out, which is why masonry restoration has become critical to preserving the integrity of these structures. The ancient structures built of masonry are invaluable historical pieces, unique landmarks, and cultural landmarks that help us remember our past’s achievements. In this blog post, we will explain the importance of masonry restoration to fix, educate, and remediate the issues related to the structures.

  1. Benefits of Masonry Restoration:

Masonry restoration involves repairing the damage done to structures made of brick, stones, and cement. Failing to repair the damage can result in adverse consequences that could affect the beauty of the structures, the health of the inhabitants, and their structural integrity. By restoring the masonry structures, you increase their longevity, maintaining their historical significance. Also, the restoration process can improve the quality and the value of the property, especially if the structure is used for commercial purposes. Additionally, masonry restoration is environmentally responsible because preserving historic structures conserve natural resources and reduces waste.

  1. Common Problems Faced in Masonry Restoration:

The common problems faced when restoring masonry are associated with water damage, material failure, and structural damage. Water damage is the leading culprit that results in decay, spalling, erosion, and efflorescence. Material failure, on the other hand, results from the use of poor-quality materials during construction, age, and other elements causing wear and tear. Structural problems occur due to foundation settling and poor construction techniques. All these problems require a unique approach that involves a comprehensive assessment of the structure, planning, and execution of the restoration process.

  1. Educating the Public About Masonry Restoration:

Masonry restoration is a specialized field involving skills, knowledge, and technical training. It is crucial to educate the public about the importance of this field and the significance of restoring structures made of masonry. The public should understand the procedures involved, the value of restoration, and the consequences of failing to do so. Educating the public involves seminars, lectures, and training sessions where they can learn from experts in the field.

  1. Professional Restoration Services:

Masonry restoration requires the right skills, tools, and experience to achieve the best results. Ensure you work with professional restoration services like National Restoration Experts to mitigate any structural issues in your property. The experts assess the structure, identify the problems, and recommend the best restoration procedures. Additionally, they use high-quality materials that are environmentally responsible and consistent with the structure’s existing materials.


In conclusion, masonry restoration plays an essential role in preserving historical and cultural significance, improving the quality of structures, and increasing their longevity. The restoration process also helps to mitigate structural problems, improves the value of the property, and protects the environment. To achieve the best results, ensure you work with professional services like SpecializedMasonryRestoration.Com . By educating the public about the significance of masonry restoration, we can preserve and protect these structures for generations to come.

Unlock the Secret to Masonry Restoration: Insights From an Expert in Dallas, Texas

Unlock the Secret to Masonry Restoration: Insights From an Expert in Dallas, Texas

Unlock the Secret to Masonry Restoration: Insights From an Expert in Dallas, Texas

In a world filled with modern buildings and high-rise edifices, the charm of classic brick structures stands timeless. These symbols of architectural glory, whether historic, commercial, or residential, often hide within them a myriad of stories and secrets. However, the preservation of these brick buildings, both old and new, requires specialized care and a deep understanding of masonry restoration. As a leading masonry restoration consultant based in Dallas, Texas, I’m here to share my expertise and insights gained over 30 years in the industry.

The Magic of Masonry Restoration

Masonry restoration is not just a process; it’s an art that requires a delicate balance of precision, patience, and expertise. It’s about breathing new life into structures and buildings that hold a significant place in our hearts and our history.

From humble residential abodes to grand commercial structures, masonry restoration breathes life back into brick buildings. It helps maintain their originality while ensuring they continue to stand strong and beautiful for many more years to come.

Education and Expertise: A Powerful Combination

Over my three-decade-long career in masonry restoration and brick repair, I’ve found that the most successful projects are those where engineers and architects work hand-in-hand, integrating their knowledge and expertise. The key is to blend the technical know-how of engineers with the aesthetic vision of architects.

Through my blog at alanpettingale.com and specializedmasonryrestoration.com, I aim to educate professionals in the field, unraveling the complexities of masonry restoration with helpful videos, informative articles, and interactive content.

Podcast: A New Avenue for Learning

In an effort to reach a broader audience and delve deeper into the world of masonry restoration, I have started a podcast. Here, I share my personal experiences, challenges, and triumphs from years of working on diverse projects. The podcast serves as a platform for interactive discussions, expert insights, and a wealth of knowledge that listeners can tap into from anywhere, at any time. 

Why Choose a Masonry Restoration Consultant?

Masonry restoration is a highly specialized field, and not all construction or renovation projects require this level of expertise. However, when dealing with brick buildings, particularly older or historic structures, having a masonry restoration consultant on your team can make a significant difference.

From assessing the condition of the structure to determining the most effective repair methods, a consultant can guide the project towards success. They can help avoid common pitfalls, save time and resources, and ensure the longevity of the structure, all while preserving its historic charm and integrity.

Bringing Brick Buildings Back to Life

Brick buildings, be it a century-old historic landmark or a brand-new residential home, have a unique appeal. They exude a sense of strength, durability, and timeless beauty. Through masonry restoration, we can maintain these traits and ensure these structures continue to captivate us for generations to come.

Our commitment to preserving these architectural gems fuels our passion and dedication to providing the highest level of service. With a wealth of experience under our belts and a deep understanding of masonry restoration, we are proud to serve Dallas, Texas, and beyond.

For more information on masonry restoration, brick repair, or to consult with me on your next project, feel free to reach out through our contact page. Together, let’s bring your brick building back to its former glory.

Remember, every brick tells a story, and through masonry restoration, we ensure those stories continue to be told.

The No.1 Rule in Historical Masonry Restoration is always expect the unexpected…..

The No.1 Rule in Historical Masonry Restoration is always expect the unexpected…..

Expecting the Unexpected in Historical Masonry Restoration: The No.1 Rule


Historical masonry buildings are an important part of our architectural heritage and need to be preserved for future generations to appreciate. However, when it comes to restoring these structures, there is one rule that always holds true: expect the unexpected. From hidden construction flaws to unforeseen structural damage, there are countless surprises that can arise during a restoration project. As structural engineers and architects, it is essential to be well-prepared and well-informed to minimize the risks of these surprises and ensure the success of historical masonry restoration projects.

Be Thorough in Your Inspection

Before diving into a restoration project, it is crucial to conduct a thorough investigation of the historical masonry structure to identify any underlying issues and potential challenges. This includes assessing the overall construction, analyzing the material properties, evaluating the foundation, and examining the condition of the walls, roofs, and other key architectural features. By conducting a comprehensive inspection, you can better understand the building’s unique history, design, and structural integrity, allowing you to prepare for any surprises that may come your way.

Establish a Clear Plan of Action

Once you have conducted a thorough inspection, the next step is to develop a clear plan of action that outlines the scope of the restoration project, timelines, and budget. This plan should include details such as the type of materials to be used, the approach to restore the building’s structural integrity, and the necessary permits required for the project. Having a clear plan of action provides a roadmap for the restoration process, reduces the likelihood of unexpected challenges, and ensures that all stakeholders are on the same page.

Be Prepared to Adapt and Revise the Plan

As the restoration process unfolds, it is common to encounter unexpected challenges or complications that require adjustments to the plan of action. It is essential to be flexible and adapt to these changing circumstances to avoid costly delays or safety issues. For example, if a hidden structural issue is discovered during the restoration process, the approach to restoring the structure’s integrity may need to be revised. By being prepared to adapt and revise the plan, you can ensure that the project stays on track and is completed successfully.

Work with an Experienced Professional Team

Perhaps the most critical factor in a successful historical masonry restoration project is working with an experienced and qualified team of professionals. This includes structural engineers, architects, contractors, and historical experts who have a deep understanding of masonry construction and restoration. They can help you identify potential challenges from the outset, develop a comprehensive plan of action, and implement practical solutions that ensure the restoration project is completed safely and meets the necessary regulatory and compliance standards.

Recognize the Historical Significance of the Project

Finally, it is essential to recognize the historical significance of the restoration project and the value in preserving the building for future generations. Historical masonry structures often have a unique story that calls for a respectful approach to the restoration process. This involves working with historic preservationists, experts in the building’s architectural style, and other stakeholders who are invested in the project’s success. By recognizing and respecting the historical significance of the project, you can approach the restoration process with care and sensitivity.


Historical masonry restoration requires a combination of technical expertise, careful planning, and a reverence for the historical significance of the project. The No.1 rule for success in these projects is to expect the unexpected and be prepared to adapt when needed. By conducting a comprehensive inspection, developing a clear plan of action, working with an experienced professional team, and respecting the building’s history, you can ensure that these treasures of our architectural heritage are preserved for future generations to enjoy. As structural engineers , architects, and consultants it is our responsibility to approach these projects with care, attention to detail and reverence for the building’s rich history.

Historic Restoration in Bonham Texas

Historic Restoration in Bonham Texas

Historic restoration in Bonham? Alan Pettingale’s business card says it all: “A brick building only has one life.” That is especially true of historic buildings that achieve iconic status in local communities. “When you lose one of those, you lose heritage,” says Pettingale. “You are not going to be able to put that backup.” Fittingly enough, Pettingale was sharing his expertise at an informal meeting held at Texcel Exploration, located in a historic building on the south side of the Bonham Square that has been restored by David and Teresa Stapp.There is an art to properly repairing historic masonry structures and Pettingale is something of an artist. For more than 30 years, he has been designing and implementing a wide range of masonry stabilization and restoration strategies.

Maintaining historic downtowns requires a somewhat unique skill set — unique in Texas, anyway. Pettingale is from England, where the art of remedial masonry stabilization has been practiced for centuries. The oldest structure he has worked on was the York Wall in Yorkshire built almost 2,000 years ago by the Romans. Examples of Pettingale’s masonry expertise in North Texas include Heard-Craig House in McKinney and First Christian Church in Bonham.

So, what does a masonry expert with a deep appreciation for historic structures notice first when he looks at downtown Bonham?

I’m concerned when I walk around the square and see the exposed walls,” Pettingale states, referring to flank walls that were never meant to be exposed to the elements.

If one building collapses, it exposes two flank walls.

People think, ‘Ah, I’ll just slap a bit of mortar on it,’ but it is a bit more complicated than that,” says Pettingale.

To understand how these buildings can be stabilized, it requires a working knowledge of how they were put together in the first place. Concrete wasn’t readily available until the late 1800s, therefore a lime-based mortar, similar to the mortar used extensively by the Romans, is commonly found in Texas structures built 1850-1880. Lime-based mortar, while not as hard as Portland cement, has important characteristics that provide advantages when working with natural stone and other softer building materials often found in historic structures.

Pettingale has been applying his knowledge of historic masonry restoration, when called upon, for the past 14 years in Bonham. Most recently, he has been offering advice as City of Bonham officials and concerned building owners consider devising a comprehensive plan that would ensure public safety in a high-traffic area dominated by historic structures. Locals remember the building that fell 36 hours before a crowd would have been gathered in that exact location during Heritage Day Celebration in 2013.

When one building becomes unstable or actually falls, it can have a detrimental effect on the surrounding buildings.

“When these structures are all intact and tight, they all support each other,” explained Pettingale. “Basically, we are working with a set of dominoes.”

Since the structures are all dependent on each other, it is important to educate owners of the buildings regarding what should be a common goal to preserve their investment and protect the public. A consensus is growing to form a Downtown Bonham Association to address this concern.

“Once the owners of buildings on the square understand the significance of a sound and reasonable project such as this, an effect will be caused to produce a movement that is vital to the preservation of the heritage of Bonham,” David Stapp predicted.

“I think this is a project that should be explored if it will preserve and implement safety to the historical buildings on the square,” added Teresa Stapp.

As this discussion gains momentum, look for Bonham City Council to consider tools at its disposal to ensure public safety.

Pettingale says it is fairly easy to spot any one of a handful of telltale signs that indicate a deteriorating historic masonry structure presents a danger to the public. With the advent of high resolution aerial photography, documenting that danger is relatively easy. Pettingale offered to work with a local engineering student who wants to specialize in remedial masonry stabilization.

Historic restoration in Bonham? “They could use me as a resource,” remarked Pettingale.

Putting Building Owners’ Minds at Ease

Putting Building Owners’ Minds at Ease

There are so many expensive house repairs that are not readily visible, these may include cracks that seem benign but may indicate that a wall could fall. A bowed lintel over a window, door, or garage may also indicate expensive repairs, as can unstable brickwork. An entire wall may fall down without notice.

As you can see for this project, a boom lift was rented, which was very costly to get into place and hard to operate safely due to wires and obstacles like the tree. It still wasn’t as versatile as a drone for seeing all the issues with the chimney that was damaged by lightening.

With a drone, we can see residential, commercial and historic problems such as:

  • mortar that has eroded over the years
  • sagging lintels over windows or garage doors
  • foundation movement that has created cracks in the arch above an entryway
  • ‘curtain’ walls around subdivisions can be inspected quickly using a drone
  • movement and cracks in historical facades