Mixed Mortar To Make Your Historic Home In Detroit

Will My Chimney Repair Match My Historic Detroit Home?

Mixed Mortar To Make Your Historic Home In DetroitIf you have a historic brick home in Detroit, you have to undergo special maintenance solutions to keep your home sturdy and strong. The materials used in newer homes have not gone through the same wear and tear as your home, so they do look as weathered, faded, and aged. In the case of chimney or brick repair, this may cause you to question just how obvious the repair will be. "Will my chimney repair match my historic Detroit home?" It all depends on whom you work with…

Multiple Supply Yards Mean Multiple Chances For A Perfect Match

Most chimney repair companies in Detroit only work with one or two supply yards. At Brickworks Property Restoration, we work with 15-20 supply yards at any given time, giving us a much broader selection of bricks to choose from. No matter how rare or weathered your bricks may be, we have the resources necessary to find a seamless match for you. That is the benefit of having extensive options to choose from. The more choices there are, the better the match is going to be.

On-Site Samples And Brick Comparisons

Another way we ensure you have a perfect or near-perfect match for your bricks is by bringing samples from the supply yards directly to your home. We also take bricks from your home to the supply yards to get the best possible match we can find. Some masonry repair companies rely on photos to do their matching, but pictures can distort the color and texture on a brick. We bring in the real thing to get the best comparison possible.

Mortar Color Matching

Bricks aren't the only components you have to worry about with chimney repair projects. You also have to think about the color of your mortar. Will the new mortar blend well with what you currently have on your home? We offer up-to-date mortar matching to get our mortar as close in color as possible. If there are any noticeable differences in coloration, they will fade after a little bit of sun exposure. We strive to ensure that our chimney repairs go unnoticed to everyone but you. You'll get the repair work you need without worrying about a giant eye sore.

If you work with quality brick repair experts like the ones at Brickworks Property Restoration, your chimney repair can in fact match your historic home.

How To Prepare Your Chimney For Winter

Before the winter months come barreling in, it is important to prepare your chimney to go to work. This will ensure that your home stays warm and toasty through the day to day chills. The preparation process is easier than you might think, and it could save you a ton of money on your heating bill. Check out the guide below to learn how to prepare your chimney for winter.

Get A Professional Chimney Inspection

In a professional chimney inspection, someone from Brickworks Property Restoration will come out to your home and look over your chimney from all angles. We will check for signs of cracking, leaking, damage, etc. If there are any issues that indicate a need for chimney repair, we will let you know what the repairs are, how urgent it is to get your chimney repaired, and how much the project will cost.

Note: You can be a big help in the chimney inspection process. If you have noticed any drafts, odors, or leaks coming from your chimney, point them out to the inspector so he knows what to look for.

Clean Your Chimney

If you have not had your chimney cleaned since last winter, you may need to clean it again before this winter hits. This will make sure that your chimney works at maximum efficiency. If you do not have the tools to clean your chimney on your own, you can hire a chimney sweep to get the job done for you. Assuming that your chimney has been fairly well maintained, this process shouldn't cost you a lot of money. Best of all, it will reveal damage and drafts in the chimney you might not notice when it's dirty.

Close The Damper

When you aren't using your chimney, keep the damper closed. This will prevent warm air from escaping your home through the chimney. Of course, you want the smoke to clear out when you are using the chimney because that could be damaging to your breathing. When you are using your central heating unit though, close the damper until you are ready to light a fire again.

Gather Firewood

This is less of a chimney prep tip and more of a general suggestion. Fall is usually the best time to buy firewood because it is not in high demand yet. You can get a good price on wood that distributors have been hanging onto all summer, and you'll be able to beat the crowd of fireplace owners that need wood in the winter. Start stocking up for winter, and you will be nice and toasty when the cold fronts hit.

Tuckpointing Brick Repair After Picture

How Tuckpointing Can Improve The Life Of Your Chimney

Tuckpointing is a process in which the mortar on your chimney is repaired or replaced. The bricks on your chimney are made to last a lifetime, but the mortar tends to get damaged much sooner than that. This damage can hurt the entire structure of your chimney, which can lead to some hefty costs in the long run. Rather than letting this problem get out of hand, you can use tuckpointing to improve the life of your chimney and save yourself money at the same time. Here's how.

How Tuckpointing Works

Tuckpointing Brick Repair After PictureIn tuckpointing, professional masonry contractors will grind down the existing mortar between your bricks and replace it with clean, color-matched mortar. The mortar is inserted in a way that blends seamlessly with the mortar on the rest of your home, and not of it is left on the brickwork. Think of this like re-caulking your windows once they start to leak. The process is relatively the same, but this one is a little more complex in the end. No matter what, you will get new mortar that looks great and functions much better than the old mortar.

Unexpected Benefits Of Tuckpointing

Tuckpointing isn't just meant to extend the life of your chimney, even though that is its primary goal. This process can also act as insulation from your home by keeping out wind that flies in through the chimney. Furthermore, tuckpointing can reduce the amount of bugs that make their way into your home because there are fewer cracks for those critters to crawl through. This process will even benefit you in the winter when you use your fireplace because it will help direct the smoke where you want it to go. The benefits keep going from there.

When Should You Invest In Tuckpointing?

If you can see visible cracks in your mortar, it's time to look into tuckpointing. You may also want to schedule an inspection for your chimney if your home is old or it has recently suffered some sort of structural damage. A lot of times there are issues in the mortar that you might not be able to see from the ground. Upon closer inspection though, a masonry contractor will be able to let you know if it is time for tuckpointing or not. Spend your money on the right maintenance early on, and you won't have to worry about big expenses in the future.

Fireplace Mantle Ideas

5 Unique Options For Fireplace Mantles

Fireplace Mantle IdeasYour fireplace mantle can be the focal point of your living room, or it can just be a place to collect dust. Assuming you want to make your mantle look its best, you might want to come up with new objects to use in place of traditional wood. You can design your mantle to truly say something about who you are and what you love. Here are 5 unique  options for fireplace mantles that you might want to try in your home.

Salvage Wood Doors And Shelves

Salvage wood can become the perfect accent element for fireplaces, even in modern homes. If you know of a building nearby that's getting torn down, you might see if you can get some old doors, shelves, or countertops from it. As long as the items are long and sturdy enough to sit horizontally, you can have a really neat feature to add to your mantle.


If you have a fireplace that isn't covered in bricks, you might use bricks as an accent piece to form a mantle. Jut them out from the sides of your fireplace so that they can form a small shelf. If you want, you can still add stone and other elements around the brick to make it stand out more, but it may contrast just fine with what you already have.

Glass Bottles

Glass bottles can be added to plastered fireplaces to create three dimensional art that still serves a purpose. You can get bottles in a variety of colors, and then all you have to do is attach the top or bottom to the side of the fireplace. When you finally get a fire going, the glow will surely be stunning.

Surf Boards

If you are shooting for a beach theme in your room, an old surf board could be the perfect option for your mantle. You will just need to make sure it is sealed well to stand up to the heat the fire is putting out. Cut the surf board to go around the fireplace, and you will have a funky fireplace in no time.


Rather than having an actual mantle, you might think about hanging some art in a horizontal line on your fireplace. This will create the illusion of a mantle or at least an attention-seeking form without necessarily giving you a shelf to put something on. Think outside the box when you start designing your mantle, and you never know what you're going to get.

Refinishing Your Chimney With Stone

Design Ideas for Chimney Refinishing

Refinishing Your Chimney With StoneIf you are going to add a chimney to your home or rebuild the one you already have, you might want to think about changing up the design a little bit. You don't have to do anything extreme, but subtle changes to your chimney could make a big difference in your home's overall curb appeal. Make your chimney a focal feature for your home's façade, and people will instantly find it more appealing. Here are some design ideas for chimney refinishing.

Use Stone, Not Brick

If you have a brick home, you might want to contrast it with a stone chimney to add some dimension to your home's exterior. While we can match the brick of your home pretty closely, it is nearly impossible to get the same brick that you currently have because of the sun damage and wear your existing bricks have gone through. You might end up with a chimney that is noticeably newer than the rest of your home. By adding designer stone to the outside instead, you will not have to worry about matching. You can focus on how great your house looks.

Change Up The Patterns And Textures

Rather than using one solid material throughout the chimney, try changing it up a bit. Maybe you decide to use an accent stone within a medley of bricks. Perhaps you could try using different styles of bricks to add depth to the chimney. As long as all of the decisions you make are in line with the rest of your home's design, you should end up with a great looking chimney that is interesting and functional at the same time.

Make Big Changes To The Home

You could take this opportunity to enhance your home's curb appeal all the way around. For instance, you may consider changing the home's color scheme if you are stuck in the burnt orange colors from decades ago. Modern homes are mostly comprised of soft, neutral colors with subtle pops of maroon and white. You could paint or refinish the entire exterior of the home to make it match your fabulous new chimney.

If you're going to spend the money on chimney refinishing, you might as well get the most out of it that you can. Take this chance to make your house look a lot better, and you will be happy about the investment in the end.

Brick Fireplace Maintain And Brick Repair Tips

Making Use Of Your Fireplace In The Summer

Brick Fireplace Maintain And Brick Repair TipsFireplaces are fantastic during the winter. They provide warmth, ambience, light, and aroma with a single flame. Yet these majestic winter wonders turn to a dust trap of doom when its uses are no longer needed. In order to get the most of your fireplace all year long, you need to find different ways to repurpose it in the warm months. Here are some tips for making use of your brick fireplace in the summer.

Make It Decorative

Chances are your fireplace is one of the focal points of your living room, even when it is not in use. Most people will position their furniture in a way that flatters the fireplace. You might as well turn this into a work of art when you don't need to use it for its actual purpose. For instance, you may add artwork over the mantle to create a splash of color, or you may fill the opening with decorative candles. Think of this as a space to showcase the best design elements in the home so it still looks like it has a purpose.

Get It Fixed

The summer is a great time to schedule a chimney inspection because you most likely won't need to use it for quite some time. If you need any chimney repair work done, you could have that completed before next winter. That way, you're ready to go when the weather turns cold.

Make It Functional

Some homeowners like to clean out their fireplaces and use them for storage during the summer. This storage could be visible or hidden, depending on what you use it for. For instance, if you put books in there, you might be able to stack them nicely so they look like they fit the room. If you're using the fireplace to store boxes of tissue, you might want to put a screen on top to hide that.

Keep It Clean

If you don't want to add anything to your fireplace over the summer, at least clean it up. Having a clean, ash-free fireplace will brighten up your room, and it will ensure that your first burn next winter is as glorious as possible. Schedule a chimney cleaning to get rid of all the soot buildup in your chimney, and you should be all set for when the temperature starts to drop in the future.

Call Brickworks Property Restoration In Clinton Township MI (586) 868-3234