Thousands of magnificent religious buildings have held up so well for decades because they were built so well. That’s why we restore the original design, which includes the original water management system and the proper materials. Waterproofing is actually a bit of a misnomer because it’s a term that applies to modern construction. Water management is the most effective strategy for dealing with water-related problems in older structures.
When a contractor who doesn’t specialize in older religious properties applies modern waterproofing techniques and materials to these structures, the water management system becomes altered and the quality and integrity of the building are compromised. They try to keep water out of the building but they end up keeping water inside too.
Our experience has proven that if a church has stood tall for 100 years with effective water management, restoring the original system with the same materials or similar materials that produce the same result is the best way to ensure that it stands tall for another 100 years. That’s what we’ll do for you.
Brick and Stone
Imhoff Company has hundreds of hard-to-find brick and stone materials in stock. If we don’t have an exact match, we can replicate and duplicate brick and stone in our on-site stone fabrication and cutting facility. We can also save you money by using modern mortars that allow us to repair existing stones in place.
Remember, repairing and restoring brick and stone isn’t as simple as smearing them with concrete. Concrete didn’t even exist before 1905, so if your religious property was built before then, adding concrete can do more damage. We’ll repair, replace or replicate your building’s brick or stone so you can’t tell the difference, and we’ll use the proper materials so the structural integrity isn’t compromised.
Architectural Stone and Terra Cotta
One aspect of older religious properties that makes them so special is the ornate architectural detail. Using our own on-site stone fabrication and cutting facility, we have the ability to carve and shape a piece of raw stone to match the original design, even if it’s something intricate like architectural trim stone. Other contractors have to bring in specialists to repair or restore architectural stone or terra cotta. We are the specialists.
Mortar Joint Tuckpointing
When the mortar between brick, stone or any masonry product deteriorates and needs to be repaired or replaced, it’s critical to use the exact mix of what was used when the structure was originally built. Otherwise, the mortar can break down more quickly and potentially compromise the structural integrity of the entire building.
Remember, you can’t find the solution at a home improvement store. Let us test the existing mortar to determine the exact mix so we can repair or replace it with the right materials. We’ll use our knowledge about how older religious properties were built and a process called tuckpointing to do the job correctly and save you money.
A lintel is a structural support steel beam over a window or door. These load-bearing beams can be anywhere from two to 15 feet in length. Over time, lintels can become rusted or rotted, creating a potentially dangerous situation. We can remove and replace a lintel without compromising the structural integrity of your religious property or damaging the door or window.
Masonry Cleaning / Power Washing
Contractors who don’t specialize in older religious structures will typically use the same cleaning products and chemicals that they would use to clean any structure. This is a big mistake that can cause irreversible damage.
Cleaning older buildings isn’t like power washing your deck. Different surfaces require different chemicals and varying amounts of pressure. For example, the techniques and chemicals used to clean granite are a lot different than those used to clean limestone. Depending on the material that needs to be cleaned, we’ll choose specific chemicals that clean the surface without damaging the structure, make the process faster and save you money.
Caulking is the sealant between different materials like glass and stone, or wood and brick. Because there are so many different materials, there is no “one size fits all” solution. Using the proper caulking allows for movement as materials expand or contract so the caulking doesn’t crack and leak. Also, we’ll match the colors to preserve the structure’s original beauty.
Many soft and porous building materials have a natural waterproofing coating. Years of exposure to sun, wind and rain will cause this coating to wear off. We’ll use a clear sealant to replace the natural waterproof coating of your religious property’s building materials. It’s extremely important to test the building materials first to determine which type of sealant should be used. The wrong sealant can cause more expensive damage.