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GP CONSTRUCTION GROUP INC

Masonry Construction and Restoration 847.721.8907

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GP Construction Group Inc is an expert in masonry restoration and repairs.
Our expertise include tuckpointing, chimney and lintels repair or replacement.


Tuckpointing is the common maintenance task to repair mortar joints. The most common reason for repointing ( tuckpointing ) masonry is to improve water penetration resistance.
Damaged, missing, cracked and deteriorated mortar joints are the entry way for water to penetrate the masonry. The water is subject to expansive forces of freeze and thaw cycles and can easily damage the masonry units, causing the crystallization of soluble salts known as efflorescence. The efflorescence cause the masonry to rapidly deteriorate.
Repointing is very labor intensive work and should be perform only by qualified and experienced craftsman. The important steps of repointing are: indentify areas of the building which require repointing, cut out mortar joints to proper depth and clean, prepare the new mortar for repointing and placement, compacting and tooling of new repointing mortar.
In order to avoid damage of the masonry units and spaling of the face brick, the compressive strength of new, repointing mortar should be the same or weaker than the strength of original mortar.
Sometimes custom coloring of the repointing mortar may be required to match the original color.

Chimneys are exposed to the effects of wind, snow, ice and rain. At the same time are heated by hot gases from the fire. Therefore chimneys are subject to continuous, repetitive expansions and contractions which create a lot of movement and deterioration.
Chimney repairs may include several areas: firebox repointing and rebuilding. The firebox is the brick area where the fire is built. All loose and damaged brick and mortar should be repaired.
The damper repair. The damper closes the flu when the fireplace is not in use so heat doesn't escape through the chimney.
Flue repair. The flue is the internal part of the chimney that funnels exhaust from the fireplace to the outside. If the flue cracks, breaks or is blocked by the debris or creosote build up it is a safety hazard that needs to be repaired.
The crown repair. The mortar crown is the concrete or limestone surface at the top of the chimney that keeps water out of the flue. A cracked or broken crown should be repaired immediately to avoid serious water damage. Left unrepaired will provide the way for water to penetrate the masonry. Water is subject to freeze cycles and so cause masonry to deteriorate. In the most severe case the damaged part of the chimney needs to be rebuild. Unrepaired chimneys and fireboxes can release dangerous gases into the building. They can allow flames and sparks to escape and come in contact with potentially combustible materials, creating a fire hazard.Chimneys with loose masonry can cause damage and injury when loosened brick or stone falls down.


Lintels and arches transfer the load of the wall over openings to wall on either side. They must be strong and stiff enough to carry the load without deflecting and must be durable to withstand weather conditions. Arches are often the same masonry as is used for wall materials, like stone, brick or concrete.

Lintels are typically steel, wood or large pieces of masonry like concrete. Openings in exterior and interior bearing walls require lintels or arches. Lintels in masonry should have minimum of six inches of end bearing.

The most common issues with lintels include: sagging, rotating and/or leaning lintels, cracks around window and door openings, mortar deteriorating or missing around openings, masonry ( brick or stone ) damaged, deteriorating or missing, rust, problems with end bearing, rot and insect damage. 

Rusting is the most common problem with steel lintels. If unprotected metal gets wet, it will rust and corrode. The wall structure above the lintel may fail if the steel lintel is rusted. The top edge of the exposed flange of lintels should not be caulked as water inside the wall will be trapped in the masonry veneer and lead lintel to rust. Only the underside of the lintel flange can be caulked to the top of the door or window.

The flashing and weep holes ( rope wicks ) above the lintels help water to escape and protect against damage. The rusted lintel due to chemical process can grow up to ten times its original thickness which will cause the metal to bow and masonry around to crack and shift under severe pressure.

Rusted and corroded lintel should be replaced with a new one, painted with a rust-inhibitor. New flexible flashing should be installed together with the weep holes.

The preventative maintenance of the lintels includes inspections and protecting the metal against severe weather conditions by paint coating it.