28915 N. Herky Dr., Suite 107
Lake Bluff, IL 60044
W.L. Kercher Company is a family run business that offers complete inspections, consultations, and repair services for the maintenance of all brick, stone, terracotta, marble, concrete, and metal/glass clad buildings.
Our company has been serving major architectural and engineering firms, industrial and commercial corporations, churches, school districts, and condominium complexes in the greater Chicagoland area for over eighty years.
We hope that you choose to go with us for your next project and if so, we look forward to applying our years of experience in the maintenance and preservation of your building.
We offer high quality masonry replacement with our highly trained workforce using the best tools and equipment to get the job done. Our employees go through dozens of hours of training to make sure that we offer the best possible service to you.
Our employees carefully remove cracked and deteriorated masonry. To prevent damage to the surrounding bricks, we use diamond blades to carefully remove only the affected section. Removal of bricks can often times uncover the origin of the problem which caused the damage to the affected area.
Tuckpointing and Grinding
Proper grinding is a critical step for a long-lasting tuckpointing job. Our workers are trained to safely grind the joint without damaging the surrounding areas and to provide the best service possible. We also go the extra mile to match the color and texture of the mortar with the surrounding masonry by providing samples. It is our responsibility to work with you to provide the best possible finish for your building.
We grind all mortar joints to the minimum depth of three quarters of an inch or until sound mortar. The joint has to be properly cleaned and new mortar is applied in three lifts to prevent shrinkage cracks. After the mortar has had sufficient time to cure we will return and clean the new mortar. This is an additional step we take the time to apply but it allows for the new mortar to match the surrounding mortar as closely as possible.
Over the years, the reinforcement steel within the concrete begins to rust and expand which therefore causes the concrete to crack and deteriorate. Often times, this can also result in the concrete dislodging from the building and falling.
We start by demolishing the affected concrete to allow for access to all sides of the steel reinforcement. We then either replace the reinforcement or clean and coat it if the damage isn’t too great. We then either patch the concrete or form out and pour new high-strength concrete.
Lintel & Steel Replacement
The vast majority of our work is caused by deteriorated embedded steel which can hide behind the cosmetic and structural issues within the masonry. This is caused by the steel deteriorating and expanding which caused damage to the surrounding masonry.
Many contractors ignore this issue and instead simply tuckpoint the cracked joints. While this is a temporary solution, it doesn’t solve the origin of the problem. Further deterioration of the steel will cause the joints crack again. To permanently solve the problem, the masonry must be removed then the steel will need to be reconditioned or replaced.
We caulk joints per manufacturer specifications and our work routinely passes their jobsite inspections. We can guarantee that our work will last.
Every joint is cut out then cleaned carefully. We install backer rod to only allow the caulk to adhere to the edges of the joint instead of also adhering to the back. This allows for proper expansion and contraction for the caulk. This is to prevent the caulk from losing its bond within the joint. Even at the cost of additional time and money, we prime the joint with manufacturer approved primer which allows for maximum adhesion within the joint. While others may skip this step, we feel this is critical for having the caulk last for as many years as possible. After we finished all of these steps, we then install high-grade caulk.
W.L. Kercher Company is a family owned business which is now run by the grandson of the founder, William G. Kercher. The business was started in 1927 by Wilbur L. Kercher. Back then, the company had much smaller ambitions as we focused on tuckpointing and cleaning bungalows for only thirty-five dollars per job. Though we have changed much over the years, we have always taken pride in the work we do and strive to provide the best experience in the industry.
Nowadays, we employ fifteen to twenty union employees to provide the best service possible. Many of our employees have been with the company for over fifteen years. To provide a safe work environment, all of our journeymen have been formally trained in their skills and hold certificates in OSHA’s safety courses.