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 employ a small team of union employees who strive 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.
Our business was founded in 1927 by Wilbur L. Kercher as a simple tuckpointing and cleaning service for bungalows in the Chicago area. The business began to expand over the decades, and has been owned and operated within the same family for generations.
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.
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.
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 causes 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 resolve the underlying issue. Further deterioration of the steel will cause the joints to 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 allow the caulk to adhere solely to the edges of the joint instead of also adhering to the back. This allows for proper expansion and contraction for the caulk which will 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.
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 customers to provide the best possible finish for the 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.
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.