WHERE I CAN HELP
Because the skin of a building defines its appearance, the integrity of masonry veneers is very important to owners and designers. Masonry veneers can develop many kinds of problems. Some of these problems are aesthetic, some problems can affect how the occupants use a building, and some problems involve the integrity of the veneer. All are better handled earlier rather than later. I can be on site quickly and economically to:
- Discover why it leaks
- Explain why it cracked
- Determine why the mortar color is incorrect or is not consistent
- Help eliminate the white stuff -- efflorescence
- Address chipped and warped masonry units
- Determine why the color of the masonry units is incorrect or inconsistent
- Investigate product defects in clay bricks
- Investigate product defects in concrete bricks
- Develop remedial cleaning programs
Codes and standards can be difficult to understand. Navigating building codes and product standards is easier for those involved in the code and standard development process. I am a voting member of the TMS 402 Committee, which writes the Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (The 530 Code). I am a voting member of the ASTM committees which oversees the writing the standards and test methods for mortar and masonry units. This involvement allows me to help you better understand:
- ASTM clay brick and concrete brick standards
- ASTM mortar standards
- ASTM thin masonry standards
- Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures
- ASTM test methods
- ASTM standard practices
Buildings are like supermarkets; each contains thousands of items. While every designer becomes "expert" about some parts of a building, a designer cannot be knowledgeable about each item. I can take some of the load from a designer's or contractor's shoulders by:
- Devising details to avoid water penetration
- Locating control, expansion, and movement joints.
- Reviewing masonry details
- Reviewing masonry specifications
- Designing with glazed brick
- Reviewing product submissions
- Reviewing test reports
- Developing cleaning programs for new masonry
Today, there are many, many products in the market. Often there is little to differentiate them. One way to make your brand stand out is to be the designer's or contractor's "brick guy" or "masonry guy." Earning the title "brick guy" involves lots of hard work, high levels of service, and knowing or having access to answers to the designer's or contractor's questions. I can help you be your customers' brick guy by helping you answer technical questions. I can also help increase the value of your brand by:
- Helping you get your foot in the door. Some offices are like a fortress with the drawbridge raised. The gatekeeper gives you the hairy eyeball when you get off the elevator and you never pass beyond the lobby. One way to go face-to-face with designers is to offer an AIA-approved masonry seminar. As an AIA approved provider, the 6 seminars that I offer will help you get that face time.
- Helping designers shoulder their load. As an independent professional, I can develop options to address challenging situations. I can provide an independent, third-party review of details and specifications. I can provide these services in your offices, at your client's facility or job site, or via the internet or conference calls.
- Training your staff. A knowledgeable inside salesperson or yardman makes your company more useful than others. I can help increase that knowledge with bite-sized training sessions.
The "expert" is generally called after a situation has gotten out of control, everyone is thoroughly annoyed, and lawyers have been called. This far too late to involve an expert!
The best time to call the expert is before the first big project meeting when fingers will be pointed in every direction. The expert should be at that first meeting to provide an explanation of what has occurred along with recommendations for a solution. The expert can often determine if an issue is a long-term problem or a short-term situation. This early involvement eliminates the unknown and can calm anxious participants. Deciding who will do what is much easier when the parties are focused on the facts and not on "who's responsible for what."
I can accompany you to that first job-site meeting to provide understanding and suggestions so that a problem can be resolved while everyone is still working together on the same team.
If you are sued, you need the backing of informed and well-spoken advocates. One advocate is your lawyer. Another is your expert, who can:
- Testify on your behalf.
- Help prepare other witnesses for trial. Sometimes an expert's knowledge may not be sufficiently broad to address all the facts of the case. I can help that expert fill the gaps in their knowledge.
- Familiarize your lawyer with
construction or masonry. I can work with
your lawyer to explain the industry,
masonry, and masonry units.