Getting Ahead Of The Spring Masonry Rush

Getting Ahead of the Spring Masonry Rush

It’s the holidays here in Ontario and it’s a time to be with family, eat lots of food and try and regenerate before the new year arrives. The last thing you want to think about is repairing your home. However, there is  a big plus side to having a look around your home now, and finding a company who can slot you in first thing in the spring for some masonry repairs such as tuckpointing or repointing, brick replacement and chimney restoration.

Slow Season

The winter time is the “slow season” for most masonry restoration companies. Mortar requires certain temperatures to cure (chemically harden) properly, so most companies hibernate throughout the winter. This is the time that a company, such as Wilkens Masonry, would be more than happy to come and give you a free estimate. We can outline work to be done the moment we have a warm spell and spring has sprung.

Why the Rush?

When spring begins, and almost everyone performs their home inspection to see what they need to get done, Wilkens will be flooded with calls and all of a sudden find ourselves with a six to eight week backlog of jobs to deliver. This is a great problem to have for us, however we all know that once the weather starts getting warmer, and the weekend plans start piling up, the necessary repairs to your home can get forgotten and lost in the shuffle. All of a sudden you find yourself at the end of the year again trying to find someone to squeeze you in.

Give us a Call for a Free Estimate!

At Wilkens masonry, our estimates are always free. We serve the Toronto and Hamilton areas. We will come by and give you an honest assessment coupled with a fair price for the services we deliver. Also, if the scope of work is something we don’t cover, we can always point you in the right direction of a company that can service your needs.

Check us out on Homestars and Google! You can also Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation or call us at 416 425 8055.

Creating Brick Openings For Windows and Doors

New and Old Brick Openings

Old houses often need to have their windows upgraded, and brick openings are generally in need of updates to allow for new, modern, high-efficiency windows to be installed. Many older houses in Toronto, Hamilton and the GTA have brick arches above their windows which was the original way bricklayers would structure a wall to allow for support above the area where the bricks are absent. Nowadays, we use steel lintels to support the weight. They are much easier to install than brick arches and result in less trim work for the window installers to complete around the window after it has been installed. The arch is often considered more aesthetic as it has a traditional masonry look, but the clean and sharp lines of steel lintel-supported brick openings have a modern masonry appeal. 

The Process

When altering a masonry opening on a house and changing the existing arch to a flat, steel lintel, the difficulty is in supporting the bricks above while you install the new support. We often use jack-posts and wedges which give us enough room to work. Once we have laid enough bricks on the lintel and the new mortar has hardened to offer support, we remove the posts and put on the finishing touches.

While some people want the brick arch to be recreated, which is something we can most definitely do, it takes quite a bit more time and, of course, more cost. We have to figure out a way to keep the original look but expand the arch further or contract it smaller so that the new window can fit seamlessly.

Working Together

At Wilkens, we have done both new brick-arched lintels and steel lintel installations hundreds of times and can be relied on to deliver the work you need to update your home and provide you with a sound and stable opening for your new windows.

We are fully insured, our estimates are free and we can work closely with you or a hired general contractor to make sure that our quote will fit in with any blueprints or plans that may exist.

Wilkens Masonry Is Now In Hamilton

Wilkens Masonry has officially set up shop in Hamilton, Ontario! We have been serving Toronto for 45 years and are excited to be in a new city where we can build our reputation as a full-service masonry restoration company. Get in touch for a free estimate to discuss your repointing, tuckpointing, parging, brick repair and chimney repair.

We are fully insured, our estimates are free and we can work closely with you or a hired general contractor to make sure that our quote will fit in with any blueprints or plans that may exist.

Check us out on Homestars and Google! You can also Contact us now for a free, no-obligation consultation or call us at 416 425 8055.


Hire A Brick Repair Company In Toronto

Hire A Brick Repair Company In Toronto

To perform professional brick repair, and have the results come out aesthetically pleasing and satisfying to the homeowner, we at Wilkens Contracting ensure only the highest quality of materials are used, using tried and true techniques, while paying attention to the smallest of details, all to facilitate seamless masonry work. If you are looking to hire a brick repair company in Toronto that can provide all of this and more for your home, then consider hiring our team of professional! To learn more about our services, and why you should choose our company for your brick-related needs, please continue to read below.

Match Your Material

By hiring Wilkens Contracting and our team of professionals, you aren’t just securing yourself over fifty years of experience in the industry, but you’ll gain access to our inventory stocked full of new and antique bricks that will match the aesthetic of your home. Colour, size, and texture all matter when choosing the material to achieve seamless brick repair in walls, chimneys, and the like. Our inventory doesn’t have what you’re looking for? No matter, we can provide brick and mortar tinting of our modern masonry materials to achieve the look you desire.

Knowledge Of Old

We not only bring decades of our experience to the table, but we use techniques and skills that have been developed through centuries of use. Masonry is an age-old profession, as Masons have been hired to construct buildings that far outlast the hands that build them. By using artistic, scientific, and architectural knowledge gathered through hundreds of years of developmental use, we have perfected our twenty-first-century services to provide aesthetically pleasing brick repair to the Greater Toronto Area.

Hire Our Services

From tuck pointing and brick restoration to chimney and fireplace repairs and rebuilds, our company can perform an array of masonry jobs that will have your home looking as good as new. If you notice your brickwork is Spalding, we can fix that problem in no time. Has your chimney or fireplace fallen into disrepair because of environmental damage or disuse? We can easily get the job done! Want to add a window or door to your brick wall? Give us a call!

So when you are looking to hire a brick repair company in Toronto, consider enlisting our help at Wilkens Contracting, as we have the expertise and the required tools for any masonry job in the area!

Please click here to find our contact information online, and inquire more about our services, or schedule a free estimate today!

Toronto Services For Brick Openings


Toronto Services For Brick Openings

Owners looking to make changes to their homes, whether it be creating an opening in their brick wall, or closing off one instead, we here at Wilkens Contracting can provide masonry services to get the job done! We service the Greater Toronto Area and are happy to visit your home for a free estimate. Therefore, those looking for Toronto services for brick openings should consider enlisting the help of professionals, like our experienced contractors at Wilkens Contracting. Find out more about our masonry services below!

Professional Expertise

With so many how-to videos and websites, the internet is a treasure trove of knowledge that can help you create, repair, and build a multitude of things on your own. This a great development for doing small jobs around the house, but when it comes to more substantial repairs and rebuilds, it’s sometimes best to leave the work to professionals. If you are considering creating a brick opening in your home, why not enlist our help our professional services here at Wilkens Contracting that will keep your home structurally sound, and those within, safe from harm.

Our Services At Work

Choosing to work with our company means securing yourself a team that has decades of experience in the construction industry, with the knowledge and know-how to complete any masonry job you require of us. We will ensure the structural soundness of the opening, and complete all masonry work to have your new window or door looking like it always belonged in your home. As we have the utmost respect for our clients, we will always clean the area in which we are working. We’ll make sure the place is spotless before we leave, so you don’t have to worry about anything else except enjoying your new addition to the home.

Free Estimate

Finding Toronto services for brick openings for your home can be a quick and efficient fix when you hire professional like us at Wilkens Contracting. We have been faithfully servicing the Greater Toronto Area since 1977, and completing all masonry jobs to the full satisfaction of our clients! Our company offers a free estimate for individuals looking to hire masonry services for brick repairs, openings, and much more, providing transparent pricing for all potential clients.

Please click here to find our contact information online, and inquire more about our expertise, or schedule your free estimate surrounding your brick openings today.

Trusted Brick Repair In Toronto

Trusted Brick Repair In Toronto

Did you know bricks are considered one of the most durable building products on earth, as they can withstand extreme temperature changes, and have been used to construct shelters since before 7500 BC? With a long history of use, enduring thousands of years of technical innovations and architectural breakthroughs, this building material is still being used today because of its strength and resilience. Even when crumbling, the right repair services can help keep bricks stable, and structures strong, therefore, if you are in need of trusted brick repair in Toronto, think Wilkens Contracting.

Industry Experience

Our fully licensed and insured family based company has been in the business or repairing and rebuilding brick structures since 1977. With decades of experience facilitating successful jobs in the GTA, our company is well equipped to provide you with the quality services you and your home need to revitalize the life of your bricks and keep your structure strong. With our expertise, we will make sure every project is completed successfully, on time and within budget, to produce a finished product you can be happy with.

Extensive Knowledge

No job is too big or too small for us, as we have the knowledge and know-how to get any job done right. If your bricks are crumbling apart, or spalling, we have the expertise to facilitate quality tuckpointing services, restoring the aesthetic of your bricks, and blending the new work with the old, for a unified look. We can also build and rebuild structures if you are thinking about redesigning, as well as place new openings, whether windows or doors, into the wall.

The Perfect Match

We offer an extensive inventory of quality bricks of all types, so we can easily match our bricks to yours, to create a unified whole. With a vast collection of new and antique bricks, our products can match an array of bricks that have been used across the GTA to build Toronto homes for many years. No need to let the world know you have had repairs done on your home with bright patchwork and noticeable updates. Instead, enlist our professional services, and the integrity of your structure will be strengthened, and the aesthetic improved, with none the wiser!

So if you are looking for a contracting company that can facilitate trusted brick repair in Toronto, then consider working with us here at Wilkens Contracting.

Please click here to find our contact information online, and let us know how we can help you today!

Brick Repairs at Wilkens Contracting

Wilkens Contracting and Toronto Based Brick Repairs

Bricks date back to 7000 BC, making them one of the oldest construction materials on the planet. Bricks, deriving from clay found in the ground, have served an essential function in our homes for centuries. Wilkens Contracting, helping the Toronto area, understands the importance of brick repairs in maintaining the integrity of your home.

To learn if you are in need of brick repairs with Wilkens Contracting, continue to read this article or peruse our website.


Widely used, bricks should be kept in good repair to get the most out of this material. If your bricks are chipping, or breaking off in fragments, your bricks are spalling. When this happens, your structure is falling into disrepair. Spalling can lead to structurally weak buildings and are unpleasing to the eye.

Here at Willkens Contracting, we offer brick repairs in the Toronto area. It is of utmost importance to restore your bricks to their optimum state as a means to keep your buildings structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing. So put a stop to your spalling bricks today by hiring our knowledgeable team at Wilkens Contracting.

Tuck Pointing

Bricks also denote any rectangular units laid in mortar and can be constructed from an array of materials- whether it clay, sand, lime, or concrete materials. Our tuck pointing processes focus on the mortar, repairing and maintaining the joints and holes within this hardened substance.

At Wilkens Contracting we tint all of our mortar before applying to the joints to match it to the existing colouring as a means to produce seamless brick repairs for our Toronto based clients.


The primary cause of all brick and mortar deterioration is due to moisture. This condensation hits hardest along the base of the wall, at the windowsill level, by the downpipes and pillars, as well as in the chimney area.

Structures built before the 1950s did not seal their foundations, like many buildings in the Toronto area that were constructed before this time period, these brick facades are beginning to fall apart. Moisture from the soil creeps into the bricks and spreads up the wall causing destruction. Wilkens Contracting can stop this spread of decay and repair your brick facade back to its original glory! To see how well Wilkens Contracting executes our brick repairs in the Toronto area, take a look at our gallery!

Contact us at Wilkens Contracting today to get your brick repairs underway!


Brick Restorations Toronto

Since 1977 Wilkens Contracting Inc has been doing brick restorations in Toronto.
One could say  “I’ve seen it all.” The following are articles written from first hand observation and information gathered by me.

The major cause of brick and mortar deterioration is basically moisture. The deterioration usually shows first (a) along the base of the walls, (b) in and below window sills, (c) by the downpipes of the eavestrough system, (d) porch walls and pillars and (e) in the chimney above the roof line.

The reasons are as follows:

(a) Before the early 1950s foundations weren’t sealed. the moisture in the soil sits right against the foundation masonry and tends to wick up the wall. The end of the “wick” is where the masonry tends to degrade most rapidly. Brick restoration and pointing is needed here to maintain the integrity of the foundation.

(b) The areas below the windows get a beating in the late fall and early spring. This is mainly due to snow accumulation on the sill and its slow melt from heat loss through the opening, saturating the sill and the bricks below. Added to this is the freeze/thaw which occurs when the temperature drops and rises and when the sun melts it on a cold day. Brick restoration and pointing is needed here to keep the moisture from getting to the inner wall.

(c) Over the years there have been times when the troughs were not cleaned and have overflowed. The down pipes are at the lowest points of the trough system so are the points that the water would spill over. If the down pipe is on the north side of the house it also has the problem of freezing solid in the winter. Snow melt, on a cold but sunny day, will tend to freeze in the down pipe and split the seams. When the ambient temperature rises it takes a while for the solid mass of ice in the pipe to thaw and the current run off will leak through the split seams onto the masonry wall and saturating it. Brick restoration and pointing is needed here to keep the moisture from getting to the inner wall.

(d) Porch walls and pillars wear more rapidly than the house walls because they are exposed to more weather and they don’t have the advantage of being dried out by the heat of the interior of the house. They get wet and/or saturated more often and then are subject to the freeze/thaw cycle. Brick restoration and pointing is needed here to maintain their structural integrity as well as aesthetics.

(e) Ah, the poor chimney. Chimneys really get the most wear and tear. Not only are they exposed to the elements no matter which way the wind blows but they also have to deal with temperature differentials and condensation.

In inclement weather they get saturated no matter what. Then the furnace comes on and dries them out. Then the furnace shuts down and they get wet. Then the furnace comes on and they dry out. Then the furnace shuts down and….you get the idea. Now imagine that happening over the span of your homes existence.

In the old days of coal there was really not a condensation problem. With the introduction of oil heating the stack (chimney exhaust) temperature decreased as the oil furnace was more efficient and less heart was going up the flue but with the outside temperature in winter being very cold there would be a bit of condensation in the chimney above the roof where it is totally exposed. In the 1950s terra cotta flue tiles were introduced to handle this problem. Then came natural gas heating. Now the stack temperature was very cool compared to coal or oil and condensation occurred a great deal more even with the terra cotta flue tile. Here the aluminum gas chimney liner came in to both prevent condensation due to the resizing of the exhaust path and also to keep any condensation from the bricks.

So over the years chimneys have taken the worst of it. Most new furnaces no longer use the chimney but wood burning fireplaces still do. Brick restoration,pointing or rebuilding is needed on chimneys to maintain their structural integrity, allow them to safely function and exhaust the products of combustion and to keep you home looking like it should look.

As a note, when having your chimney rebuilt many people are sold precast concrete caps. These are fine but were not in use until the 50s as well. On older homes Wilkens Contracting Inc. prefers to corbel the top of the chimney to maintain the period design. Many homeowners are told the reason for the chimneys wear was the lack of the precast cap which is simply not the case. The reasons are stated above. To verify this for yourself you simply need to go to an older part of town and look at the chimneys. These homes are older than most of the homes in Toronto and are still in good condition and were mostly have a corbel at the top. It is wear and tear that deteriorates the chimney, not the crown design. I think a corbel, in keeping with the design of your home, looks much better.

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