Masonry Building Restoration Seattle

Rife Masonry considers it a unique privilege to preserve Seattle’s historic masonry for future generations with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Seattle Masonry Restoration Services

Unreinforced Masonry Restoration Seattle

If you have a one to five-story building with wood framing and unreinforced masonry walls, you should consider unreinforced masonry restoration. Unreinforced masonry restoration is the process of supporting existing unreinforced walls and parapets in order to prevent structural damages and safety hazards in the event of an earthquake or other risky environmental conditions. It does this by securing the unreinforced walls and parapets to the existing wood framing or anchoring / bracing them to the existing concrete.

Without unreinforced masonry restoration, older brick buildings with unreinforced walls are not only more susceptible to structural failure in the event of an earthquake but can present day-to-day safety risks for occupants and pedestrians. Visit our blog post to learn more about unreinforced masonry restoration. 

port of seattle building masonry restoration

Unreinforced Masonry Restoration Services

When undergoing unreinforced masonry restoration on buildings in Seattle, our masonry contractors perform the following services:

  • Parapet Bracing
  • Pinning & Doweling using all-threads and helical ties/stitching
  • Diaphragm Strengthening

Benefits of Unreinforced Masonry Restoration

Unreinforced Masonry Restoration is the key to preserving the integrity of your brick building, mitigating safety risks, and extending its overall lifespan.

1. Mitigate Safety Risks

Being from the Seattle area, we are no strangers to earthquakes. With unreinforced masonry restoration, you can feel confident that any safety risks or hazards from potential earthquakes will be minimized.

2. Preserves Integrity

Unreinforced masonry is imperative in preserving the integrity of historic buildings in order to ensure that they remain standing for many years to come.

University of Washington brick building

Historic Masonry Restoration Seattle

At Rife Masory, we understand the importance of our Seattle community's historic brick architecture. From churches and temples to schools and notable homes, these longstanding structures are the embodiment of our city’s history. This is why our team of masonry contractors is dedicated to preserving the cultural presence and architectural significance of these brick buildings for years to come.

Without unreinforced masonry restoration, older brick buildings with unreinforced walls are not only more susceptible to structural failure in the event of an earthquake but can present day-to-day safety risks for occupants and pedestrians.

With historic masonry restoration, we aim to preserve as much as possible, only repairing and replacing what is needed and making improvements that connect the new with the old.

Common practices involved in historic masonry restoration include:

  • Routing out all mortar on sky-facing joints
  • Re-pointing
  • Terra cotta and stone patching
  • Sanded caulk joints
  • Seismic retrofitting

Benefits of Historic Masonry Restoration

Historic masonry restoration is an important service that provides many benefits for property owners and community members alike.

1. Preserves History

Historic masonry restoration is extremely important when it comes to preserving the cultural and architectural history of our city. These structures offer a sense of identity, community, and pride for all who live and frequent the Seattle area.

2. Minimizes Safety Risks

As historic buildings age, they become increasingly unstable, creating safety hazards for occupants and pedestrians. With historic masonry restoration, these safety liabilities are minimized as your building's structural integrity is restored.

3. Restores Integrity

The reality is that even though brick is long-lasting, it still breaks down over time. It is important to restore the integrity of your historic building to ensure its longevity, ensuring that you won't have to rebuild in the future.

4. Fewer Maintenance Costs

By preserving the integrity of your historic building with routine maintenance, it is less likely to require extensive repairs or reconstruction. In contrast, neglecting it can lead to large-scale repairs and higher maintenance costs.

Experts in Historical Restoration Masonry

When it comes to preserving historic buildings, you need a thoughtful and experienced contractor to ensure that the correct practices are followed. At Rife Masonry, we are proudly certified in Historic Masonry Preservation by the International Masonry Institute. This means that not are our masonry contractors educated and up-to-date on industry standards and best practices, but they also have years of experience working with historic brick and masonry buildings.

Tuckpointing Seattle

Over the years, the masonry joints of brick walls can and will deteriorate, eventually leading to a full breakdown. Instead of neglecting your masonry and allowing this to happen, engaging in routine inspection and repairs is a more cost-effective alternative. This comes in the form of a restoration technique called tuckpointing. This process involves restoring at-risk, deteriorated masonry joints, ensuring that your brick structure stays solid, healthy, and functional.

The Tuckpointing Process

Here’s a brief overview of our tuckpointing process for masonry building restoration:

  • 1

    Remove Damaged Mortar

    First, our tuckpointing contractors will remove your damaged mortar with an angle grinder.

  • 2

    Clean and Inspect Mortar Joints

    Next, they will clean any dust or debris from your mortar joints and inspect for any damage.

  • 3

    Apply Fresh Mortar

    Lastly, our tuckpointing contractors will then fill the joints with fresh mortar, smoothing it for a seamless finish.

Why Choose Us For Masonry Restoration in Seattle

At Rife Masonry, we don’t take the responsibility of restoring historic masonry in Seattle lightly. This is why we follow set International Masonry Institute guidelines to ensure that your masonry is taken care of according to best practices. Our team of professionals is certified in Historic Masonry Preservation and has a wealth of experience in tuckpointing, historic masonry restoration, and unreinforced masonry restoration. Contact us today to learn more about masonry restoration in Seattle and how we can help with your next project.

Masonry Building Restoration FAQs

Some common signs that your building’s masonry needs restoring include:

  • Visible mortar deterioration
  • Cracked or spalled masonry
  • Water intrusion
  • Efflorescence (visible white deposit on the face of masonry)
  • Loose masonry

Common signs that you need tuckpointing for your brick masonry include:

  • Cracked or crumbling bricks
  • Holes in your mortar
  • Weathered or disintegrating mortar


Unreinforced masonry is found in many older historic buildings, churches, temples, homes, and other brick structures. An unreinforced masonry wall is simply one with no reinforcing steel, wood, or concrete beams holding it up to support its weight. For this reason, unreinforced masonry walls are typically not the strongest or most structurally sound type of masonry wall.

Unreinforced masonry is when bricks or stones are held together with a material called mortar. Reinforced masonry, on the other hand, has additional support methods as the brick or stone units are embedded with steel, wood, or concrete reinforcement. The reinforcement helps to support the weight and make the structure more sound, making it less likely to collapse or crumble.

Schedule Your Masonry Building Restoration Today!

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