Masonry Repair vs. Masonry Restoration: What’s the Difference?


Masonry refers to a construction method that uses cement mortar to hold bricks or stones together. Any building comprised of bricks or stones was likely built with masonry. Masonry work is extremely durable, but it does experience wear and tears over time. There is a fine line between repairing and restoring masonry since masonry repair and masonry restoration often involve much of the same work.

Maintaining your masonry can involve both processes of masonry repair and masonry restoration. It’s important to be able to distinguish between the two and know what each process entails before you hire masonry contractors. The biggest difference is that repairs involve fixing cracks, chips, and crumbling mortar, while restoration involves fully replacing the masonry.


Masonry on the exterior of buildings is exposed to the elements and will over time need masonry repair due to wear and tear. Signs that indicate your masonry needs repair include: chipped and cracked bricks, crumbling mortar and white discoloration of bricks. Masonry repair involves filling gaps and cracks in the mortar and removing and replacing old bricks and old mortar that is damaged, with new bricks and mortar that match in the appearance of the old masonry.


Masonry repair may only involve one part of the building, whereas masonry restoration usually includes the whole building. Restoration not only improves the structure but improves the appearance of the building as well. It is a much bigger job, with the aim to restore the building to its original appearance and structure. When expert masonry professionals start a masonry restoration project they have to ensure that all the new pieces of masonry that they will be using are period-appropriate and match In the appearance of the damaged masonry. This is especially critical in the restoration of period properties. Masonry contractors have to remove all the damaged masonry and replace it with matching new mortar and bricks. Then the contractors clean all the masonry and seal it to add extra protection against water penetration.

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