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Your burning questions: answered

How much does brick repair cost?

On average, brick repairs will cost you around $500, with a range of between $350 and $600. However, be aware that a number of factors will have a large influence on this cost. First is the severity of the problem. Some brick repairs are as simple as applying new mortar — others require removing the brick entirely and fixing the substrate. If budget is a concern, contact several brick masons for cost estimates to find the best price in your area.

What do paving contractors do?

Paving contractors can be hired to install a concrete or asphalt driveway at your home, office or property. They can also repave an asphalt or concrete driveway that has been damaged by time, weather or heavy loads. When you are looking for a driveway contractor, request quotes from at least three professionals who are in good standing and have great customer reviews. They should do a site visit and write you a bid, detailing the work involved, materials needed, approximate length of the project and estimated cost.

The site for your new driveway will determine costs and the work required for your contractor. First, the ground must be excavated to lay a clear path. This means removing any trees, bushes and stumps. Next, the driveway contractor will grade the area, making a level surface for the concrete or asphalt. To ensure proper drainage, driveway contractors should install a sub-base of compacted gravel (or similar) 4 inches-8 inches deep, depending on your soil type. Then the concrete or asphalt may be poured and smoothed over the top. Your driveway contractor should recommend an appropriate sealant for your climate and advise you on curing time. When hiring a paving contractor, check out our tips for smart hiring on Thumbtack.

What is the best sealer to use on concrete?

Because unsealed concrete is porous, it readily absorbs liquids, leading to unsightly stains and freeze-and-thaw cycle damage. For this reason, it’s important to seal concrete that will see spills or outdoor weather.

The best option for garage floors and other high-traffic areas is epoxy, which forms a hard and extremely durable surface on top of concrete. Epoxy, acrylic, and polishes are often used on indoor floors, while acrylic-resin sealers and reactive penetrating sealers are used on outdoor surfaces to repel water and salt. Locate a concrete contractor in your area to help find the best solution.

How much does it cost to redo a concrete driveway?

 Here are some examples of average costs:

  • The national average cost to hire a concrete specialist is $2,750, but that price can vary greatly depending on the work needed to repair and resurface your concrete driveway, the square footage of the project, current costs of concrete, and regional labor rates.
  • Driveway contractors average $2-$3 per square foot to smooth and resurface your asphalt driveway.
  • Resurfacing concrete driveways averages $3-$10 per square foot. Pricing can depend on repairs needed, project size and geographic location.
  • Nationally, the average cost for resurfacing a 500-square-foot driveway ranges from $2,000 to $5,000.
  • Sealant for a concrete drive can cost $20-$80 per gallon.
  • Sealant for an asphalt drive averages 25 cents per square foot.

What is the best finish for concrete floors?

The best finish for concrete floors depends on your personal taste. An acid stain is a bold, varied look with lots of texture and the potential for earthy tones and a natural stone appearance. A water-based stain might not last as long as an acid stain, but it gives you the choice of many different colors. Epoxy is great for high-traffic areas, kitchens, bathrooms, basements and garages. It provides a glossy, damage-resistant, non-slip coating on your concrete floors. To find out which finish is the best for your concrete floors, contact a concrete contractor near you.

How do you find the best concrete contractor?

To find the best concrete contractors in your area, start by comparing concrete contractor reviews and ratings, which can give you insight into the quality of work you can expect from potential concrete contractors. When reading reviews, pay attention to details about how long the project took and whether the customer had any disputes with the contractors. The reviews often contain photos of past work, but if you don’t see any reviews, ask the contractor to share photographs of concrete floors, driveways and other projects they’ve worked on. Look for details such as clean edges and a lack of cracking. And finally, if a concrete license is required in your state, ask to see the contractor’s credentials. 

What are the signs my stones or bricks need repairs?

The following are common stone and brick issues that will likely require a professional’s skills and expertise to fix:

  • Cracked bricks and mortar, including vertical corner cracks 
  • Brick erosion and degradation due to water damage 
  • Mortar deterioration
  • Bowed or bulging bricks
  • Spalled bricks, which are those that have chipped away or fallen off 
  • Efflorescence, or visible soluble stains on the surface

If you notice any of these signs, reach out to local brick or stone masons today.

What does a stone mason do?

A stone mason builds structures like buildings, walls and piers out of stone. They may use natural stone, pre-cut stone, slabs or other types of stone to get the job done. Other jobs stone masons take on include laying walkways, curbs, pizza ovens and other structures or landscaping works. It’s common to hire a stone mason to perform certain parts of home building, such as an interior or exterior stone wall.

What are the different types of masonry?

In terms of the type of material used, there are several different types of masonry. These include brick, cast stone, glass block, concrete block and other types of building stone such as granite, limestone or marble. This type of construction is highly durable. 

How can I find out if a concrete contractor is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

In order to know if a concrete contractor is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider in your city or state, you’ll need to visit your city or state’s official government website.

Another helpful resource is CISA’s website, which includes a guide to Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 that provides information on a national level. This guideline presents 16 categories of critical infrastructure sectors, which can help in determining whether concrete contractors are currently considered essential service providers. Some, but not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure. 

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