Restoration breathes new life into old buildings, preserves our connection to the past for future generations, and provides a greener, more sustainable alternative to new construction. Despite the countless benefits that building restoration provides, it is not without its challenges. Older buildings, especially those in need of extensive repair, can present unique complexities that require specialized products and solutions.
At Building and Restoration Technology (BRT), we help you solve these challenges with proven, time-tested products specifically engineered for restoration work. Whether you are remediating a building's structural safety issues, replicating ornate architectural details, or removing years of unsightly dirt and stains from a façade, we have what you need to get the job done right. Here's our pick of 10 essential products that can help you tackle even your most complex restoration jobs.
A quick rundown of our list:
1. PROSOCO Restoration Cleaners
Remove tough stains
Coming in at the top of our list is PROSOCO’s collection of restoration cleaners. (Yes, we’re lumping all of them together because it would be nearly impossible to choose just one!)
PROSOCO has been the #1 choice for masonry cleaners and hard surface care products for thousands of contractors, architects, and engineers nationwide since 1939, and it’s easy to see why. Their Sure Klean and EnviroKlean products are designed to safely and effectively clean the dirtiest of building exteriors – whether it’s built with limestone, marble, granite, brick, sandstone, terra cotta, cast stone or concrete – and have been trusted to clean some of the nation’s most iconic structures, including the Brooklyn Bridge.
Just as no two buildings are exactly alike, neither are two stains. That’s why PROSOCO offers a wide array of custom-formulated products to choose from. Whether you’re dealing with atmospheric/carbon buildup, surface dirt, efflorescence, rust, graffiti, biological/organic growth, or vanadium, PROSOCO restoration cleaners can help you tackle those stubborn stains without causing unnecessary damage.
Why you’ll love them
PROSOCO cleaners are anything but one-size-fits-all. Their specialty cleaners and stain removers deliver a targeted approach to cleaning your building’s specific substrate, stain, and severity.
2. Conproco ECB
Protect your rebar against corrosion
Corrosion of reinforcing steel is the leading cause of failure in concrete. Once the corrosion process begins, it continues and causes significant internal stress in concrete, leading to cracking, spalling, cosmetic damage, and possible structural failure.
Conproco's ECB (Electro Chemical Barrier) is a protective coating for rebar that combats corrosion. ECB is a single-component, low VOC, water-based coating that provides long-term protection through a unique, three-tiered system:
Barrier Coating – ECB forms an impervious membrane that protects rebar from water and oxygen.
Sacrificial Zinc Anode – ECB contains metal compounds that are preferentially oxidized over iron, thereby protecting the steel.
Integral Corrosion Inhibitor – Ions produced during the sacrificial process migrate towards an establishing cathode. At the cathode, they react and deposit a protective layer that obstructs further cathodic reactions, inhibiting corrosion.
ECB is unique in that once coated, the rebar can be left exposed for up to 30 days before covering. This allows greater job-site flexibility and eliminates the critical “time to cover” associated with most corrosion coating.
Why you’ll love it
Unlike competitive products that are gray in color, ECB's high visibility orange color allows for better quality control inspections onsite.
3. PROSOCO Stitch-Tie®
Secure masonry façades
Falling bricks or stone from poorly tied or loosely anchored masonry can cause serious life safety issues. Fortunately, PROSOCO's masonry anchors can help to remediate potential safety issues by repairing and securely fastening existing façades.
PROSOCO’s Stitch-Tie® anchor is a stainless steel helical pin that reattaches existing masonry facades to backup structures. These retrofit ties can stabilize veneers of brick, stone, masonry, or precast concrete that have missing or corroded wall ties, thus eliminating the need to tear down or replace existing façades.
Why you’ll love them
Stitch-Tie® anchors deliver a nearly invisible way to help save your existing walls, so you can preserve the beauty and historical integrity of your building while helping to eliminate safety issues.
4. Conproco Matrix
Restore natural stone, terracotta, and brick
Masonry repair and restoration can be painstakingly delicate work. Whether you’re tasked with repairing chipped stone or recreating ornate architectural elements in terra cotta, it’s vital to get the details just right.
Conproco’s Matrix repair mortars help you do just that. These durable, carvable mortars are ideal for the historical restoration of natural stone, terracotta, and brick, and can be used to recreate ornate architectural details, sharp edges, and sculptural elements (like the nose of this cherub).
Matrix products help you deliver repairs that blend seamlessly. Not only are they engineered to closely match the physical properties and surface texture of the stone being repaired, Matrix products are also available in over 70 standard colors and are fully color-customizable, so you can find the perfect match for your surface.
Why you’ll love it
You can skip the wait and get a color match in 1-2 business days at Garvin Construction Products in Long Island City.
5. Conproco Structural Skin
Smooth and strengthen masonry surfaces
Traditional stucco’s durability and longevity make it a popular base coat material for exterior walls. While durable, stucco’s rigid, inflexible composition makes it prone to cracking, potentially resulting in water infiltration.
Conproco’s Structural Skin is a stronger, more flexible, waterproof base coat for exterior wall systems. It can be applied directly to concrete block, brick, stucco and concrete surfaces, and can be used to level or smooth out block walls, eliminating joints or imperfections.
Unlike traditional stucco systems, Structural Skin is reinforced with fiberglass fibers that add strength and flexibility and help to minimize cracks in masonry surfaces. As a polymer-modified base coat, it can be applied thinner than regular stucco and can be used in place of a traditional stucco system’s scratch and brown coats, allowing for a quicker application.
Once applied, Structural Skin creates a uniform surface that acts as a moisture barrier while allowing moisture to diffuse, preventing damage from moisture build-up in the wall system.
Why you’ll love it
Structural Skin’s thin coat application gives you the flexibility to apply it to lot-line walls where space is limited, eliminating the need for a thick build-out of EIFS. Plus, when applied over missing joints on sound masonry, Structural Skin can also eliminate the need for repointing and save you time and money.
6. PROSOCO FastFlash®
Waterproof rough openings
Retrofit projects can uncover some pretty unexpected surprises – from irregular substrates to a mix of construction materials hiding behind the walls. Depending on the types of surfaces you encounter, it can be difficult to effectively waterproof your rough openings using a peel-and-stick membrane.
PROSOCO FastFlash offers a better solution. As a fluid-applied liquid flashing membrane, FastFlash conforms and adheres to your building's surfaces, delivering a seamless application with no tears, holes, or improperly lapped joints to compromise performance. It provides watertight and air barrier performance and bonds to most common building materials without priming.
FastFlash is also easy to gun, spread-and-tool, or roller apply, and can be used as a liquid flashing membrane in rough openings, to fill joints and seams, to counterflash waterproofing and air barrier components in wall assemblies, and to seal around penetrations or protect countersunk fasteners.
Why you’ll love it
Unlike competitive products, FastFlash can be applied to damp substrates and in rainy conditions, reducing downtime on a tight project schedule. It also dramatically reduces surface preparation time by eliminating the need for reinforcing tapes at sheathing joints, inside and outside corners.
7. Conproco Lastic (Conpro-Lastic)
Bridge hairline cracks
Over time, freeze/thaw cycles, settling movement, and physical impact can cause hairline cracks to develop in concrete, stucco, concrete masonry units (CMU), and other ridged masonry substrates. When these cracks occur, water and environmental contaminants can enter the substrate, leading to costly repairs.
Conproco Lastic is an elastomeric, waterproof, anti-carbonation coating that helps to prevent water infiltration by bridging hairline cracks common in concrete and masonry surfaces. This highly flexible membrane is engineered for long-lasting protection, provides excellent breathability, and helps to vastly reduce the carbonation of concrete.
Conpro-Lastic is available in 38 standard colors and custom color-matching, plus smooth and sanded finishes to accent architectural details.
Why you’ll love it
Conpro-Lastic is one of the most breathable elastomeric coatings on the market (39 perms @ 15 mils. DFT sanded), making this ideal for coating brick and other masonry substrates.