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Masonry Warning Signs and Why They Could Spell Trouble

Aug 11, 2021 10:45:00 AM

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It's easy to overlook warning signs in masonry. Most people expect their masonry to be a little imperfect over time, and they may not notice issues that could actually spell trouble. But when you do see signs of damage in your masonry, it's important to act fast; the faster you act, the less damage will occur. Here's what you need to know about damage and brick repair.

Cracks in the Bricks

To a certain degree, cracks in bricks are natural; they will occur over time. But that doesn't mean they should be ignored. Cracks in the bricks will occur over time due to settling and shifting. Hastily installed brickwork will crack more frequently because the ground will not have been pre-packed or pre-leveled. When bricks crack, it can lead to water leakage. Serious cracks can compromise the strength of the masonry and potentially lead to a collapse. 

Bulging Bricks

A bulging brick means something has shifted behind the brick. It can happen if ground is settling in a retaining wall, if water damage has occurred beyond the brick, or if other damage has occurred and shifted the pressure of the masonry. Damage behind the brick has to be addressed before the brick potentially pops out or the surrounding bricks become damaged. It isn't just a matter of replacing the brick because the damage has usually occurred for a reason.

Mortar Deterioration

As it gets older, mortar can start to disintegrate. This is bad because the bricks will then start to rub against each other. They will crack or otherwise damage each other over time and the masonry itself will start to fall apart. Repointing or tuckpointing can be used to reinforce the mortar. Often, the only other alternative is to rebuild the wall, which will be more expensive and more time-consuming. But this also has to be done by a professional.

Compacted Bricks

If a brick has lost its original shape, it may appear to be cracked or bowed. This usually happens because there's too much pressure on the brick and the brick is being ground up. If not addressed, the compacted bricks will only compact the bricks underneath, and the surrounding bricks will also become damaged. This can also lead to water damage and more.

Masonry doesn't require a lot of maintenance. Because of that, most people don't really think about it being broken or damaged. But masonry, when damaged, could cause a lot of problems in your home. Not only could there be water-based issues, but you could also experience structural problems moving forward.

If you're experiencing problems with your masonry, the best bet is to contact the brick repair professionals. A professional can identify your problems, consult with you, and find the best solution for fixing it. Connect with Exterior Medics to find out more.