Masonry is known for its durability and sturdiness, but as long-lasting as good commercial masonry work can be, it’s not impervious to issues. If not properly maintained (which includes regular cleaning and other maintenance), moisture can make its way into brick or stone and potentially cause real problems. Once you discover commercial masonry leaks, you must take care of them quickly. Thankfully, we have four common causes of commercial masonry leaks detailed below, which can help you know what to look for and how to prevent the problem from getting out of hand.
One common cause of commercial masonry leaks is cracks in the masonry. People think that cracks are a normal part of masonry and inevitable over the years. Cracks can actually be a good indicator of other problems, such as a building being unable to properly distribute its weight or invasive plants ripping the brick and stone apart. After those cracks have formed, you’re at greater risk of moisture getting in, which may mean a leak.
A visual inspection of exterior walls is an excellent place to start. Make sure you look closer to the ground too, which is a risk area as water can often collect there, seeping into your masonry, freezing in the winter, expanding, and causing further cracks.
Once leaks appear, consider that the mortar that holds your masonry together could be the problem. Not only is mortar the “glue” that keeps bricks and rocks together, but it’s also meant to seal those gaps so water can’t get through. Given enough time, the mortar will start to crack, chip, or flake, which means that water can get in. Repointing is a simple process meant to fix this, and an expert should be able to reseal those joints with new mortar.
Previously Made Errors
If you’ve been experiencing issues for a long time or tried to make repairs and still have trouble with water, it might be that a previous attempt to fix things made it worse. This is especially true if the work was DIY rather than done by a professional. Sometimes people make mistakes like covering up weep holes, which are gaps that allow moisture to drain out of masonry. Make sure those holes aren’t filled with debris, also.
Exit Port Sealing
Water will go where it’s easiest to go, which often means traveling through cracks. And when it comes to water lines, HVAC, and other necessary infrastructure, they leave plenty of racks for water to travel around. Water can get in through these cracks even if the area has been caulked. It’s possible the caulk isn’t creating a complete seal, so you may need to bring a pro in to take a look and reapply the caulk where needed.
CONTACT DEL PRETE MASONRY TODAY!
Whether you are ready to start your next masonry project or are still hesitant and have questions, Del Prete Masonry is here to help. We have the experience and expertise to get it right the first time. Questions? Want to visit some of our residential or commercial projects? Ready to set up a consultation? Feel free to give us a call at 410-683-0650 or visit us online. We are happy to serve Baltimore City and County, Harford County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County. To see examples of our work and to keep up with our new and exciting projects, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.