Masonry structures have been popular in residential and commercial construction for many years. Masonry adds style and sophistication to the exterior or interior of any building. The materials and techniques used in masonry add to the strength, durability, energy efficiency, and fire resistance of a building. Despite all these advantages, masonry is not indestructible. There are many factors that can damage a masonry structure and cause it to lose its luster. Here are some of the most common causes of masonry damage.
Moisture is one of the biggest threats to the integrity of masonry construction. Masonry exposed to the elements can easily absorb water, which can compromise structural integrity. When water leaks into a brick or stone wall, it will also freeze and thaw, resulting in excess pressure on the entire structure. Water penetration poses a risk not only to the masonry materials but the adjacent structure and materials, including wood, metal, doors, and windows.
Cracks are another common cause of masonry damage. They can occur when a building settles or due to water damage. Poor construction and preparation of mortar can also cause cracking in the joints. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods can also exert pressure on a masonry wall or foundation, causing cracks in the bricks.
Spalling happens when bricks begin to fall out of the masonry wall or foundation. This can be caused by moisture freezing and thawing in between the bricks, eventually pushing them out of formation. Spalling can also be caused by structural stress. It is a dangerous hazard when bricks fall from a structure, as a falling brick can injure someone or damage the exterior of a building.
Staining is mainly a problem for exterior facing masonry structures. Excessive amounts of moisture moving through the masonry can cause staining on the exterior of the building. This can be unattractive, especially if you are interested in selling. These stains can be corrected by refacing the bricks.
Just because brick structures last for a very long time does not mean they do not need to be maintained. In order to extend the life of your bricks, they need to be shown the proper care. Brick structures are constantly exposed to wear and tear, so they need to be inspected and maintained regularly.
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 Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.