Masonry repairs have always been a constant in the home building industry. Issues can range from moisture due to harsh weather to improper use of materials during construction or even cracks that form as the ground shifts over time. The beauty and durability of stone, brick and concrete is legendary, but nothing lasts forever. Like many home repair tasks, damaged brickwork should be fixed sooner rather than later to prevent further damage. Most do-it-yourselfers can handle the task of replacing one or two bricks; however, more than that could require a professionals help.
Over time, you may find that you need masonry repair on your home. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you’re doing the right thing when it comes to masonry repairs, even if that means calling in a professional.
More often than not, the exterior of a home may suffer from loose bricks. It could be a few or an entire section of them. This type of issue is hardly preventable due to extreme changes in temperature and the expansion and contraction of water trapped under the brick surface. A fix is simple: replace the old mortar and any cracked bricks.
If the mortar joints (the area between the bricks) are the issue, tuckpointing may be the right solution. Moisture and drastic temperature changes can break down your mortar joints, and the easiest way to fix this issue is by a process called tuckpointing. It isn’t difficult or expensive although it’s a process that can take a lot of your time. Essentially, it’s done by taking a hammer and chisel to knock out the old mortar. If you only have a few joints to tuckpoint, you may not need help, but if you have a large wall to tackle, that’s a job that’s usually done by a professional. Something to keep in mind: grinding the joints will cause dust to spread and chunks of mortar will fall to the ground. You should close your windows so dust doesn’t affect the inside of your home.
Have you ever looked at the brick work on your home and wondered what is that white, salt-like stain and how to get rid of it? That’s called efflorescence. It occurs when water and mineral salts combine in the masonry and cause the surface to crystalize. Efflorescence can be difficult to clean so it’s important to find the source to keep it from coming back. You can scrape away the mineral deposits using the help of an efflorescence remover. Some efflorescence removers are harsh chemical cleaners that could be harmful to your skin or clothes, so be careful or call a professional for a little help.
Cracks in the bricks or mortar joints are also a very common problem for homeowners. If this is the case, it’s important to get them checked as they could be the result of a more serious problem with the foundation. These small cracks are usually caused by slight movement of the house, or when the house settles. Small cracks should be filled with cement or mortar just like the rest of the bricks.
Finding mold or strange algae growth along the side of your house? This might be because there is a leaking gutter or downspout. Even a small damp area can cause mold or algae to get out of hand. Before calling for help, try buying a treatment like a fungicide and give the problem areas a couple coats of it. If it keeps coming back, it might be time to ask for help as there might be a more serious leak issue.
Masonry on your home can make a big statement and can usually last a lifetime if treated properly. However, if your brickwork is cracking, or has a strange stain on it you may want to get it checked. There’s a way to fix almost anything that’s wrong with the masonry if you catch it early. A qualified home inspector can help identify the severity of the issue and can often times recommend a contractor to fix whatever may be the issue.
At Georgia Pro Inspection Company we serve all of Metro Atlanta with reliable home inspection services. We perform detailed home inspections and provide easy to read information with illustrated reports regarding your home. Call us today at (770) 655-0536 for your more information.