Common Problems with Masonry Steps

Masonry steps provide a beautiful approach to your home. There’s nothing like pulling into your drive, walking up your beautiful stone steps and entering your home. Unless, those steps begin to suffer from any number of problems.

Most common problems with masonry steps have solutions that are simple for a professional to repair, that is, if you catch them early. With simple repairs and routine maintenance, you can expect your masonry steps to stay solid and beautiful for years to come.

Problems with masonry steps

The most common problems you’ll run into with masonry steps are not unlike problems that you’d see with masonry walls or chimneys. Water will eat away at the mortar, allowing more water to penetrate into the masonry. In the winter, the thawing and freezing cycle will lead to more cracking and crumbling, and mortar falling out.

Once the mortar weakens or crumbles out, bricks will loosen and fall out of place. The same cracking that plagues the mortar will eventually happen to the bricks themselves. They will begin to fracture and crumble, and eventually the stairs will lose stability. Any impacts can cause cracking and breaking in the bricks. If you drop anything heavy on your steps, be sure to inspect the site of impact for any damage.

While patching up a bit of cracked mortar is a fairly simple fix for a professional, replacing a significant amount of bricks is a more in depth repair.

For that reason, reach out to the pros at Ray Arnold Masonry & General Contracting. We’ll inspect the problem and give you a free quote. Give us a call at 440-834-8252, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. It’s always better to catch masonry problems early, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Settling problems

Although much less common than the above problems, your steps can settle over time. There are many potential causes — your home could have cracks in the foundation, or the steps could be pulling away from your house. This could be indicative of more significant foundation problems.

While the early signs of settling are more difficult to spot than damaged mortar, if you pay close attention you can identify them. It can start with loose or uneven bricks. A vertical crack through the masonry. Or maybe you’ll notice that the masonry is no longer level.

If you notice any of these problems, give us a call. Settling problems can get worse, so if you see the signs, it’s better to deal with them as soon as possible.

Preventing problems before they start

Although it’s impossible to protect your steps from every potential problem, you can work to prevent some issues. Avoid using any salt or ice-melter in the winter, which speeds the thawing and freezing cycle. Keep the steps clean and free of debris, which can trap moisture against the masonry.

We also recommend professional waterproofing with Siloxane P.D. which will prevent moisture from seeping into your masonry, while still allowing it to breathe. Avoid the do it yourself waterproofing options that trap moisture in the brick and mortar which will actually speed up deterioration.

If you have any concerns about your masonry steps, don’t hesitate to reach out. At Ray Arnold Masonry & General Contracting, we have almost 70 years of masonry experience. We can fix any problems you may have, and help you prevent any serious issues before they form. Give us a call at 440-834-8252 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment for a free quote.

Are you having problems with masonry steps that are cracking or breaking off? If so, then check out this blog post to learn how to fix that problem.