Masonry is very durable. Obviously—just ask any old archeologist. They’ll tell you that masonry can stand the test of time, and it can do it with a laugh.
Still, even masonry has some common issues now and again…
Fortunately for you, those common issues won’t pop up one day and lead to disaster the very next. But, over time, with enough issues, your masonry can take a beating—leaving it looking poorly and being structurally unstable.
So, as a property owner with masonry work, it’s up to you to fix those problems as they arise! Both for your safety and curb appeal!
In this post, we’ll help you keep your masonry in top condition. And better yet, we aren’t going to use any confusing solutions to do that—instead, we’ll tell you what YOU can do to combat those problems as easily as possible.
All of that is just below! Scroll down to learn more.
Common Masonry Problems & Solutions
Each problem below is something that, with the proper instructions, you can deal with on your own! Still, if you lack time to do it right, you should reach out to professionals who will happily give your masonry the attention and expertise it deserves.
Brick spalling is likely something you’ve seen before—it typically looks as if the surface of the brick is flaking off. However, it may also look like general cracking, peeling, crumbling or chipping.
Unfortunately, a lot can cause it, such as poor installation, insufficient maintenance, improper repairs or environmental factors. But there’s an easy solution…
All you need to do is remove and replace the bricks that have spalling. Then seal the area with a masonry sealer.
Boom—it’s that simple.
Algae growth can run wild on your walls with enough moisture to fuel it. And that doesn’t exactly scream, “Look how well kept my property is!” But luckily, it’s even easier to fix than brick spalling.
For best results, you’ll need to clean the walls with water, cleaner (diluted bleach seems to work best) and your choice of either a brush or pressure washer. Although, it might be best to use the two in tandem. After successfully cleaning the wall, you can apply a hydrophobic sealer to ensure that your walls don’t build up the algae again.
Then your wall will look pristine.
If your walls look like someone threw a bag of flour on them, it’s likely thanks to efflorescence caused by soluble salts in the material. Now, as unappealing as efflorescence looks, you can wait for it to go away on its own.
On the other hand, if you want a solution now, you can try this:
First, clean the surface by brushing, wet or dry, with a stiff brush. If that’s not getting the job done, you can add a masonry cleaning solution into the mix. Or a diluted solution of muriatic acid.
Next, apply a water repellent sealer. And enjoy your clean walls.
Unless you want the only thing holding your bricks together to be gravity, then mortar deterioration is bad. The best and most common method of repairing mortar deterioration is called repointing or tuckpointing.
The process is simple enough, but you want to ensure that you do it right.
Start by cutting out the existing mortar. You can easily do it with a hammer-drill or grinder.
After that, you will apply the new mortar and leave it to dry. Depending on what type of mortar you used, you might need to apply a sealer over the new joints.
Doing these repairs on your own can save you some big bucks down the road, and that’s great.
But, if the repairs require more than you’re capable of, your best bet is to call in the professionals.
Learning masonry repair techniques is all well and good—but if your safety or the longevity of your building hangs in the balance, you should leave it to someone more experienced.
That’s all! If any of those problems spring up, you’ll be more than able to deal with them in a quick fashion. Just remember to follow the steps described above for each problem. And avoid the urge to freestyle. That’s less likely to end well.
In the unfortunate event that a big repair is needed or if you’d just like some expertise on the matter, call Ray Arnold Masonry.
With over 70 years of experience in the industry, we’re the perfect team to fix your problem.
That way, you can get back to the more important things in your life and rest assured that your problem is well taken care of.