Masonry walls, composed of a combination of stacked bricks or stones and the mortar that holds them together, are durable by nature but that doesn’t mean they’ll last forever without occasional maintenance and repairs. If property owners don’t periodically inspect their masonry, they may find that masonry renovation in Chicago IL is the only way to avoid system failure. Read on to find out about a few of the signs it’s time to call a masonry contractor immediately.
Bowing Brick Walls
Bricks absorb moisture over time, which causes them to expand. In walls that don’t have proper expansion joints, this expansion places pressure on the corners of the walls, causing bowing. Bowing is common in new construction that uses a combination of concrete framing and brick veneer because concrete shortens and shrinks over time as bricks expand.
White, Powdery Substance on Bricks
Known as efflorescence, this issue is caused by moisture build-up. When bricks don’t dry properly, the excess moisture can draw soluble salt from the surrounding moisture, leaving a white powder deposit when the moisture evaporates. Common causes of efflorescence include faulty copings or flashings, leaky pipes, and clogged drainage cavities.
When a brick wall’s supporting shelf angles deteriorate, it can cause diagonal cracks to form along the wall’s surface. When shelf angles, which are typically made of steel, are exposed to excessive moisture, they can corrode. Shelf angles can also become dislodged from the frame as bricks expand.
Failing shelf angles place pressure on brick wall systems, causing the walls to crack and bow outward. Without timely masonry renovation in Chicago IL, the walls could fail during a serious wind storm. It’s always best to address diagonal cracks as quickly as possible, especially if they’re accompanied by bowing.
Mortar is weaker than bricks, so it usually wears faster. Property owners should expect to repair mortar joints at least once every two decades.
The Bottom Line
Whether property owners are worried about the structural integrity of brick walls or they just want to restore them to a more aesthetically appealing condition, a masonry contractor can identify and solve the underlying problem. Visit Golfconstruction.net to learn about one local company that can help today.