Common Causes of Masonry Damage

In industrial, commercial, and residential construction, masonry structures are still popular. The technology and materials utilized in masonry add to the thermal mass, sound-proofing, fire-resistance, energy-efficiency, durability, and strength of the establishment. Despite these benefits, there are still a lot of reasons why masonry damage can happen.

If you’re a property owner, you have to know the causes of these damages and work with an expert masonry contractor to fix the issue:

Improper Repair

A lot of property owners experience issues whenever they employ a contractor that is sloppy, uncertified, and inexperienced. You might notice that your masonry still looks bad and your mortar is still cracking if you had a couple of the poor repair jobs in the past.

Also, people see issues whenever they try to do a DIY project. Even if you’ve got the tools, you’ll still have problems when it comes to protecting and fixing masonry. You have to properly fit any replacement pieces. Also, matching old mortar with the new can be an intricate and time-consuming process.

Spalling

Spalling is the process in which the building stones or bricks fall from the masonry wall. It’s an issue caused by thawing, freezing, and moisture penetration over a longer period. In addition to that, it can also happen because of structural stress to the masonry wall.

Displacement

Displacement is a structural issue that happens because of thawing/freezing action, inadequate anchors for lateral support, and corrosion of steel systems. Displacement happens whenever the materials for the masonry shift.

Bond Failure

In masonry, stones and bricks need to stay intact to ensure the strength of a masonry building. But, in construction, one common issue is the loss of adhesion between these materials. This will lead to flaking, hollow patches, and peeling or bulging of the top layers.

Staining

For exterior facing masonry walls, staining is a huge issue. It presents an expensive issue for property owners who are mindful of the curb appeal of their house. Staining happens whenever mortar or masonry materials come into contact with various elements. The main causes of masonry staining are aging walls and water leak.

Cracking

One common issue with masonry construction is cracks. Cracks usually happen whenever the property settles or due to penetration of moisture. Another cause of cracking in the joints is poor preparation of mortar. Natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes can also apply pressure on a masonry foundation or wall. This will lead to cracks.

Moisture Penetration

Moisture is one of the major threats to a masonry building. The walls are usually exposed to the elements. They can absorb water easily. This compromises the structural integrity of the walls. In addition to that, water leaking into a stone or brick wall will thaw and freeze. This will apply pressure to the whole structure. Penetration of moisture presents a threat also to the adjacent assemblage. This includes windows, doors, metal, and wood, aside from the masonry materials. Because of this, moisture control is one of the most popular masonry restoration projects.