Common Causes of Masonry Damage and How Often to Maintain

Masonry Damage

Masonry is a durable building material, but it is not invincible. Over time, weather and other factors can cause damage to masonry walls, chimneys, and other structures. This can lead to a wide variety of other issues, such as weakened structural integrity, leakages, and more. Either way, knowing the common causes of masonry damage ensures that they quickly and effectively remedy the problem to avoid severe consequences.

That said, let’s talk about the common causes of masonry damage, along with how often you should maintain your masonry:

What Are the Common Causes of Masonry Damage?

1. Weathering

The elements can take a toll on masonry, causing it to crack, chip, or flake. Rain, snow, and ice can cause expansion and contraction that can lead to cracking, while high winds can cause debris to damage the surface of the masonry. In addition, hail can also damage the masonry’s surfaces, leading to further damage.

2. Efflorescence

Efflorescence is a white powdery substance that can form on the surface of masonry. It is caused by water seeping through the masonry and dissolving minerals, which are then deposited on the surface when the water evaporates. While efflorescence is not harmful, it can be unsightly and difficult to remove.

3. Spalling

Spalling is a type of damage that occurs when the inner layer of masonry is exposed to the elements. This can happen when the outer layer of masonry is damaged, allowing water to seep in and cause the inner layer to expand and break through the outer layer. Spalling can also be caused by freeze/thaw cycles, which can cause the inner layer of masonry to expand and break through the outer layer.

4. Chimney Damage

Chimneys are susceptible to a variety of damage, including cracking, spalling, and collapse. Cracks in the chimney can allow water to enter, which can lead to spalling and deterioration of the chimney. Chimneys can also collapse if they are not properly supported.

5. Soil Movement

The movement of soil can cause damage to masonry structures. When the soil around a foundation settles, it can cause the foundation to crack. This can lead to water damage and, eventually, the collapse of the masonry structure.

How Often Should I Do Masonry Maintenance?

Masonry is a durable construction material, but even the best-built structures will eventually need some maintenance. Depending on the type of masonry, the climate, and the amount of traffic the structure gets, masonry maintenance can range from a simple cleaning to major repairs. Here are some tips on how to know how often to undergo masonry maintenance.

The first step is to identify the type of masonry you have. Common types of masonry include brick, stone, and concrete. Each type of masonry has different characteristics that will affect how often it needs to be maintained. For example, brick is a porous material that can absorb moisture. This means that brick structures in humid climates will need to be cleaned more often to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

The next step is to consider the climate. Masonry in hot, dry climates is more likely to crack and flake than masonry in cooler, wetter climates. This is because moisture helps to keep masonry hydrated and prevents it from drying out and breaking down.

Finally, you need to take into account the amount of traffic the structure gets. Structures that are exposed to the elements, such as bridges and highway overpasses, will need to be inspected and maintained more often than structures that are not. This is because constant exposure to the elements can cause wear and tear on the masonry.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are various ways your masonry can get damaged, but fortunately, there are also ways to fix them. The only real consideration to make is how often to repair and maintain your masonry, which is what you need to understand. Why? It’s simple. By knowing how often your masonry needs maintenance, you can quickly schedule calls to a professional to come and fix your masonry as needed. This ensures your building stays in great shape that not only looks great but is safe to use.

Forza Construction Services offers professional construction services with the help of professionals that boasts decades of experience in the field. If you are looking for masonry repair in Tulsa, reach out to us today!