Brick is a traditionally maintenance-free material. But if you live in a climate that can’t make up its mind, you may need to pay closer attention to your home’s structure and appearance. With winter well on the way, it’s important that your home is kept in shape for the cold, wet season. Whether you’ve spotted a leak or your bricks are starting to crumble, here are four signs your brickwork needs maintenance.
Your Bricks Are Starting to Crumble
Crumbling brickwork is often a telltale sign of brick spalling. Spalling occurs when moisture trapped inside a brick expands due to freeze thaw cycles. This repeated expansion and contraction causes the mortar and brick to crumble, causing potential structural damage. Replacing crumbling brick with the same size and color brick is the only way to prevent any further structural damage to your home.
There’s White Powder on Your Bricks
White, dusty stains on bricks are often an indication of efflorescence. Efflorescence happens when moisture is able to enter the wall cavity and is not allowed to escape. The moisture trapped inside the wall dissolves soluble salts that are present in many different building materials. As the water evaporates out of the face of the wall, the soluble salts are left behind, creating a white stain.
You can remove efflorescence by washing down the brick with a specialized efflorescence cleaner. Do not use muriatic acid, as the combination of water and acid-based solutions may worsen the problem if not done correctly. Efflorescence doesn’t harm a brick’s structure, but it is a sign that excess moisture is being allowed into the wall cavity. To prevent the efflorescence, one must locate the source of the moisture, and stop it from entering at that point.
Your Chimney Is Starting to Leak
A leak is never a good sign. Water coming from a chimney or ceiling can indicate a potential opening that is allowing water to enter your home. Water damage can be a serious thing that affects your brickwork and can lead to wood rot. Leaks should be assessed as soon as possible to prevent further infrastructural damage.
Your Home Is Starting to Crack
If the side of your house is showing any signs of cracking, that’s an indication of some serious structural movement under or behind the brickwork. This type of cracking not only puts a damper on your homes appearance, it also affects your home’s stability and structure.
If your home bares any trace of failing brick work, it may be time to start thinking about getting your home’s infrastructure and appearance back in shape. Give us a call or visit our website to see the vast selection of brick, stone and veneer work that Champion Brick has to offer.