Common causes of crumbling masonry

Churchill Concrete Technology offer a wide range of services to help retain structures and keep them looking their best. We can take on various projects, including replacing concrete, brick and masonry repairs, survey and testing, and structural strengthening.

Being experienced in this work, we understand exactly what causes building structures and materials to need repair. When brick masonry begins to erode to the point where brick chunks are falling, is called spalling. This only starts off as small cracks in the brickwork, but eventually they grow bigger. The conditions of the brickwork will only worsen if left untreated, potentially reaching a point where the integrity is compromised. As a result it’s important to tend to the brickwork as soon as possible.

So what are some of the causes of brick and masonry deterioration?
– Water – this can cause bricks to erode in a number of ways. Rainwater just hitting the surface can cause brick to spall over time. If there is poor drainage on a building, water can consistently run down the brick, also causing spalling. Moisture can be absorbed through the brickwork too. This can cause the freeze/thaw cycle to occur.

– Non-breathable coatings – brick masonry is good at absorbing water, regardless of protective sealants. So, if there is a coating it can actually cause the brick to not be able to dispel water through it’s pores. The longer the moisture is locked in the material the more damage it will cause.

– High pressure cleaning – this can cause a lot of damage to brick work if it is not done professionally. If done incorrectly it can substantially weaken the materials and even force moisture into them.

– Use of wrong bricks – if the wrong type of brick is placed at a low grade level it can cause the brickwork to spall as well.

The common areas where spalling occurs is where moisture can be found. It can generally be found beneath windows, on lower parts of walls, or brick that has been covered with soil or dirt.

If any cracks or noticeable damage occurs, it is best to get it seen to as soon as possible. The longer you wait the worse the damage will get. Simultaneously, the cost of the repair will increase.

If you require a survey to determine the severity of the problem or want professional brick and masonry repairs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Churchill Concrete Technology.