What Kind Of Maintenance Does Masonry Require?

Brick is one of the most common choices for basic masonry materials. It's made of fired clay and is available in various choices of color and texture. It can be one of the higher-priced exterior finishes; however, being water repellant, easy to maintain and less expensive in the long run, it is a preferred choice for many homeowners. Brick masonry should last 100 years, with the first 25 free of maintenance. The most common maintenance is repairing loose joints between bricks, commonly called tuck pointing.

Stone is an ancient form of masonry. In theory it will last a lifetime. Stone exteriors work best when installed with traditional techniques. Problems can occur when mixing stone masonry with new building techniques. For example, many homeowners want the look of stone without paying the cost to get a properly built stone exterior. They choose to go with stone veneer over a modern stud frame. This will likely fail over time.

Water is stone masonry's worst enemy because freeze-thaw cycles can cause cracks. Properly sealed stone masonry prevents these problems. Routine checking of your building’s exterior should be practiced after heavy rains. Any dark patches on the wall indicate that water has soaked into the surface, occurrences such as these will likely lead to problems in the future.

Bricks which have absorbed water are susceptible to their outer surfaces to flake off. When this happens, the damaged bricks need to be replaced as soon as possible. Otherwise, large areas of the walls of your house will be affected and it will become expensive to rectify.

Concrete block masonry is more common with industrial buildings. It should last 50 to 80 years, and the joints may need to be fixed after 25 years. Unlike brick, concrete blocks are not waterproof. You'll need to apply a water seal every 10 years. Some effective water seals are silane and siloxane, which can be applied by spray, after which they will soak into the surface of the wall like stain.

Signs of green algae growing on outside walls and black mould or wallpaper peeling off internal walls are a sign of dampness within the brickwork. Cracked bricks may indicate a serious problem with foundations. Ultimately the quality of the brickwork and masonry will determine how much and how soon repairs will be necessary, so choose wisely when getting masonry work done.

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