Lookout for These Defects in Brick Masonry Due to Workmanship

Lookout for These Defects in Brick Masonry Due to Workmanship

When it comes to brick masonry, it is essential to employ skilled and experienced masons and ensure adherence to construction standards and best practices. Defects in brick masonry can occur due to various factors, including workmanship issues. Identifying masonry defects early on can help you avoid expensive repairs down the line and safeguard the structural integrity of your property. 

It is important to note that defects in brick masonry can pose safety hazards. Identifying these defects not allows for timely repairs or reinforcement to ensure the stability of the structure, but also helps you take appropriate measures to prevent accidents. Here are some common defects that can arise due to workmanship issues:

  1. Misalignment: If the bricks are not properly aligned and leveled during construction, it can result in irregular or uneven walls. Misalignment can be caused by improper handling and placement of bricks by the masons.
  2. Mortar Joint Defects: The mortar joints between the bricks are crucial for the structural integrity of the masonry. Workmanship issues such as inconsistent mortar mix, improper joint thickness, or uneven filling of mortar joints can lead to weak and vulnerable areas in the masonry.
  3. Unevenly Spread Mortar: Inadequate or inconsistent mortar application can result in gaps or voids between the bricks. Insufficient mortar can weaken the bond between bricks, while excessive mortar can cause bulging or irregularities in the wall surface.
  4. Lack of Vertical or Horizontal Alignment: If the mason fails to maintain proper vertical or horizontal alignment of the bricks, it can lead to walls that are not straight or plumb. This can affect the overall stability and aesthetics of the structure.
  5. Lippage: Lippage occurs when the horizontal edges of adjacent bricks are not at the same level. It can be caused by poor leveling during brick installation, resulting in an uneven surface and potential tripping hazards.
  6. Mortar Stains: If the mason does not clean excess mortar from the brick faces during construction, it can result in unsightly stains and discoloration on the masonry surface. These stains can be difficult to remove once the mortar has dried.
  7. Inadequate Brick Bonding: Brick bonding refers to the arrangement and overlapping of bricks to enhance the strength and stability of the masonry. Improper bonding patterns or failure to use appropriate bonding agents can weaken the structure.
  8. Insufficient Damp-proofing: Workmanship issues may also include inadequate installation of damp-proofing materials, such as damp-proof courses or membranes. This can lead to water penetration, dampness, and potential damage to the masonry over time.

Importance of Identifying Defects in Brick Masonry

  • Structural Integrity: Brick masonry provides strength and stability to buildings. Defects such as cracks, loose bricks, or inadequate mortar joints can compromise the structural integrity of the masonry wall. Identifying these defects allows for timely repairs or reinforcement to ensure the stability of the structure.
  • Safety: Defects in brick masonry can pose safety hazards. For example, loose bricks or crumbling mortar joints can fall and injure people or damage property. By identifying defects, appropriate measures can be taken to rectify the issues and prevent accidents.
  • Durability: Brick masonry is expected to have a long lifespan. However, defects like water penetration, efflorescence (white salt deposits), or spalling (surface flaking) can reduce the durability of the masonry. Identifying these defects early on enables necessary repairs or preventive measures to extend the lifespan of the masonry.
  • Moisture Control: Properly constructed brick masonry acts as a barrier against moisture ingress. Defects like cracks or gaps in mortar joints can allow water penetration, leading to issues such as dampness, mold growth, or deterioration of the building materials. Identifying these defects helps in addressing moisture-related problems and maintaining a healthy indoor environment.

Work With The Best Masons in Toronto, Canada

Defects in brick masonry are a result of poor practices and inexperienced workmanship. The best solution to avoid such defects is to work with an experienced team of masons such as the one at Turnbull Masonry. If you are building your dream home or looking for masonry services for repair work, Turnbull Masonry can help. We offer many masonry services, such as brick repair, tuckpointing, concrete repair, parging, and more. To book a masonry service, give us a call today!