As crucial part of your property, not only aesthetically, but often structurally, your brickwork should be regularly checked for signs of deterioration or failure. While some issues are on the surface, others are fundamental to the structure. Examining your brick regularly will indicate whether repointing or replacing is needed. Ensuring your brickwork is properly treated and cared for can help keep it solid and durable for years to come.
What to Look For Regarding Damage or Improper Treatment
When your brickwork shows signs of damage, not only does it affect the aesthetics of your home but it can also allow moisture penetration and even compromise structural integrity. Damage bricks may need to removed and replaced with matching bricks to retain the overall appearance of your home and keep the remaining bricks from suffering damage.
Improper pointing can also lead to damage. Some modern mortar mixtures, when used for pointing, can trap moisture rather allowing it to escape through the joints. When this occurs, moisture can make an appearance on your brick face, freeze in Toronto temperatures, and result in crumbling brick surfaces.
Efflorescence, those white deposits which may appear from time to time on your bricks, is a result of water and salts coming to the surface. In most cases, it does not damage brick but does result in unsightly aesthetics which may require replacement.
While cleaning your brickwork is a good idea, it is crucial that you chose a suitable cleaning method so as not to damage your brickwork. Abrasive cleaners can damage the fired surface of your bricks, while chemical cleaners can leave stains. Even water can lead to efflorescence. When cleaning, always test your method on a small area before embarking on an overall cleaning project.
What About Repointing?
Repointing, the repair of crumbling or cracked grout or joints in your brickwork, is often required to maintain the integrity of your brickwork. The process of repointing removes the old mortar and replaces it with fresh mortar to preserve your brickwork form damage. It is a task best handled by a masonry professional who has the knowledge and tools to get the job done right, avoiding misplacement or misalignment of nearby bricks and creating even greater problems. While repointing offers greater affordability, it is not always the best solution to your brickwork issues, making it important to call on a masonry professional to access your brickwork problem and recommend the appropriate solution.
Repointing does create some challenges when repairing brickwork which requires mortar repair. For instance, when repointing is called for, it is important to match the existing mortar color during the restoration or repairs will stand out. In addition, when repointing, a skilled masonry professional is needed to ensure new mortar joints match existing mortar joints and thus avoid design flaws. Repointing requires a deft hand with experience and training to ensure nothing goes wrong in the process.
Is There a Time When Repointing Should be Avoided?
When there are issues with your brickwork, often repointing comes to mind, but not every issue can be fixed with repointing. To retain the integrity of your structure, it is important to address underlying problems. For example, settling, as well as other foundation problems, can result in cracks which seem to run up the wall. Since repointing restores joints, it is the not proper solution to foundation issues and can even make matters worse. In addition when mortar joints crack water seeps in and causes brickwork damage. The water damage must be addressed first, otherwise repointing will only trap the water and cause further damage.
Call on Turnbull Masonry
At Turnbull Masonry, we specialize restoration of brickwork. Whether your brickwork needs repointing, repair, or replacing, you can trust the experts at Turnbull Masonry to restore your property with expertise and quality. Call today and let’s get started.