One of a homeowner’s worst fears is sudden disrepair. And this is definitely justified. There are a tremendous number of ways in which a home can start falling apart. Whether it’s a broken window, unstable foundation or a flood, these issues are never pleasant and they’re very often expensive to fix.
At Flawless Masonry, we’ve spent years providing Long Island businesses and homeowners with gorgeous new driveways, landscapes, patios and more. And as a masonry contractor, we understand just how important it is to take swift care of any masonry issues that might suddenly appear. It’s never a good idea to ignore them.
There are really no masonry issues in the home that can wait a long time to be repaired. But some of the problems you might encounter need to be addressed immediately. We’ve listed below a few of the most severe masonry issues that might occur in a home or building. With these, take the steps to have them fixed right away! Procrastinating on any of these will only lead to more costly and problematic issues in the future. The longer you wait, the more you’ll wind up having to pay.
This is a pretty big word and most people don’t know what it means. However, it’s one of the most common masonry issues. Efflorescence occurs when soluble salts begin to rise through concrete. Then, it’ll begin to come out of the pores and you’ll see dark stains. More often than not, it’s caused by conditions of heightened moisture. Rain, condensation and humidity are usually the primary causes.
The bad news is: if this isn’t taken care of quickly, the stains will evolve into calcium carbonate. And the only way to remove calcium carbonate is by using toxic and hazardous chemicals, which you’ll need to hire a professional to do.
The good news is: in its earliest stages, you can take care of it yourself! If you power wash the concrete thoroughly enough, it will remove the soluble salts. You’ll need to be patient, because this is a process that has to be done meticulously. But if you set aside enough time, efflorescence won’t cause you any expensive, long-term problems.
This problem is often found in concrete driveways. If your driveway needs to be repaved, there are a few additional factors that will help you determine when it’s the best time to repave.
2. Shelf Angle Spalling
This one is definitely more serious. And it’s one of the most common reasons why homeowners need to enlist the help of masonry repair services.
A shelf angle is a unit made of metal, and usually L-shaped. It’s installed behind a row of bricks. Its purpose is to balance the weight of bricks between the structure and the ground it sits on.
When the brick’s surface begins to start chipping, it’s called spalling. And the main cause of this is usually the shelf angle starting to corrode. If the shelf angle is deteriorating, it won’t due its job properly. Which means it won’t balance the weight of the bricks between the house and the ground.
If the structure is older, or unhealthy, a spalling shelf angle can cause the entire building to collapse. Unfortunately, repairing this particular problem is usually expensive and time-consuming. The shelf angle and the damaged bricks will need to be removed and replaced. But enlisting the help of a masonry repair service is definitely preferable to living in a pile of bricks!
3. Disintegrating Mortar
The mortar between bricks is integral to preserving the structure’s health. If bricks don’t have solid, intact mortar between them, they begin to rub together. This can warp the shape of the structure and cause irreparable damage. The more mortar begins to decay, the more dangerous the problem becomes.
Very often, disintegrating mortar will occur in fireplaces, even outdoor fireplaces. And that can usually increase the danger of the damage. If there are active fires burning in a decaying fireplace, it can be extremely hazardous.
A mason can easily reinforce the mortar to preserve structural integrity. But this is only possible if the problem is addressed quickly and the decay is in its earlier stages. If the issue is put off too long, then the whole wall will need to be replaced.
All of these issues have a common denominator: if they’re taken care of immediately, they’re not as much of a headache. If you’re experiencing any of them, it’s important to take the necessary steps to fix them right away. You’ll ultimately be saving yourself a lot of money and stress.
At Flawless Masonry, we especially understand the importance of quality masonry work in any home or building.