Yet an example of sustainability and perpetuity, brick has always remained a favorite masonry material for most property owners. Undoubtedly, the archetypal appeal of brickwork is matchless. However, despite its resilience, it is vulnerable to damage due to weathering, erosion, and ageing. So, timely brick wall repair is a prerequisite for restoring its beauty and functionality.
But, often, we are confused between repair and replacement- which is a better choice? Since brick is the cornerstone of a building, we simply cannot go by our instincts! It is necessary to avail of the assistance of brick wall repair contractors to aid us in the right decision-making.
In this blog, we have discussed the various checklists for determining the ideal fix to brick damage. You will have a better understanding of the circumstances before leaping!
Warning Signs of Brick Damage
Brick succumbs to diverse forms of damage over time. It compromises the structural integrity of a building when the problem gets too critical. So, it is necessary to perform brick wall repair as soon as you notice signs of damage. These commonly include:
- Cracks- Vertical, horizontal, or diagonal- cracks in any form occur due to temperature fluctuations, ground settling, and poor maintenance.
- Spalling- The flaking or peeling of the brick surface is known as spalling. It is a result of excessive moisture and persistent freeze-thaw cycles.
- Efflorescence- The white, powdery salt deposition on the brick surface is called efflorescence. It indicates the presence of trapped moisture.
- Crumbling- Mortar joints deteriorate and disintegrate, gradually weakening the brickwork’s structural stability. However, brick pointing contractors can fix them effectively by replacing the mortar.
- Chipping- Physical impacts or natural calamities like storms and earthquakes can cause chipping in bricks, affecting strength and stability.
Thus, brick damage can occur in multiple fashion, compromising the functionality and aesthetics of the structure. Sometimes, minor brick wall crack repair can resolve the issue, while sometimes, you require replacement.
Evaluating Damage Severity
The extent and type of damage determine the ideal fix. It is technically impossible to analyze the ideal solution until you are aware of the severity of the problem.
So, how to assess damage extent?
- Visual Examination- You can easily spot cracks, chips, and crumbling on the brick surface or mortar joints.
- Tool Testing- Using a moisture meter you can detect the amount of water present within the structure. Also, if you tap the brick and receive a hollow sound it is a clear sign of internal damage.
- Professional Inspection- It is always wiser to consult a licensed and experienced professional to conduct a meticulous assessment of the structure. You can be assured of the authenticity of the report and readily go for brick wall repair or replacement.
Repair VS Replacement
Based on the assessment of the structural integrity of the building repair or replacement is recommended when:
- Cosmetic damages which appear on the surface level do not require replacement. Uneven surfaces, minor cracks and chips can be effortlessly fixed by a qualified contractor, without tearing down the entire structure. It is a cost-effective method of brick wall restoration.
- Efflorescence or mildew is effortlessly repairable. All you need to do is clean the surface thoroughly and maintain it properly.
- Re-pointing and spot patching can effectively fix crumbling or missing mortar and holes or dents on bricks.
- Though brick wall repair cost is much lower than replacement, it may not be an ideal solution when there are severe structural problems. Deep cracks, and damp, and decayed brickwork often require replacement to ensure optimal safety and foundational stability.
- When it is about enhancing energy efficiency and improving insulation, replacement is a better choice than brick wall repair.
To conclude, damage pattern, budget, and sustainability are the primary points of consideration for making the decision!