What Causes Cracks in Brick and Masonry Siding?
Brick and other masonry siding materials are designed to provide a durable protective outer layer to your home. If it is installed properly it has the potential to outlast the home it protects. Hopefully you will not be one of the homeowners that is faced with brick repair costs.
Brick walls can and will exhibit normal movement over time as well as movement caused by expansion and contraction because of fluctuations in moisture content and temperature as well as foundation movement.
This movement should not cause too many problems, except for foundation failure as long as there are no problems with the initial installation of the siding.
Some possible installation problems include failure to include expansion joints, incorrect lintel installation, mortar consistency and hardness and foundation failure.
In addition to cracks, brick walls can suffer from what is known as ‘Spalling”. This occurs when the face of the brick pops off and leaves the inner part of the brick exposed.
Spalling can be caused by poor quality brick, moisture in the brick that freezes, mortar that is harder than the brick, sealing the brick’s surface with paint and finally foundation movement.
Most brick needs to breathe and allow moisture to evaporate. When the surface is sealed, the moisture builds up through ambient humidity and condensation and is trapped within the brick.
When it freezes, or is in direct hot sunlight the trapped moisture can add to the possibility of spalling and cracking from expansion.
In the Houston Texas area, the clear majority of damage to brick and other masonry siding can be directly related to foundation movement.
This is because the soil in this area has a high clay content and expands when moist and shrinks when it is dry. It is said that some of these soils can double in size when fully saturated as compared to when completely dry.
Other possible causes of cracks could be from heavy vibrations such as large trucks such s garbage trucks.
In any event if you have cracks in your brick or masonry siding you should call a professional to give you an assessment as to the causes and whether you need to perform repairs or remedy the underlying cause first.
We can help because we have been in the masonry and foundation repair business for a number of years and we will give you an honest opinion on what you should do giving full consideration to your situation and goals for your property.
Don’t let just anyone repair your brickwork because if they do not know what they are doing will not be able to match the mortar colors which can make your brick work look awful and increase the cost of cleaning up and repairing your house correctly.
Call us today at 713-552-1603 or fill out the form on the right and schedule a free inspection.