If your home's exterior is constructed out of bricks, you may believe that the sturdy material from which they are made is strong enough to withstand almost anything. However, even though the bricks are stronger than most materials, they are still subject to sustaining serious damage. To find out if your home's exterior brick walls are in need of repairs, look for the signs discussed below.
1. Presence of a White Powder on the Surface
As you are inspecting the brick facade of your home, you may see sections where a white powder coats the surface. At first glance, you may believe that this powder is mildew that is growing on the bricks. However, if the area you are inspecting is in the sun, you may want to take a closer look, as the coating may actually be efflorescence.
When moisture builds up behind the bricks, it eventually pushes through the material. As it seeps through, the water carries with it minerals from the bricks, leaving a crystalline coating on the outer surface. When you wipe the powder off with your fingertip and rub the substance with your thumb, you may even be able to feel the tiny, hard crystals.
While efflorescence itself will not harm the bricks, its presence is indicative of a larger problem. If water has become trapped behind the bricks, it may eventually push them outward and cause the wall to bow.
2. Formation of Diagonal Cracks in the Bricks
Another sign for which to look while examining your brick walls is the formation of diagonal cracks in the bricks themselves. The most common area for these cracks to form is around your window and door frames.
If you find diagonal cracks, they usually mean that the shelf angles which are supporting the bricks have failed, either due to excessive moisture or shifting of your home's foundation. If this problem is not repaired, the bricks themselves may start crumbling and falling out, leaving the ones above them unsupported and creating a chain reaction that could eventually bring down portions of the wall.
If you notice either or both of the above signs of damage on your home's exterior brick walls, you should have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration that could result in more costly repairs. For more information or to set up an appointment, contact a masonry contractor, like those at Mercer County Chimney Services, who can examine the damage and discuss your options for fixing any serious issues they may find.Share
10 April 2019
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