Even if your home or commercial building has not sustained any recent direct damage, it is important that you regularly check the masonry to make sure that it is still holding up. While bricks and stone are strong materials that can stand the test of time, even they will break down after enough time has passed. When masonry damage starts, it can be easy to miss until it has progressed to a much more advanced stage that requires more comprehensive repairs. Here are some signs to look for that show that your building has masonry issues-before they become an emergency.
Cracks In The Masonry
One of the most telltale indications that your masonry needs attention is that it is cracking. While you should give some thought to any crack that you see, some are mostly harmless, and others are warning signs of more serious problems.
Very thin cracks in L-shaped foundation areas, or between bricks, are usually no cause for concern and can be repaired using simple methods. However, if you notice cracks that are jagged like the steps of a staircase, you should contact a masonry repair professional as soon as possible. This type of crack indicates that pressure is being put on the wall and compromising it; often, this is due to something like a gutter that is blocked and bearing its water weight downward.
Sagging Or Bulging Walls
One of the most appealing aspects of using masonry to build is that it is aesthetically pleasing to look at, lined up in neat little rows with crisp edges. However, if you notice some areas that are becoming saggy or starting to bulge (either inward or outward), that could indicate a serious problem.
As the building settles, it may not distribute its weight properly, resulting in sagging. Similarly, if the support structures in the home are not adequate or are damaged, they will not be able to help hold up the building. As a result, walls can start to bulge, disrupting their intended construction and making them even less effective at distributing the force of the building as time goes on. If not repaired, these areas can get worse or even collapse.
Cracks Near Windows And Doors
Even though your windows and doors are not made of stone or brick themselves, they can be powerful indicators of a problem elsewhere. When the masonry is no longer doing its job of keeping the moisture out of the building-often due to deteriorating mortar, for example-the dampness that creeps into the interior walls can weaken the structure. Over time, this weakness will manifest as window sills that shift or crack at their edges.
Specifically, cracks that progress outward from the corner of a door are indicative of a shifting wall-which can be caused by anything from interior damage to a foundation that has started to sink.
Out Of Place Bricks Or Missing Mortar
One of the easiest problems to spot is when your building is missing entire bricks or strips of mortar. Because bricks and mortar are assembled specifically with weight distribution in mind, missing pieces mean that your building is not functioning as intended. The problem will continue to compound over time.
If you are missing bricks or sections of mortar, it is vital that you get the area repaired as soon as possible, before more damage is done. An expert can help you to determine why the bricks were compromised in the first place, whether due to moisture damage, heavy vibrations in the area and more.
Doors And Windows That Stick
Of course, your building is one unit in which all parts work together. That means that if your doors and windows start malfunctioning, the problem may not be with those elements themselves. If your masonry is shifting due to foundation problems, moisture damage or other issues, you may find that your doors and windows stick when you try to open them. Maybe they do not close seamlessly anymore, or maybe they take some extra effort to use. This could be an early sign that your masonry has problems that should be addressed.
Trust The Experts To Resolve Masonry Problems As Soon As Possible
Your building’s masonry should last for many years, but you must remain vigilant to ensure that problems are caught early. Having a professional repair your structure will grant it new life that keeps it strong and resilient for years to come. The experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration would be happy to visit and evaluate your building’s problems so that you can make informed decisions about what to do next. Reach out to schedule an appointment to discuss potential issues or start repairs before the problem gets worse.