If your building is constructed from brick, stone or any other type of masonry, odds are that it contains wall flashings. You may not have noticed that these details exist, let alone understand what they accomplish for your building and why they are important.
However, learning more about why wall flashing is important will help you make the right decisions about maintenance and repair so that your facility will remain in excellent condition for as long as possible. You can identify problem areas early before they become significant cost sinks.
What Is Wall Flashing In Masonry, And What Does It Accomplish?
Wall flashing is a type of installation — often metal, but not always — that is installed with masonry to divert water away from the surface to keep it dry and prevent water from pooling. It can do this in various ways: from utilizing gravity, to relying on the stonework’s capillary action, to capturing intrusive moisture and giving the moisture an appropriate exit point.
Older buildings used recesses, corbels and other features to keep out moisture. However, as architecture continues to modernize, most of these strategies have been abandoned in favor of more superior methods. Wall flashing is the current preferred method of water removal but it must be done skillfully or else it will accomplish very little.
How Moisture Intrudes Upon Your Building
Moisture is always a concern for any building. Still, few people recognize just how much damage moisture and water seepage can do to stonework in spite of masonry’s apparent strength. Climate and region significantly impact how and when moisture problems may develop. High air humidity alone may create sufficient conditions to invite moisture intrusion.
However, even if you live in a dry region, rare or occasional rainfall could be enough to soak through inadequately prepared stone or brick. Waterfront properties are at additional risk, as are those on land with poor drainage Nevertheless, moisture is a routine part of life. Building owners must equip their property with quality wall flashings to avoid potential damage over the long term.
Symptoms Of Moisture Problems With Flashing
You may not notice anything is wrong with your building until extensive damage has already been done — one of the most sinister aspects of improper wall flashing. That is why it is essential to regularly inspect your building and identify potential issues before they arise. Water damage in masonry can continue for a long time before it presents visible signs of damage.
You could already face massive mold growth and rotting within your secondary walls before you notice any visual evidence. Suppose your masonry work begins to crack, bulge, or show signs of bacterial growth like algae and mildew. In that case, your water problem had already been developing for quite some time. The area where the mortar meets the brick in a brick building is one of the most vulnerable, so be sure to examine these areas first for damage.
Verify that the overall workmanship of your masonry is of high quality. Simply tacking on wall flashings is not enough; a competent and experienced professional will install the with as few joints as possible to ensure maximum installation quality. If you need tuckpointing or other repairs done, these should be executed by properly shaping the mortar to wick away water.
Whether your wall flashing requires repairs or a fresh installation, make certain that you select a contractor who is skilled with wall flashing corners. Corners in flashing installation can be some of the most problematic areas because the various seams and bends may leave plenty of room for water to infiltrate behind the flashing.
Trust The Experts To Install Or Repair Flashing For The Longest Possible Lifespan
Whether you are just learning how flashings work for the first time or you already need help fixing a moisture issue in your building, be sure to trust the experts. The experienced professionals at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration been safeguarding buildings and other masonry work for yearsfrom water damage.
Reach out today to schedule an appointment and learn more about the wide variety of services we offer to keep your building in great shape.Our professionals will go over the details of your project and develop a wall flashing installation plan that works for you.