Spalling Bricks: Common Causes and How to Fix Them

Brick masonry is a beautiful thing to behold. That’s why many homeowners choose masonry for their homes. Unfortunately, it can be prone to damage like every other home. For masonry, spalling is a common occurrence.

Spalling is when brick masonry deteriorates to the point where considerably big amounts of brick are falling down from the structure itself. The crack starts out small, but if left unattended, it can grow bigger. Aside from that, the spalling can spread to other locations on a surface, which is why it should be fixed as soon as it happens.

So how can you fix spalling bricks? We have listed everything you need to know below.

What Causes Spalling

Like other forms of home damage, many things contribute to spalling. However, the most common source of damage is water. After all, water erodes rocks, which bricks are made of. In turn, it weakens the masonry, especially if there’s water trapped in the structure itself.

How can water enter masonry? Well, there are several ways. Rainwater hitting the masonry, poor drainage, and wet soil are some of the most common. Moisture is also something that becomes a problem because it can weaken the masonry as well.

Many homeowners turn to non-breathable sealants to prevent water from entering the masonry, but what they don’t know is that it can do more harm than good. If sealants are applied, the water inside can’t escape anymore, which can cause spalling.

Common Areas Where Spalling Can Occur

If your home is made with masonry, there are common areas where spalling often occurs. These include:

  • Underneath window sills
  • On walls, specifically the lower half
  • Around doors and stairs
  • Near or around downspouts and drainage systems
  • On bricks that are covered with soil or dirt

Fixing Spalled Bricks

The best way for you to determine how much damage has been done by the spalling is to tap on the affected areas, then take note where the damage appears to cease. If the spalling extends about three quarters of the structure, then extra measures need to be taken when it comes to repairs.

As long as the problem isn’t beyond repair, any experienced mason can fix it. Usually, repairs are done by replacing bricks and mortar. The repairs have to be done with precision and the proper tools, and the replacement bricks and mortar should also match the rest of the structure. In some cases, though, repairs are done by simply reusing and turning the affected bricks around, provided that other sides are free from damage.

Before letting your mason work on repairs though, make sure to properly identify and remedy the cause of the problem. If you don’t do this, spalling may still happen even if repairs are done.

Spalling Prevention

Once repairs have been done, you should take it upon yourself to prevent the issue from ever happening again. You can install high-quality water systems that prevent water from reaching masonry structures. Using breathable sealants will work as well.


Spalling can be a daunting thought for a homeowner with a brick home, and seeing the damage is even scarier. Luckily, there are many experienced masons who can handle the problem flawlessly. Aside from that, there are also ways that the homeowner can prevent spalling from happening.

Red Robin Masonry prides itself on being the best provider of quality brick repair services in Toronto. If you notice that your home has small damages, don’t delay because it will just grow bigger. Contact us immediately and let us solve the problem before it gets worse!

Masonry in Toronto

Patios are essential home spaces for people to relax, unwind, and have fun. An advantage of having one at home is utilizing the area at the back of the house. Most people leave the back of their houses bare. Although it’s OK to leave some grass behind, establishing a solid space where people can do outdoor activities is an excellent option for people planning to sell their homes in the future.

Unlike porches, patios are structures standing on their own. They are not connected to the main structure of the house. Therefore, if any renovations are needed, the house’s structural integrity will not be compromised in any way. Although not required, patios may have overhead shades to protect people from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Although patios are located behind a house where it’s not the first thing people see, choosing the best materials to act as its flooring and foundation is essential. Since it’s an outdoor space, it’s necessary to select slip-proof materials to prevent accidents from happening. Here are some materials that are great for patios.


Concrete is one of the most versatile materials in construction. It can be used to fuse blocks, pave walls, and even act as the patio’s floor. It’s also a time-tested material that only requires a combination of sand, water, cement, and gravel to make.

Aside from a bare concrete floor, the material can also serve as a base for various finishes such as smooth, stamped, brushed, scored, coloured, or tinted. It can also be decorated with inlays, painted, and surfaced with other materials such as pebbles.


In the past, concrete pavers were only available in two colours—grey and off-pink squares. Today, they are available in more natural-looking colours and textures, fit for every house aesthetic possible. Because of their shape, pavers create a unique pattern on the ground. On top of the aesthetics, they are resistant to stains, durable, resistant to breakage, and easy to clean. Pavers are a no-brainer when it comes to the best materials for the patio.


Flagstone is a popular choice for patios and front areas due to its various colours and stones, depending on the quarry and where it’s from. They are large, flat slabs of rock usually an inch to three inches thick in irregular shapes. Flagstones are safe outdoors since they have a slightly roughened surface which provides good traction when wet.

Sandstone, limestone, bluestone, and quartzite are all types of flagstones. Remember that flagstones should be at least an inch and a half thick for patio floorings and should be laid directly on soil, bed, or sand. Thinner slabs can also be used, but they may be more fragile than the thicker ones.


Standard tiles used in bathrooms may not be ideal materials for patio flooring. However, unglazed ceramic tiles may be a better choice. Porcelain, terracotta, and quarry ceramic tiles are types commonly used for patios.

Cut Stone

Also known as stone tile, the cut stone is similar to flagstone. Their only difference is the shape—flagstones are flat slabs while cut stones are cut into squares or rectangular shapes. Cut stones are often used in more formal applications because of their geometric form and layout. People can choose granite, marble, slate, travertine, limestone, bluestone, phyllite, and sandstone. All are types of cut stone with varying designs and patterns on them.


Considered last on the list of places in a home to improve, patios are spaces easy to renovate and customize. Since materials are now available in various colours, designs, and patterns, it’s easier to customize patios without changing the house’s aesthetics. All it takes is a bit of matching the stones to the current house design, and it should be all good.

If you’re thinking of redoing your patio, now is a perfect time! Red Robin Masonry in Toronto offers stonework services for patios and walkways. We are also equipped to build entire walls for houses, buildings, and retaining walls, including parging. Our word is the foundation on which our company stands. Request a quote on our website, and let’s change the landscape of your patio—one brick at a time

Many grand houses have been made from bricks, as they have become a go-to material for homeowners because of their apparent benefits. Bricks offer strength and durability, but despite its many advantages, it’s not perfect and can sometimes be subject to damages.

For this reason, lots of brick houses need to be reinforced. Tuck pointing is the process that’s done to strengthen and support brick houses.

The questions remain—what exactly is tuck pointing, and should you have it done for your home? In this article, we’ll shed some light on the matter at hand. Read on below to learn more.

Understanding Tuck Pointing Better 

Tuck pointing is the intricate process of removing and replacing the mortar joints within the brickwork of your home. On a related note, almost any wall has a sort of a tuck pointing job; it just so happens that it’s more often found in brick homes. Ideally, tuck pointing must be redone every 10 to 15 years for it to be effective.

Masonry contractors do tuck pointing jobs. Most of the time, they will need to determine how many repairs are required. There are instances where spot tuck pointing is done, just working on smaller joints in the brickwork. However, most tuck pointing jobs are usually doing all of it.

Why It Has to Be Done

If your house doesn’t have any kind of tuck pointing whatsoever, you’re just doing yourself a disservice. Tuck pointing is essential for the following reasons:

  • It’s what holds your house together.
  • If bad tuck pointing is in place, water intrusion can happen, attracting mould in the walls. Mould can contribute to the structural degradation of your home.
  • Water intrusion can also cause basement flooding.

When Mold Growth Occurs

If the tuck pointing isn’t done well, there will be gaps in between walls. These gaps are what can cause water intrusion, which in turn attracts mould. Mould can also cause your home to smell bad.

When basement flooding happens, it likely goes all the way up to the top of your walls. If you can’t detect it immediately, chances are it will leave some signs, such as stains on the wall or chipping if the walls are painted.

This is often what many masonry contractors miss. The gaps are small, but they’re big enough to cause water intrusion. To test whether or not it can happen, water tests are usually conducted with the help of a hose.

Tuck Pointing Costs

Like most businesses in the realm of construction, masonry contractors offer varying prices when it comes to tuck pointing jobs.

The standard prices are usually somewhere between $500 to $2,000 for 100 square feet, making it $5 to $25 per square foot. However, other factors have to be taken into account, such as the location of your home or how much work is going to be done.

Homes with chimneys are often deemed separate jobs. For tuck pointing chimneys, the price is usually somewhere between $10 to $25 per square foot. Ideally, the price for chimney tuck pointing jobs goes up to $200.

Keep in mind that prices are often subject to change depending on your mortar’s condition. For this reason, it’s best to consult with your contractor to know which works best for you.


Tuck pointing is a necessary measure to prolong the lifespan of your home. Not only does it add to durability, but it also increases the property’s value. As long as you have tuck pointing in your home, you can guarantee that you will be safe within its confines.

Red Robin Masonry Prides is one of the leading providers of masonry services in Toronto. We believe that your home is your most significant investment, which is why we’re here to make things happen for you. If you need masonry services for your home, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Cracked bricks are an eyesore. The cracks are mainly due to water ingress, in which water enters the brickwork easily due to weak mortar joints or through the tops of cement chimney caps. Apart from this, there are other causes of brick cracking, and that’s what we’re going to discuss in this post.

The Causes of Brick Cracking

In addition to water ingress, there are other external factors that contribute to brick cracking.

It can be due to natural causes or can be an indicator of a problem with your house’s foundation.

House Settling

Most of the time, though, brick cracking only means your house is settling, which is a natural process. This happens especially when the lot your house was built on was excavated before construction.

With time, the house settles into the ground a bit more. Due to the continued weight of the house, the soil underneath becomes more compact, which will cause a bit of cracking on your walls.

Water Retention

If your house settling isn’t the cause behind the brick cracking, then it’s likely due to water retention as bricks are naturally porous. When exposed to too much rain, the material absorbs it and can cause it to expand. When bricks expand, they become too big for the original pattern; hence, the cracking.

Deteriorating Mortar Joints

Another cause of bricks cracking is when the mortar in between them is deteriorating. This occurs over time because of the outdoor elements and the exposure to water and other minerals. The good news is, if you catch any of these issues early, a minor repair is possible.

How To Address Cracked Bricks

The only time you will need major work is when the cause of the brick cracking is a foundational issue. Other than that, it can be repaired simply by patching. However, if there’s extensive damage, you would need to hire a foundation repair company and a brick mason to fix it.

A professional will assess your bricks and figure out the cause. Then, they create a plan to address the issue. Here are some of the solutions for brick cracks:

  • Replacement
  • Repair of mortar joints
  • Resurfacing
  • Chimney repair

It’s important to hire a qualified mason to get the job done; otherwise, you could end up with more problems down the road. Make sure the professional also has liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage to protect you and your home.

How To Prevent Brick Walls From Cracking

You can take measures to prevent your brick walls from cracking. For one, you can use expansion joints that will protect the bricks when exposed to moisture and temperature changes. You should also consider removing temporary shims, which are commonly made of stainless steel. Finally, don’t use incompressible materials in the joints.


Having cracked bricks can be stressful but don’t panic. Pinpointing the causes behind it is important so that you know your options for fixing them. Usually, this will require a qualified mason to ensure the brick is restored properly, and all other issues will be addressed.

Let us take care of it for you! Red Robin Masonry offers brick repair in Mississauga. Our team specializes in all types of brickwork. Contact us today!

Bricks have always been a popular material that is used in homes and commercial buildings. They look amazing, and they’re pretty sturdy, too. But like everything else, they could still require some touch-ups now and then, and if the bricks are beyond repair, then a replacement may be a good idea.

Minor damages like cracks and chips can be addressed by getting expert brick repair services in Toronto from a trusted masonry company like Red Robin Masonry. As a homeowner, it is also your responsibility to recognize the signs that your bricks need to be replaced. Here are some of those signs you need to look out for:

Damaged Bricks

Bricks can withstand harsh weather, but they can still get worn out and damaged. If you notice that some of your bricks are already crumbling, it’s an indication that a replacement will be needed soon. When multiple bricks are already damaged, it can affect the structural integrity of your home. Not only that – it could be dangerous for your family or other people who are walking nearby if a brick wall collapses.

Moving Bricks 

Older brick structures that are heavily worn out can start moving. If you can move the bricks around, that’s a clear sign that it needs to be checked by a seasoned mason. Don’t take this issue lightly. Immediate action will help you preserve the structure, especially if your property is a historic building with a very interesting story to tell.

Leaning or Unstable Structure

Do you notice the structure slightly leaning? That could mean that the building is unstable and that there’s a risk of it collapsing. It would be best to get this addressed at once because otherwise, the building could collapse, and someone can get hurt. Also, the more you wait, the bigger the repair cost will be.

How Long Do Bricks Last?

Bricks can last for more than a hundred years. Most historic buildings found in Toronto are aged, but with repair work and proper maintenance, they could stand for a hundred more years! Mortar joints need to be checked, though, as they need attending every 20 to 30 years. If you know your historic building is over a hundred years old, you should definitely call experts to check its stability whether or not you see signs of deterioration.

 The Importance of Paying Attention and Knowing Early Signs of Damage

Repairing a brick structure can be very expensive if you let the problem go on for years without taking action. When it comes to bricks, early detection of the problem is crucial as it could mean you could still save the structure. Never let cracked mortar, water damage, or uneven flooring get neglected, as these are telltale signs that there could be more extensive damage to come.


Brick is an extremely sturdy material that could last for hundreds of years. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need attention and proper care. While they’re low-maintenance, they need to be repaired as soon as you notice signs of damage. This is the best way to extend the life of your bricks. One of the best ways to make sure that your bricks are in the best shape is by contacting a reliable masonry company in Toronto that can perform inspection, repair, or, if necessary, replacement.

Red Robin Masonry offers expert masonry services in Toronto. Whether you need repair or replacement, our team of professionals can handle it for you. Contact us today to know what we can do for you!