6 Signs Your Brickwork is Already Beyond Repair

Brickwork is crucial to the integrity of your home, but over time it can be damaged by extreme weather conditions, physical abuse, and other factors. Whether you notice cracks running along the walls or other signs of damage, it might be time to fix your brickwork before more serious damage occurs. However, sometimes even a simple repair just wouldn’t do it. Check out the following signs that your bricks need a replacement.

Cracks on Corners

Cracks in the corner of a wall or on a building are common problems. Though it’s a little hard to do, try to touch the crack with your finger. A sharp and solid crack will feel sharp on your finger too. That kind of crack means a serious problem. Likewise, a diagonal line to the corner usually means that the foundation is not solid, so the wall is likely to collapse. Make sure that the crack has not deteriorated further before calling a pro to fix the problem.

Missing Bricks

Missing bricks from your wall can sometimes mean that your entire wall is about to collapse. If you notice that some of your bricks are missing, you may want to check for cracks around those areas. It is possible that the larger cracks have already been discovered, and the bricks were already removed to prevent problems.

Bad or Loose Mortar

Loose or bad mortar can be a sign of a more serious problem. It’s a sign that your wall is not properly tied to the foundation of your home. It can also mean that your foundation has shifted or is no longer solid. It’s a sign that a professional should look at it, so never wait for the problem to get worse.

Crumbling of Stucco or Plaster

Plaster and stucco are common in old homes or in homes with Mediterranean-style architecture. They can last for over a century, but if cracks start to form, it’s a sign that your wall is too weak to support your home. It’s a sign that a professional should look into it and make sure that the wall is properly tied to the foundation.

Mildew on Bricks

The presence of mould or mildew on your bricks indicates that there is something honeycombing your bricks. It’s a sign that you need to look deeper into the problem. Mould is often a precursor to serious damage like mud and drywall damage, as well as termite damage. The most effective solution for mildew is to replace your bricks entirely.

Overall Deterioration

It is easy to hide the imperfections of a wall just by putting a coat of paint on it, but even that won’t cover everything. Old and worn-out bricks can be an eyesore, but they can also be a sign that your home is about to collapse. The wall may be too weak to support the roof, especially if it’s a large home. Make sure that you get a professional to look into it as soon as possible to prevent any bigger problems.


If your brickwork is damaged, it’s best to immediately have it repaired before it gets worse or, better yet, replace the bricks if necessary. The longer you wait, the more you’ll pay, and you might have to pay a lot more to fix the problem. Consider hiring a professional if you notice any of these signs and if you aren’t sure what the right solution is.

Red Robin Masonry is an award-winning company with over 30 years of experience as a contractor. Whenever you need brick repair services in Toronto, our team is here to help. Contact us today to request a quote.

chimney repair services in Toronto

Nothing beats a real wood-burning fireplace in the frigid fall and winter months. The crackling sound of a fireplace and the flickering flames are mesmerizing—the greatest entertainment available. The genuine deal is a wood-burning fireplace.

However, unlike gas fireplaces, you must pay for that authentic feeling with frequent upkeep. Follow these guidelines to keep your fireplace in good working order for your comfort and safety. If you’re also looking for a chimney removal in Toronto, continue reading as this article will entail where you can get that service.

Repair Brick Mortar Gaps in the Firebox

Over time, gaps in the brick mortar on the interior of your fireplace form. It’s natural for mortar particles on the refractory fire bricks to loosen and fall due to the continual expansion and contraction of materials induced by the fireplace’s intense heat.

Fire can find a way through the cracks and damage the house’s structure. Fill mortar gaps within the fireplace’s firebox using fireplace mortar or refractory caulk, a mineral-based filler.

You’ll need a putty knife to clear out the loose mortar and a can of compressed air to blow out the remainder for this quick remedy. After that, all that’s left is to caulk the seams.

Clean the Chimney

Unlike gas and gel fires, Wood-burning fireplaces produce a tremendous quantity of heat and smoke. Creosote builds upon the interior of the fireplace flue, speeding up a chimney fire, which the fire department must extinguish.

Chimney cleaning removes potentially dangerous creosote and other combustible particles from your flue. The ashes in the firebox are removed, and the chimney is cleaned from top to bottom. Invest in your chimney-cleaning tools and conduct the work yourself, or hire a professional chimney sweep or home restoration services in Toronto.

Use the Right Firewood

The quality of the wood you burn in your fireplace is only as excellent as the wood you burn in it. Burning the wrong kind of wood dirties the fireplace’s interior fast, necessitating more regular cleaning.

Softwoods are less expensive than hardwoods, but they burn more quickly and generate fine ash that is harder to clean up. They also produce creosote more quickly. Spruce, cedar, poplar, and balsam are examples of softwoods. Choose hardwoods like maple, oak, ash, and birch for a more constant, hotter burn.

Replace the Fireplace Screen

Fireplace screens are available in various shapes and metals, and they may be placed close or even against the fireplace. Install a glass fireplace screen to keep smoke from leaving the firebox. These heat-resistant glass inserts keep most smoke out while allowing heat to pass through.

Repair, Build, or Spruce up the Mantel

If your fireplace’s mantle has been in place for a long time, it may be beginning to show its age. Or you could be fed up with it. You may make a new fireplace mantel out of live-edge wood or walnut stock in any case.

Alternatively, you could want your fireplace mantel to resemble an old railroad tie—albeit a fake one. If carpentry isn’t your thing, consider renovating your mantel for a fresh new appearance.

Hire A Professional

Exterior chimney repair is a major job, so hire a chimney repair professional or a mason if you think the job is too big for you.

Minor external chimney flaws are exacerbated by the environment and quickly escalate into serious issues. Interior issues caused by a poorly maintained chimney and flashing include wet ceilings, moist attic insulation, and mushy wall drywall.


Your chimney is one of the most sensitive parts of your home’s exterior, as it is subjected to rain, wind, snow, and extreme temperatures daily. A chimney’s bricks and mortar decay faster than any other portion of your house. A dangerously unstable chimney might endanger your family’s safety. It’s advisable to seek chimney repair services in Toronto as soon as you notice a problem.

Red Robin Masonry is Toronto’s most trusted masonry company. Our masonry services include brickwork, parging, stonework, and chimney repair services in Toronto. Get in touch with us if you need help with your chimneys and fireplaces.

chimney repair services in Toronto

Chimney Maintenance 101: The Signs You Should Look Out For

By now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that one of the dirtiest parts of the house is the chimney. Most of the time, it is filled with dense soot, combustion gases, and elements. This is why it’s important to maintain them with regular cleaning and repairs. Otherwise, you limit its lifespan despite being built to withstand harsh conditions.

Without further ado, let’s break down the signs you should look out for to maintain, clean, and repair your chimney.

Sign #1: The Stench of Burning Wood

If you find that the scent or stench of burning wood is emitting from an unused fireplace, then it’s time to act. This is usually a sign of severe creosote buildup, which has the potential to spark a disastrous chimney fire if left neglected.

Sign #2: The Difficult of Lighting Flames

We’ve learned in school that fire needs a bit of oxygen or air. Thus, if there is insufficient ventilation, it is difficult to start a fireplace. If you find it difficult to light up flames, this could be due to the substantial creosote buildup. Give your fireplace a thorough sweep to restore order.

Sign #3: The Accumulation of Non-Wood Debris

Discovering non-wood debris in your fireplace is nothing but bad news. The cause of this is certainly due to a faulty flue liner. Contact chimney professionals as soon as you become aware of the problem, and schedule a chimney relining immediately. If a fireplace is not properly ventilated, it has the potential to ignite nearby combustibles.

Sign #4: The Bricks are Starting to Whiten

If you find white flakes on brickwork, this may indicate major moisture deterioration. The only way forward is to rebuild the places that have been damaged.

Sign #5: The Apparent Cracks in the Brickwork

Apparent cracks in the brickwork of your fireplace are simply a revelation of deteriorating mortar. Because the mortar is what holds bricks together, it is critical to schedule a chimney masonry repair while the problem is still minor.

Sign #6: The Long Overdue Inspection 

If your most recent fireplace inspection was around a year ago, it’s time to pick up the phone and make a call. It’s important to note that a professional inspection of your chimney should be done at least once a year. This could help you prevent further damage or accidents.

Finding Rusty  Fireplace Accessories

While defects in the brick are easily visible from the outside, rust is less visible but can be just as detrimental. You may miss rust higher in the chimney unless you undertake annual chimney inspections, but you may notice symptoms coming from the fireplace.

Rust mostly indicated excessive moisture on the firebox or fireplace, which is never a good thing and can aggravate pre-existing issues. Thus, inspect the rusty chimney and choose the best next steps by contacting a chimney repair professional.

Shaling Down a Fireplace

Shaling is the formation of thin flue tile slices on the fireplace floor. It’s almost as though the weight is causing the chimney to collapse. It happens when the flue liner ruptures, allowing water to enter the space beneath the tiles. Water expands and changes temperature, causing the tiles to loosen and fall.

A damaged liner is a serious safety threat, thus any shaling should be investigated very away. A professional with a camera that can travel up the flue is the best option for checking for these issues.


While chimneys are meant to collect dust, debris, and other remnants of flame, they are also meant to be cleaned, maintained, and repaired. So if you haven’t yet, get to work and have your chimney and fireplace swept through. You won’t just prevent costly blunders, you will also extend its lifespan and make the most out of your investment.

For reliable chimney repair services in Toronto, Red Robin Masonry is the best in the field. We offer you first-class tools, industry expertise, and well-trained professionals. Call us now and get your FREE estimate today!

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Quality masonry work requires a lot of skill and can cost a lot of money. Nevertheless, it’s all worth it since, when done right, the product can be quite strong and durable.

However, masonry work is far from invincible. Over time, masonry damage can occur which is usually caused by a number of factors.

1. Bond Failure

A typical masonry installation requires the use of masonry tie. These ties hold the structure together, and they are usually made of metal or plastic. The metal ones are exposed to the elements, as they’re more durable. On the other hand, the plastic ones are hidden from view to preserve their durability.

Given that both of them are exposed to the elements, their attachments should be made stronger. Otherwise, the structure may lose its strength and integrity.

In other words, the bonding between the masonry blocks and ties, as well as the ties themselves, should be strong enough to hold the structure together. Otherwise, the masonry can suffer from cracks, spalling, and other types of damage. Thankfully, these problems can be prevented with the right materials installed at the appropriate locations.

2. Moisture

Masonry structures are essentially made of a lot of minerals weak to water damage. This makes them susceptible to moisture. That is why the masonry needs to be completely dry before installing it. Otherwise, moisture will find its way into the structure and accumulate.

Unchecked moisture can result in the formation of mould and mildew, breaking the masonry work’s structural integrity. If this happens, the material may not be stable enough to support the structure’s weight. This may cause cracks and spalls. Essentially, it can destroy the whole thing.

3. Cracking

Masonry cracks can happen as a result of several factors. It can occur as a result of thermal movement or expansion, as a result of freezing or thawing, as a result of moisture infiltration, or as a result of freezing.

The latter happens when the external layer of the masonry becomes too thin. This is usually caused by severe weather.

4. Salt Damage

Salt damage, or sodium chloride damage, is one of the most common causes of masonry damage. This happens when saltwater enters the structure, also known as brine water. The water contains both sodium ions and chloride ions. As a result, these ions can damage the surface of the masonry.

They can also corrode the metal ties, which degrade the strength and integrity of the structure.

5. Spalling

Masonry spalling is one of the most common types of masonry damage. Essentially, it simply means that the masonry has been severely damaged. It no longer has any of its original strength.

The leading cause of this type of damage is the shifting of masonry blocks. This is caused by moisture infiltration and ice damage.

Masonry spalling is a serious problem because it can damage the structure’s surface and structural integrity. It is also a safety hazard.

In Summary

The bottom line is that you need to monitor your masonry structure regularly. This will help you detect a potential problem as early as possible. And when you do find something wrong in your masonry structure, it’s best to contact a masonry company to help sort things out.

Restore your masonry structure with the help of Red Robin Masonry. We are a masonry company in Toronto that offers a wide range of masonry services. Our specialties include brick replacement, door and window re-sizing, pillar rebuilds, re-facing exterior walls and much more. Request a quote today!