5 Common Causes of Masonry Damage You Need to Know

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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!

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