Repairing cracks and damage in masonry
When masonry walls crack or crumble, it is often necessary to repoint or repair the damaged areas. This process is called tuckpointing, pointing, brick repair, or masonry repair.
Masonry Repair is the process of fixing or repairing damaged brick and mortar by removing damaged bricks or mortar and replacing them, or often pointing areas of brick walls where cracks or deterioration have opened holes or gaps in mortar joints.
Contrary to popular belief, masonry walls need maintenance over time; not just repairs when a car crashes into your brick wall or the foundation of your home settles and cracks the brick, but general maintenance. Over time, moisture and the heat and freeze/thaw effects deteriorate mortar joints. Also, just as the Grand Canyon was created, water erodes and deteriorates mortar joints. This often occurs in areas that are exposed to pounding rains, run-off from roofs, or spray heads on irrigation systems; however, there is another way that the mortar joints in masonry walls are often deteriorated. This is from plant growth. While plants look nice with masonry, they can hold moisture on the mortar and masonry units that cause mold and softening of the bricks, stones, and mortar. Vine plants grow runners that dig into this softened mortar and crumble it out rapidly as they actually serve as roots and leach nutrients from the mortar.
With these various ways mortar is deteriorated and washed out of the mortar joints between the bricks and stones, general maintenance of the masonry is needed. This is known as pointing or re-pointing the mortar between the bricks. Tuckpointing mortar joints requires removal or old damaged or deteriorated mortar so the repair mortar can bond properly. This type of masonry damage accounts for most masonry repairs needed. Only a small portion of masonry repointing and repair are needed due to vehicle damage, but in areas where heavy rains and drought conditions occur, it is likely that cracks will form in brick walls as the foundations shift and settle.
For more information on different types of masonry repair issues, we provide a growing list of brick repair articles to assist you; and to assist you in getting masonry repair services from local masons that provide quality service and repairs, we provide a local listing of prescreened masonry repair companies.
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