Should You Repair or Replace Masonry?

March 25, 2020

Cracked or damaged masonry will certainly not be aesthetically pleasing, but the fact that it’s an eyesore isn’t what you need to be most concerned about. Instead, cracks and holes can allow water or pests to get into your home, and hasten the degradation of your structural surfaces.

If you notice holes or cracks developing in your concrete or bricks, it’s important to get in touch with a skilled masonry contractor to determine what masonry repair tips in Racine, WI will be most effective in resolving the issue, or if the damaged blocks will need to be replaced entirely.

Here’s a quick overview of what you should know.

Damage must be addressed

There’s a variety of ways in which masonry can sustain damage via cracks and holes. It could simply be long-term exposure to the elements. It could also be a result of poor workmanship, or settling of the soil under your home. However, the most destructive element for masonry is water—long-term exposure to water can eat away at mortar between bricks and concrete blocks, and even weaken those bricks and blocks themselves.

If the problem was poor workmanship or the use of low-quality materials, you’ll probably see damage to the bricks or concrete early on. As the ground settles, uneven settling causes damage to the masonry, and lower-quality work is much more susceptible to that damage. Other signs that indicate you need to either repair or replace your masonry can include uneven floors inside your home, cracks in your basement or your driveway’s concrete slabs, doors that do not properly close on cabinets or doorways, windows that don’t operate as well as they used to or cracks in interior drywall or plaster.

When there is a small hole or crack in the masonry, this creates a location for water to enter into the structure. When it gets there, the freezing and thawing cycles combined with the movement of the water will cause these cracks to widen, and cause holes’ diameter to increase, ultimately weakening the structure of your home.

When these issues start to arise, you should have a masonry professional come out and examine your home and determine the steps you need to take to resolve them. In some cases, simple repairs may suffice and prevent the issue from getting worse. You might be able to fill or seal cracks and have that be enough. For larger issues, installing some support beams or piers for extra support can assist in dealing with serious damage. But eventually, there may come a point where the damage becomes so severe that the wall is no longer able to bear its own load, at which point you will have no other choice but to replace the masonry in that section.

Replacement is the more expensive option, but also the necessary option in some cases. Masonry contractors will be able to match the new materials to the existing materials so there isn’t a stark visible difference when looking at the wall.

For more information about tips for replacing masonry in Racine, WI, contact Langenfeld Masonry & Concrete today.

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