What You Should Know About Fixing Brick Bulging

June 16, 2020

Swelling in brick walls in Racine, WI is a common issue caused by water getting into the mortar joints of the wall. It’s essentially the same way potholes form in the roads—the water gets underneath, swells behind the surface with the freezing and thawing cycles of winter and pushes up and out on the material above it. For this reason, you’re most likely to notice this problem right after the winter has passed.

Here’s an overview of what you should know about fixing this problem.

Locating bulging sections of your brick wall

The bulging bricks should be fairly easy to notice. It might look as though your windows are no longer level with your brick. In other places on your façade, it might feel as though some sections of brick are sticking out farther than others. Perhaps there are new cracks in the mortar that you do not remember being there before.

If you get the feeling that your brick wall has been affected by moisture and that you have bulging sections that need to be addressed, it is important to get a masonry professional out to inspect the wall first before you take any action.

Solving the problem

A good way of preventing bulging brick walls is to be on top of repointing sections of brick when you see cracks starting to form in the mortar. But if you’ve already got bulging sections of brick, then simply repointing may not be sufficient.

One step you might take is injecting some grout behind the wall, which will fill up any voids caused by water that got behind the brick to cause mortar decomposition and add some strength to the wall. There are also special types of masonry screws you can use to support the wall, or metal plates that can be added to provide some extra support. All of these solutions, however, are merely temporary.

In some cases, completely reinstalling the sections of brick or stone that have been affected will be your best bet. Bulging brick will weaken the entirety of the wall structure, so you may need to deal with more sizable areas than just the affected bricks so you can avoid future issues with swelling and collapsing on that wall. Depending on the extent of your problems, you may find it necessary to have the entire wall façade completely torn down and rebuilt.

Obviously, this is a task you’ll want to avoid if it isn’t entirely necessary, as this is a significant and expensive job to take on. This is why it’s important to get a skilled masonry contractor out to your home to carefully inspect the bulging sections of your wall and determine the best course of action to remedy the problem.

If you notice a problem, do not delay in contacting a professional. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get, especially if you let it go through another winter. For more information about the steps you should take when fixing brick bulging in Racine, WI, contact Langenfeld Masonry & Concrete today.

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