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Causes Of Cracking

Homes with brick siding often succumb to outside forces that influence the structural integrity of the brick.  These forces create cracking and damage in the brick and mortar over time.  The forces most commonly seen include changes in the soil due to soil type, drainage and movement as well as weather.
           

Soil Issues

Clay-type soils expand and contract with changing moisture levels.  Some of these soils expand as much as seven times their size from dry to wet. This works in reverse as the soil dries out they contract. As the moisture in the soil increases or decreases, it is important to maintain an even balance around and under the slab. If one area becomes more dry or moist than other areas, it may cause upheavals and/or subsidence (settling and sinking) in the slab of the home. This movement in the slab will cause uneven pressures in the brick. This results in cracking in the brick and mortar of the home due to a very limited amount of elasticity in the masonry siding.

 

Sandy-type soils do not suffer expansion when moisture increases; instead, they compact more tightly.  This causes the foundation to settle in areas again creating uneven pressure on the brick.  Further, the sandy-type soils can demonstrate lateral movement. 

Lateral movement occurs when the soil moves out from under the home causing areas of uneven soil.  These cavities create spots where the foundation settles and cracks the brick siding of the home.  Lateral movement occurs in most soil types.

 

Weather Issues

The weather elements also play a large role in causing problems in brick siding. The summers are hot and dry, and allow the perimeter of homes to sink. Other times of the year are very wet with the rain and thunder-storms. This becomes a problem when there is not proper drainage, and areas become moister than others do.  In addition, thunderstorms create high wind and hail.  Hail causes a number of issues with the brick.  It knocks brick loose, and breaks off the faces of brick. In addition, heavy rains will erode the mortar in areas, and eventually weaken the brick wall.  Freezing temperatures create a different issue.  When brick and mortar are exposed to freezing temperatures, the moisture inside them freezes as well.  This causes the surface of the brick and/or mortar to spall (break away and flake off).

 

All of these issues cause serious problems for the brick, and require brick repairs. Brick repair will restore the structure, value, and beauty of your home. However, a lack of maintenance can result in more extensive damage, higher costs, and many serious concerns.

Copyright 2007 James R. Nech/Alamo Masonry. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Alamo Masonry Brick Repair operates full time in: Dallas, Fort Worth, Irving, Plano, Carrollton, Lewisville, Grand Prairie, Flower Mound, North Richland Hills, Arlington, Benbrook, Crowley, Burleson, Cleburne, Granbury, Johnson County, and the surrounding DFW area.

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