Tag Archives: moisture

Protect Your Virginia Masonry from Moisture

When we look at homes made of brick and stone, we tend to think of them as some of the most sturdy and durable homes built. However, many times that isn’t necessarily the case based on who your contractor was and what kind of job they did, the porosity of the brick and mortar, and other contributing factors. It’s important to protect your Virginia masonry from moisture. This will protect your home and your family from structural problems or problems with dangerous mold and moisture.

How Does Water Get In?

spalling brick virginiaThere are a few ways that water can get into your masonry. The first way is through the joints. What are joints? Joints are the spaces between the bricks. They are filled with mortar to make sure that the bricks will stick together and stay stable. They also fill the cracks in between the bricks so that other things, like water and critters, don’t get into the home. However, they are some of the most porous parts of the masonry. They become saturated with water and that lets the water in. This can not only cause moisture problems, but it will cause problems with your brick wall’s stability.

The next way water can easily get in walls is if there are cracks in your masonry. Cracks in the masonry are an easy entrance point for not only water and moisture but also insects and other unwanted entities. Water, especially heavy storms and wind, hits the side of the home and will drain into the first available entrance–the masonry crack. Masonry cracks can also be an indication that there is a bigger problem at play: foundation issues. Foundation issues should be resolved as soon as possible because the longer that you leave them the more expensive they become.

Additionally, in brick walls which are brick veneers as opposed to full brick structures, if the construction was poor there may be gaps between the flashing and the wall. This is a fantastic entry point for water, but not a good problem for you to have. Water will then be inside of the wall and have no place to evaporate or get out if proper waterproofing and drainage measures haven’t been taken. In this scenario, there could be major waterproofing problems.

What Happens Once It’s In? How Can It Be Prevented?

masonry repairWhen water gets in, it begins to break down the joints and this can cause severe damage over time. Additionally, when water does get in, it will begin to cause mold. Mold, especially black mold, can be dangerous and even deadly. If you spot mold in your home, you need to resolve it immediately. Plus, water doesn’t only cause problems with mold and moisture, it can also cause problems with your home’s foundation.

If you see cracks in your masonry, it’s time to call a foundation repair professional like those at Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. Foundation repair is never a D.I.Y. job, and it will only get worse and more expensive the longer that you leave it. Plus, your home will be open to more water coming in through masonry cracks and causing bigger problems. It’s best to get it fixed as early as you can.

Once you have made sure all foundation issues are resolved (and cracks sealed with that), the next step is to make sure that you have the proper waterproofing including flashing on your roof. Flashing is used to direct water off the roof and away from the side of the home. In many homes, the water runs off the roof and directly onto the side of the home which causes saturation of the porous bricks. Flashing allows the water to be pushed away and not touch the side of the home. Another important thing to do is brick re-pointing. This should be done every so often on your masonry to make sure that your mortar is still holding up and providing the strength and stability that your brick veneer needs.

Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry Are Your Moisture Experts

Give us a call today to discuss any questions and to get more information on your specific situation. We are happy to schedule a free estimate and get to work on resolving your masonry waterproofing problems. Give us a call today to get started!

Common Masonry Problems

Professional Masonry Virginia

When it comes to your masonry, you want to make sure to have the best quality. You want masonry that will last and looks good, too. Your brick walls go through a lot, Mother Nature is not very gentle. Between seasonal changes, storms, temperature changes, and the everyday wear and tear, your masonry will obviously encounter some problems. So, in order to keep your masonry in its best shape, you need to avoid, and take care of, some of the common masonry problems. Some problems include:

  • Efflorescence
  • Spalling
  • Settlement cracks
  • Washed out areas/ Rust stains
  • Loose Plaster
  • Mold or algae growth

Causes and Solutions for Masonry Virginia

Masonry Virginia

Efflorescence is when a chalky white powder appears on the exterior of the bricks. This is caused by moisture being trapped inside the brick reacting with the salts inside. Usually this problem will disappear with the seasons, but will come back for as long as the moisture is not removed.

Spalling is when the bricks start cracking and flaking because of, again, moisture working itself into the brick. This causes the face of the brick to fall off and leave the bricks useless.

Settlement cracks not only have a negative effect on your masonry, but also mean deeper problems with your home’s foundation. Settlement cracks happen when the foundation of your home starts to sink and settle into voids left by the expansion and contraction of the soil from moisture levels.

Washed out areas and rust stains are mostly cosmetic problems that affect the outside of your brick walls. Rust stains occur when a metal fixture corrodes and the resulting rust washes down the wall’s surface during a rain storm or poor drainage. Rusting nails below the paint surface can also cause the typical brown stain. Washed out areas are simply caused by large amounts of moisture causing water stains on your masonry.

Loose plaster can be caused by a variety of things. Whether the weather, like wind or rain, or settlement, loose plaster is a very common problem with masonry, but, luckily, is relatively easy to fix.

Mold or algae growth occurs when a leaking gutter or downspout leave moisture behind that encourages the growth of mold, mildew, and/or algae. Unfortunately, even the smallest damp spot can cause these to pop up.

All of these different problems are fairly common when it comes to masonry, and most of them are relatively easy to fix. They’re even easier to fix when you call Reliable Waterproofing & Masonry. Just remember to give us a call. We’re happy to help with all of your masonry Virginia problems. We’ve got a great team of experienced professionals who are ready to help you with masonry repair or waterproofing issue you have. Call today!