Brick Masonry Defects & Brick Masonry Repair Methods
It mostly occurs in various locations where the brick work is uncovered. A reaction is happened among the sulphate salts in brick and aluminum salts of cement. As a result, the volume of mortar is increased and it leads to cracking, chipping and spelling of bricks as well as collapsing of brickwork.
Crystallization of salts from bricks
When the bricks are produced from the earth having extreme soluble salts, these salts are molten in water (because of rain or the penetration of moisture) and come as the fine whitish crystals on the uncovered brick surface. It is called as efflorescence. The look of masonry becomes awful.
Erosion of implanted fixtures
Iron, steel fixtures (pipes, holdfasts etc.) and reinforcement which are implanted in brick masonry become rusted with the existence of moisture. Due to erosion, the volume is increased and it leads to cracks in brick masonry.
If moisture enters the brick work, it swells. When the moisture is evaporated, the brick shrinks and as a result the cracks are formed in the masonry joints. These cracks along with swelling & shrinkage can collapse the masonry.
Also read : DEFECTS IN BRICK MASONRY WITH SIZE
Quality of brick
If substandard quality of bricks is used, they lead to expansion & cracking in brickwork.
In snow prone areas, if water exists in brickwork, freezing of water happens. The rise in volume may lead to cracking in brickwork.
Maintenance of brick masonry
To get rid of spelling of bricks, the painted walls should be repainted.
Repointing old brickwork
Repointing is done to enhance the look of old brickwork and to make it water resistant.
Brick work can be cleansed with steam or hot water jets. This type of treatment is ideal for fine textured and hard burnt bricks.
Elimination of efflorescence
Efflorescence – soluble salts when get dried accumulated on the surface of the bricks like a white layer.
Efflorescence is eliminated by cleaning the wall with water and & a hard brush. Alternatively, a 10% solution of muriatic acid is applied. Once it is applied, the walls are washed with pure water instantly.