Once the weather warms up, it's the perfect time to check your property for issues that may have arisen over the winter. After a season of extreme weather, it's wise to run through a checklist of things to inspect on your home's brick exterior. If you aren't sure what you're looking for, this handy reference will keep your bricks looking great for years to come. First, observe whether snowmelt or spring rains are draining away from your home. If so, you may have grading issues. Next, check no animals have built winter homes in eaves, troughs, or gardens. Also, check that your external systems, like central air units or heat pumps, have not sustained any damage.
Repair Small Problems Early
By taking the time to inspect your older brick exterior in the spring, you can identify minor problems before they escalate into major repairs. Older brick, especially brickwork completed before the 1930s, doesn't have the modern supports of today's brick and mortar. As a result, the load-bearing capabilities of your exterior walls can quickly be compromised, leading to structural failures and hefty repair bills.
Damaged brick may also let water infiltrate your home, leading to blistering paint or brown water stains on your walls. If any of these signs appear during the winter, it is imperative to get out there and check the brick right away.
When inspecting your brick in the spring, focus on these areas:
Stand back and look at your wall from a 90-degree angle. While your wall is likely not perfectly square, look for sections that bow out or appear concave. It can indicate severe problems with or behind the wall.
Next, stand back and face the wall. Look for any cracking, tilted bricks, or efflorescence (a white powdery substance). If you see any, it's time to move in for a closer inspection of the area.
The bricks and mortar
Inspect the bricks close up to look for signs of chipping, cracking, crumbling, spalling, or other defects. Look for more minor cracks in the mortar or any areas where the mortar has deteriorated. It may be crumbly or missing chunks.
The windows and doors
The spots where your windows and doors meet the bricks can be tricky areas. Windows and doors need to shed water freely, and any damage to bricks and mortar here can turn into a major problem.
Call The Experts
If you find any signs of trouble after you inspect your old brick exterior, it's a good idea to have it evaluated by a professional. Old brick and mortar have different compositions from those made today and are not interchangeable. If you have more than one area of concern, the experts can help you prioritize which areas need immediate attention and which ones can wait.
When your spring brick inspection turns up trouble, Renaissance Development can help. Experts in brick restoration and preservation have the traditional materials and specialized craftworkers to complete your repairs and restore your brick. Contact our office today for a free consultation.