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Masonry Repair – Why It’s Important to Address the Root Cause of a Problem

Masonry Repair Long Island should address the root cause of a problem, rather than simply patching up the symptoms. Addressing a brick problem early on will save you from having to repeat repairs later, as well as protect the integrity and value of your home.

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Pay attention to brick issues when they first appear, and your masonry structure will last for years.

As masonry structures age, they can develop cracks. These cracks are often caused by moisture penetration, structural settlement or erosion. These cracks can be a sign of a foundation problem and need to be repaired to prevent further damage.

The severity of the cracks and the underlying causes will determine how they are repaired. Brick and stone masonry are particularly prone to weathering, which can result in cracks in the surface of walls and buildings. Cracks that are a few bricks wide are generally not a big deal and can be repaired with a simple patch job. However, larger cracks may indicate a more serious issue and need to be professionally repaired.

Smaller cracks in brick or stone masonry can be repaired using an appropriate sized mortar mix that is applied to the face of the wall and allowed to set. This fills the crack and can be finished with a good coat of paint. This is a simple repair that can significantly improve the appearance of any building or structure.

Larger cracks in brick or stone masonry can require a more serious approach depending on the location and other factors surrounding the occurrence of the crack. This could involve a professional assessment of the cause of the cracks to ensure that the appropriate repairs are made.

If the cracks are caused by structural settlement or deterioration, the structure may require a more extensive repointing and grouting to be carried out. This is an additional cost that should be carefully considered by the property owner and a professional surveyor.

Cracks in brick or concrete block walls can also be a sign of problems and need to be looked at by a professional masonry contractor. These cracks may need to be stabilized by bonding HeliBar (helical stainless steel bars) into cut slots in the masonry, which helps to redistribute tensile loads and minimize further development of the cracks. This type of crack repair is generally only recommended under the guidance of a structural engineer.


When the mortar between bricks breaks down, it’s not just a cosmetic issue. The damage can also lead to structural problems, especially with concrete block walls. Fortunately, there are a number of different products that can be used to tuck point and restore masonry surfaces.

Whether the mortar between the bricks is failing or a full restoration is needed, the problem should be repaired as soon as possible. Ignoring masonry damage can lead to costly repairs down the road, so it’s important that any damage is addressed immediately.

Cracks and sagging are some of the most common signs that your building is in need of masonry repair. If left untreated, these issues can cause major structural problems and even lead to a building collapse. A good masonry contractor will assess the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate repair services.

The first step in repairing brick wall cracks is to clean the area and remove any debris or loose material. Once the cracked areas have been cleaned, new mortar will need to be applied to the joints between each brick. This is a process that is best done by a professional, as it requires the use of a power tool to get the job done properly.

If the mortar between the bricks is failing, it may need to be replaced completely. This process is called repointing, which involves removing old mortar and replacing it with fresh, strong mortar to reinforce the joints between the bricks.

Brickwork is designed to be as sturdy as possible, and it’s intended that each brick supports the adjacent bricks. However, if the bricks start to crumble and fall away from one another, this can cause serious damage to the structure and pose safety risks for people inside and outside the building.

Crumbling brick is a sign of poor masonry construction, and it’s usually caused by excessive moisture exposure. If the issue is not corrected quickly, it could lead to more severe issues down the line, including foundation damage and water leaks.

The best way to prevent brick deterioration is to keep water away from the structures, as this will stop it from wearing down the mortar and brick. This can be accomplished by keeping water gutters functioning properly, and by directing stormwater away from the brick building.


Leaking brick walls are not only unattractive and cause further damage to the masonry structure, but they can also allow water inside, which will eventually erode the mortar, causing further problems. It is important to have any leaking brickwork looked at by a professional mason, as they can easily identify and fix the problem long before it gets out of hand.

Brick walls are very porous and can absorb a lot of water, even if they are sealed correctly. This is why it’s a good idea to do regular inspections of the exterior walls of your building and pay special attention to the areas around any chimney, vents or openings for windows. If you notice water coming through a brick wall, it may be due to a masonry leak and not a roof leak as many people believe.

There are two types of leaks that can result from masonry issues, saturation and void leaks. Saturation leaks happen when the brick is absorbing so much water that it actually starts to crack and crumble. These are more common in colder climates, as repeated freezing and thawing can deteriorate the mortar.

The other type of leaking occurs when the gap between bricks becomes larger over time, due to weathering or improper installation. This can allow in water and moisture, which leads to a number of different problems, including the formation of mold, mildew, rot or sagging bricks.

Efflorescence is a common sign of water infiltration into a brick surface and is usually a white or grayish deposit on the surface of the brick. Masonry experts can remove this by using a specialized chemical that does not damage the brick but is still able to get rid of the residue.

Efflorescence is a very important part of the general masonry repair process and should never be tried as a do-it-yourself project. If it is left untreated, it can lead to further damage and even collapse of the entire brick section of a structure. If you’re looking for a mason who knows their masonry repairs inside and out, contact the professionals at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration today.


Efflorescence, the whitish powdery substance that appears on the surface of brick, concrete, paving stones and stucco is not only unsightly, but it is also indicative of moisture problems that could eventually lead to major structural damage. Understanding the cause of this unsightly condition is crucial in addressing it quickly and efficiently.

Water is the primary trigger of this condition. It dissolves the salts and minerals present in masonry materials, and as it evaporates, leaves behind the white crystals known as efflorescence. Moisture can be introduced by rain, groundwater or any other source. Temperature fluctuations can also play a role, as they accelerate the formation of efflorescence by encouraging freeze-thaw cycles that create pathways for moisture infiltration.

It is also important to consider the age of the affected building material when determining its origin. If the structure is relatively new, it is likely that it was constructed with contaminated building materials or poor construction techniques that allowed for infiltration of moisture. If the building has been in use for a long time, it is likely that the problem is due to a different cause, such as a leaky roof or chimney.

Once the white crystalline deposits have formed, it is essential to wash and scrub the affected area using only clear water. This will help remove the stains and prevent them from reappearing. It is also a good idea to use a waterproof sealant, which will keep the pores in the concrete or masonry free of water and prevent further penetration.

While this may not completely stop the problem from reoccurring, it is a step in the right direction. If the salts are not removed, it is possible that they will be reabsorbed into the host building material and reappear as more efflorescence in the future.

As with other masonry repair issues, the sooner you address the problem, the better. Leaving it untreated can lead to moisture-related structural damage that is expensive to correct. The experienced professionals at Clean & Polish can help identify the causes of efflorescence and make sure that the building is properly sealed, preventing further moisture intrusion and minimizing the risk of costly repairs in the future.

Chimney Repair – How to Repair a Crack in a Chimney

A professional can fix a chimney crack by remortaring or sealing it. These repairs cost between $150 and $500.

A cracked chimney is dangerous and requires professional attention. It can let water into the masonry and cause major problems. Contact Chimney Repair Baltimore now!

A chimney that leaks can damage the house and furniture, as well as lead to mold and other health issues. Chimneys can also collapse if they’re too damaged to be repaired.

Damaged Mortar Joints

A brick wall’s mortar joints can develop cracking and crumbling, compromising the overall appearance of a masonry structure. In some cases, these issues may also lead to more serious structural problems. To prevent damage and extend the life of the structure, it’s important to regularly tuck point the mortar joints to ensure they’re intact and properly sealed.

Tuck pointing is a delicate process that requires attention to detail and precision to avoid damaging the existing masonry structure. The first step is to assess the condition of the masonry structure and identify areas with cracked or deteriorating mortar joints. Once these areas have been identified, the old mortar should be removed carefully using a cold chisel and hammer to avoid damaging the surrounding brick. Once the masonry has been cleaned, a mortar repair caulk can be applied directly to the joints.

Several factors contribute to the development of damaged mortar joints. Moisture is one of the most common causes, as water can cause mortar to become weak and brittle. This is especially problematic in colder climates, where repeated freeze-thaw cycles can wreak havoc on mortar joints.

Often, it’s best to apply the new mortar using a caulk gun, which can be easier for beginners than a traditional mortar mix. A sanded acrylic caulk such as Quikrete Mortar Repair provides the texture and color of mortar, making it an ideal project for homeowners who are hesitant to tackle more complex projects. Before applying the caulk, make sure the area is clean and free of grease, dust, or loose debris and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing and application. After the caulk has been applied, a masonry brush can be used to smooth and even the joints for a clean finish.

Cracked Crown

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped protective cap that fits over a damaged or decayed tooth to restore its appearance, structure and function. When properly cared for, a dental crown can last a lifetime, but like any other dental restoration, it can be susceptible to damage. When a dental crown cracks, it can lead to significant dental issues that require urgent attention.

Dental crowns can be cracked for a number of reasons. Impacts to the mouth when playing sports or falling can crack a tooth, chewing hard foods can crack a crown, and teeth grinding and jaw clenching can cause them to break. A cracked crown can also expose the underlying tooth to infection and bacteria.

Fortunately, a cracked crown can often be repaired without replacing it completely. Depending on the severity of the crack, treatment options may include dental bonding or composite resin. In addition, a dentist can use a dental veneer to repair a minor chip in a crown.

Some signs of a cracked crown can be localized pain around the crown, a change in its appearance, or the feeling of a loose tooth when biting down or applying pressure to the crowned tooth. A lingering pain after the stimuli have been removed is another indicator of a cracked tooth under a dental crown. Seeing a dentist promptly will allow them to assess the situation and determine the best course of action to protect your dental health. In severe cases, splinting the cracked tooth to neighboring teeth can help stabilize it and prevent worsening of the crack.

Damaged Bricks

While brick is strong and resilient, it can still be susceptible to damage from water. When moisture seeps into a brick chimney it can lead to deterioration and structural problems over time. This is because brick is porous and absorbs water like a sponge. This moisture can cause a number of different problems including spalling bricks and corrosion of metal components such as flue gas and fire dampers.

Chimneys with deteriorating masonry and crumbly mortar should be repaired as soon as possible. This can be done using a process called tuckpointing, which involves removing and replacing damaged mortar with new mortar. When performed properly this repair can restore the strength and stability of a chimney. In severe cases of masonry deterioration, the chimney crown may need to be rebuilt.

Another way to prevent further masonry damage is by applying a breathable waterproof sealant. When this is applied and reapplied at recommended intervals, a chimney can be protected from water damage that leads to further deterioration and expensive repairs.

Chimneys can also be protected from water infiltration by caulking the crown and by replacing deteriorating flashings. In addition, a professional chimney sweep can apply a waterproofing agent that will allow the masonry to breathe but will keep water out.

It is important to note that working on a chimney is hazardous and should only be undertaken by a professional with experience in chimney repair. Working on a tall chimney requires special safety equipment, such as a specialized fall-arresting harness that is attached to the ridge of the house and a tool kit that includes a metal hammer and a chisel. This equipment can be rented from home improvement stores and tool-rental outlets.

Leaning Chimney

A leaning chimney is not only an unsightly hazard, but it can also be dangerous. Chimneys can weigh thousands of pounds, and if they topple over onto your home, it can cause serious damage and lead to death or injury.

Several things can cause your chimney to start leaning or tilting. It may be caused by masonry damage that weakens the structure, which can cause a shift in weight that causes it to lean. Older homes often didn’t include a chimney footing, and that can make the chimney prone to shifting over time.

It can also be caused by poor drainage, which allows moisture to penetrate the foundation of your home and slowly erode it over time. This process eventually causes the foundation to crack, which can also contribute to a leaning chimney.

If your chimney starts to tilt, it’s important to contact a professional immediately. They can assess the extent of the damage and provide you with a range of solutions, including a complete chimney rebuild. Many homeowners try to resolve a leaning chimney by filling the gap with masonry, caulk or insulation, but this only hides the problem and doesn’t address the root cause of the shift.

The most effective solution is a foundation repair technique called helical piers. These piers look like giant screws and are driven underneath your chimney footing until they reach a load-bearing soil layer, at which point they’re locked in place with brackets. Once the piers are in place, hydraulic jacks slowly lift the chimney back into its original position. In most cases, this repair can be performed without the high cost and disruption of demolition and rebuilding.

Water Damage

Chimneys are built to withstand the elements, but that doesn’t mean they can’t suffer damage from weather over time. Exposure to wet and wintry weather can cause bricks to crack or chip, deteriorating the mortar between them and leaving gaps that let water into the chimney itself and possibly into your home. These minor issues can become major problems if left unaddressed, affecting the structural integrity of your chimney and allowing smoke and carbon monoxide to enter living areas in dangerous quantities.

Look for signs of water leaks, like stains on your ceilings and walls near the fireplace. You might also notice a chimney leak right around the flashing, where it meets your roof. This is a common place for water to seep into a chimney, and it can be easily fixed with a new flashing and caulk job.

Another sign of water damage is a chimney leak that leads to rot in the masonry. Over time, water that reaches the masonry can freeze and thaw in the winter, expanding its volume and causing the bricks to break apart. This type of water damage is called spalling, and it’s often a sign that you need to replace your chimney.

Both metal and prefabricated chimneys can develop water damage over time, but the best way to avoid it is to have routine inspections and repair any masonry damage as soon as you notice it. It’s also a good idea to have your chimney waterproofed after any repairs are completed to help it withstand the elements for years to come. Contact Able Roof today to learn more about our chimney services, including regular chimney maintenance and inspections.