It’s no mistake that many long-lasting structures are built from brick or concrete masonry – as testified by the survival of notable Roman examples. However, poor repairs, a lack of a maintenance plan and inappropriate alterations can lead to trouble. It is important to quickly establish the cause of any deterioration to try and keep repairs to a minimum.
Most common repairs tend to be around joints, windows, doors, or walls. Minor chips or cracks might look vintage to you, but left untreated, a damaged structure with eroding or missing bricks can easily turn from rustic to run-down. This not only makes your commercial structure a safety hazard, but repairs to restore can become invasive and costly.
Here are a few things to look out for when reviewing your commercial structures:
Joints Cracking or Spalling
Pointing, tuckpointing, and repointing are terms that refer to the application of mortar between masonry units. Over time, weathering and decay can cause voids in the joints between masonry units and allow water or moisture to enter. Water seeping in between the bricks can cause significant damage causing them to swell and crack. When you notice the mortar between masonry joints cracking or crumbling, it may be time to repoint your masonry building.
Lintels are the horizontal supports found above doors and windows that carry the masonry above it. Lintels are also found mid wall in large masonry walls to transfer the weight of masonry above to the building frame, commonly referred to as a shelf angle. Often times, lintel support is insufficient for the structure due to general deterioration or improper installation of flashings. Over time, steel lintels will start to rust, corrode and deteriorate. Typical signs to look for are diagonal or stepped cracking at the tops of window or door heads.
If you have vines, moss or even trees starting to grow on your buildings, you have the presence of moisture on your structure. Most of the time this is found on the northern side of buildings, due to less sunlight often causing damper conditions. Be sure you have an expert evaluate and determine the cause of the plant growth, moisture source and whether any physical damage will result from removing the vegetation.
Two thoughts – maintain the beauty of your natural brick by sandblasting or make your structures stand out from the rest with a fresh coat of paint. Either project requires research, proper tools and techniques to clean and prepare the surface. Once masonry is painted, it will need to be maintained, but it should hold paint well when prepped and primed correctly. And once brick is painted, there is no going back. Removing paint from brick is a difficult, time-consuming and messy proposition..
Due to the climate change in the Midwest, the exterior of buildings should be re-caulked every 8-11 years. And the best time to caulk is before the outside temperatures get too hot. Colder temperatures cause building joints and masonry to contract allowing for easier caulking. By addressing exterior caulking projects, moisture is sealed out keeping your commercial structure to be more effectively maintained.
By repointing, replacing, re-painting, and power-washing existing masonry, Innovative Maintenance Solutions can help make your property look fresh and restore the beauty of the brick. And if you would like to add on to your property, we are also happy to work with you to design whatever it is you have in mind.
Contact us today to schedule your FREE property evaluation and see what Innovative Maintenance Solutions can do for you!
Innovative Maintenance Solutions, Tele: (317) 626-3727 or Email: email@example.com