Masonry Maintenance – How Often Should You Check Your Building?

Brickworks offers style diversity with historical or contemporary appeal. Masonry material is strong, energy-efficient, and can boost property value. But even though they can last for decades, masonry structures do still need a certain amount of maintenance to hold onto that structural integrity. Here are a few tips that will help to preserve your commercial or residential masonry building.

Clean Bricks

Masonry maintenance begins with a good cleaning of your building exterior. Using a garden hose with a powerful spray nozzle, remove any dirt you can. In those dark corners that don’t have much direct sunlight, look carefully for any signs of mold or mildew. Shaded, damp spots are perfect for vegetation and can attract excess moisture. Mold can be removed by combining one cup of bleach and a gallon of water and scrubbing the area with a stiff-bristled brush. Avoid using a wire brush so you don’t leave any metal residue behind that may rust and cause discoloration to your masonry.


Inspect for Water Damage

Water damage usually has two basic causes where masonry is concerned; splashback and increasing dampness. Splashback is when rain directly falls on bricks to settle into cracks and grooves. Rising dampness occurs as groundwater levels rise to create what is commonly referred to as tide lines. Groundwater tends to rise and recede, but the salt in the water can remain on the masonry to cause deterioration. Check for signs of water damage annually and call for masonry restoration as needed.



Tuckpointing enhances the look and strength of masonry by filling in mortar joints that appear weakened, cracked, or otherwise damaged. All damaged mortar is first removed and new mortar is layered in. This layering includes applying fresh mortar that is twice the width of the old mortar within the damaged surface areas, as it will not remain structurally sound on its own.

Brickwork structures are commonly found throughout Chicago’s architecture on both new and historical buildings. That’s why proper care provided by expert masonry contractors is well worth it to preserve them.

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