Common Masonry Problems to Watch Out for in an Older Home

Posted on: 2 September 2021

Masonry, whether it's stone or brick, can add a lot of character to a home. It is especially common in older homes. Since masonry tends to be strong and durable, a lot of the masonry in these older homes is still intact and in good shape. However, small problems can creep up, and you want to notice them quickly so you can have them repaired while they are still minor. Here are the key problems to look out for in the masonry in older homes.

Chipping Mortar

In many cases, the mortar starts chipping out from between the stones or bricks before the stones or bricks themselves show any signs of damage. A masonry structure can withstand some loss of mortar. However, once enough mortar is lost, the structure will start losing strength. So, you want to call a masonry expert as soon as you see some chipping mortar. The mason may be able to chip out and replace the damaged mortar, or they may apply a sealer to prevent the remaining mortar from chipping away anymore.

Cracks Across Multiple Bricks or Rocks

If a single brick or rock cracks, you don't need to be too concerned. However, horizontal cracks that stretch across several bricks or stones are a reason to call the masonry expert. These cracks often indicate that the masonry is being put under excessive stress in certain areas. The masonry expert will probably repair the crack, but more importantly than that, they will look into why the masonry is cracking. They may need to make a few adjustments to the adjoining structures to take pressure off of the masonry and prevent more similar cracks from forming in the future.

Mold Growth

If mold is growing on a brick or stone patio, then you can probably just clean it up and move on. But if you are seeing mold on an indoor masonry surface, that's a bigger problem. It means water is seeping through the masonry somewhere. The masonry expert can clean the mold up, but they can also figure out how the masonry is getting wet and molding. (Mold won't grow without moisture.) They may need to coordinate with a plumber of a foundation repair team, depending on where the masonry is located and how it's getting wet.

If you notice any of these masonry problems in your older home, do not hesitate to call a masonry professional. They can fix things before they get any worse.