Brick Deterioration

Causes of Brick Deterioration

Oftentimes in Michigan you will notice your brick beginning to deteriorate, or the faces of the brick actually falling off.  When your brick faces begin to deteriorate, or fall off, it is referred to as spalling.  The main cause of spalling is moisture.  When brick is exposed to water for excessively long periods of time the moisture begins to absorb into the brick itself.  In fact, many bricks are actually quite porous and will absorb moisture like a sponge.
Constant shift in temperatures, as well as regular freezing and thawing will then cause the face of the brick to pop off or spall.  This process can be hastened around high moisture areas such as gutters and downspouts, or on areas of your masonry that are exposed to moisture heavily such as your chimney.  The amount of damage to the brick is dependant on the amount of moisture and climate shifts.

Many Michigan homeowners attempt to hide the damage or spalling of their brick by replacing the damaged areas with a subpar brick match.  Sometimes when a masonry repair has not been installed correctly or the brick do not match, homeowners and contractors will try to hide this poor repair with paint.  This is one of the worst things you can possibly do to your masonry.  People think paint will seal their masonry and help camouflage their poor repair.  In fact painting brick only traps moisture inside the brickwork and hastens the spalling process.  Brick needs to breathe.

Some masonry construction such as cinderblock, cinder brick, and concrete are not as susceptible to spalling once they are painted.  It is really the more porous bricks, such as reclaim brick, sand lime brick, and chicago common bricks that are most susceptible to spalling and at the most risk once painted.

In climates such as Michigan one of the best ways to prevent your brick from spalling is in the proper construction of your brick wall.  Some of these methods include use of the proper mortar and the proper style of jointing during construction.

When you notice your brick are spalled or that your mortar has deteriorated, the best solution to this problem is to remove the damaged mortar, remove the damaged brick, and then replace them.

Hopefully this information has proven useful.  At Brick Repair LLC we are committed to quality masonry restoration and the beautification of our communities through quality craftsmanship.  If you notice spalled brick on your chimney, around your gutters, or the deterioration of your mortar joints on your house, please feel free to contact us for a free masonry repair consultation.

Brick Repair LLC is a masonry repair and restoration specialists serving Southeast Michigan.  Our masonry contractors have over 12 years experience.  Some of the services we provide include chimney repair, chimney crown replacement, tuckpointing, brick replacement, brick porch construction, brick fireplace construction, brick fireplace repair, concrete sidewalk installation, concrete step construction, precast concrete step installation, limestone sill replacement.

For more information on masonry repair, please visit us at or call us at 248-895-7752