Masonry exterior surfaces, including brick, numerous types of stone, and concrete block, are one of the most durable of building materials. In fact, some of the homes and other structures built during the early founding years of America are still functional today. But even the most durable of masonry surfaces will still benefit from maintenance and timely repairs. If you enjoy the beauty and protection offered by your home's exterior masonry surfaces, here are some helpful maintenance tips to prolong its useful life and functionality.
Dangers of moisture
One of the most common residential masonry features are chimneys and decorative masonry fronts, both of which can provide an excellent example of how water damage and the elements can affect this material.
Both the upper portion of the chimney and a masonry front are fully exposed to all types of weather, including freezing temperatures. This constant exposure can cause cracking and erosion of the mortar, as well as damage to the surfaces of the brick, stone, or blocks.
When the mortar between bricks, stones, or blocks is damaged or missing, or when the materials themselves are damaged, moisture is able to seep through and settle behind the surface. As the moisture turns to ice, it expands, pushing the masonry surface away from the wall and weakening the exterior surface.
Preventing insect invasions
Another reason why homeowners should be concerned about the condition of exterior masonry surfaces is to protect their home from insects. Cracks and holes in masonry surfaces attract insects, including bees, ants, roaches, and even termites to invade the outer envelope of the home. Closing off these openings will help to keep the other materials of the home safe from insect damage and lessen the risk of insect-borne disease and illness.
Repairing damaged masonry
Homeowners who take the proactive step of frequently inspecting the masonry surfaces of their home for damage can use weatherproof caulking or a bit of masonry compound to seal small cracks and holes as they are discovered. Some types of damage, however, will need to be addressed by a reputable masonry repair service.
Examples of major damage include excessive cracking or missing or broken bricks, blocks, or stones. Homeowners should always take time to examine their home's exterior for this type of damage after severe weather events, such as wind or lightning storms and after experiencing impacts from falling trees. Homeowners who proactively inspect their home's masonry surfaces will be better able to enjoy a longer lifespan.
Get in touch with a company like A-1 Rooftop Chimney Sweep for more information.