Many homeowners choose brick exteriors because of their good looks and extreme durability. If you own a brick home, understand that although it's low maintenance, it isn't no maintenance. The following mistakes could lead to major damage to your brick, along with the need for major repairs.
#1: Not anchoring correctly to the wall
Anchoring items to brick, whether it's your house number placard or a trellis, requires some care. As a general rule, it is best to anchor in mortar when possible, since mortar is easier to repair than brick. Sometimes, though, you may need to anchor in brick. In either case, make sure that you use a masonry anchor. These are sleeves that are inserted into the anchor hole. They expand and lock into place when the screw is inserted. This both helps to prevent slippage and it protects the surrounding brick or mortar from crumbling. Also, make sure you distribute the weight of the item you are hanging by as much as possible to cut down on damage.
#2: Ignoring minor damage
A bit of crumbling mortar or a cracked brick may not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to major problems. Crumbling mortar, for example, compromises the integrity of the wall. Fortunately, it is a simple repair to have the old mortar removed and fresh mortar applied, in a procedure known as tuckpointing. Broken bricks are also a concern. Even a small crack or chip can allow moisture through, which will then further compromise the brick or the neighboring mortar. Sometimes you can repair the damage by sealing the crack with mortar. Other times a replacement of the damaged brick may be required.
#3: Allowing unchecked vine growth
An ivy covered brick wall may look attractive, but what is happening underneath can be an expensive problem. Many brick-climbing vines due so by working their root tendrils into the mortar and brick, which will eventually cause the wall to crumble. If you must have a plant-covered wall, do so wisely. Install a vine trellis over the entire wall. This is a system of wires that are held a few inches away from the wall so air can still circulate. Then, choose a vine variety that grows by twining around wires as opposed to levering into mortar, such as scarlet runner beans or morning glories.
For more help or to fix any developing issues with your masonry, contact a brick restoration expert in your area. For more information, contact a business such as Brick & Mortar Restoration.