Spalling can be a big problem with exterior brick surfaces. Not only does it look bad, but it could compromise the integrity of the wall as the spalling gets worse. And because we’re in winter, brick spalling is only going to get worse if it’s already a problem. Learn why spalling is a problem with brick and what can be done about it in this week’s blog.
Spalling occurs, like so many other masonry problems, because of water entering the brick. Right off the bat, this shows the importance of choosing high quality bricks, especially for exterior surfaces. Modern brick technology and sealing deters water from entering brick and causing it to spall. However, many buildings have older bricks. These bricks are softer, more porous, and generally just not up to the quality standards of modern brick. Therefore, they’re easily invaded by water.
In the summer, this isn’t a huge problem. The air can absorb the water in the brick and carry it away. In the winter, however, the air can’t absorb this water, so it stays in the brick. The frequent freezing and thawing we experience in the winter in Baltimore causes the water in the brick to expand, taking the brick with it. The brick begins to flake and chip off at the surface. This is what spalling is.
Once the problem starts, the speed at which it progresses increases. This is because the spalled brick presents a larger surface area for water to penetrate. It freezes, the brick spalls more, and all of a sudden that brick wall is not only looking bad, it’s looking like it might not be structurally sound.
Repairing Spalled Brick
The best way to repair spalled brick is usually to just replace it with completely new brick. New bricks are much more resistant to the influx of moisture and are better suited to withstand the elements, especially in a northern climate like Baltimore’s. If your exterior brick in Baltimore is spalling, contact Consolidated Coatings today for more information about repair options.
About Consolidated Coatings Inc.
Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.