Over time, concrete blocks, paving stones, and bricks age and sustain weather-related damage. If not repaired, these can crumble and break, posing a fall hazard. If you see any of these 5 signs, contact a masonry specialist about masonry repair.
1. Your bricks are developing holes.
Once backyard bricks, paver stones or concrete blocks begin to develop holes, water will seep in and around the holes. In the winter, cycles of freezing and thawing will make the damage worse and can cause crumbling and cracking. This can make your garden pathways or patios unusable, and necessitate costly repair.
Once you notice holes in your bricks or pavers, contact a professional stonemason, via a site like http://www.aaa1masonry.com/. He or she will inspect the stones or bricks and advise you on whether it makes more sense to repair the holes or replace the worn-out material altogether.
2. Your patio is sinking.
As the ground outside your home settles, it can cause the patio stones to sink. This often happens when workers who laid the patio did not take the time to properly prepare the ground beneath the stones or bricks.
As patio stones and bricks begin to sink, your backyard path or patio will become uneven. This makes it a fall hazard. If this happens, contact a professional handyman or stonemason who can dig out the patio stones and fix this problem by repairing the ground beneath the pavers.
3. The mortar between bricks is crumbling.
Once mortar starts to come out of your brick patio, path, or retaining wall, the bricks themselves will become loose if you do not make repairs. You may notice loose chunks of mortar or small areas of mortar dust around the bricks that indicate that the mortar is crumbling. Skilled masons can repair this using a technique known as tuckpointing, which cleans out the loose joints and applies new mortar.
If you see crumbling mortar, take action by scheduling a tuckpointing appointment to preserve the integrity of your bricks. If you delay, you risk having a more expensive repair once the bricks have worked themselves loose of the remaining mortar.
4. Your bricks or stones shift when stepped on.
Once your patio bricks or stones begin to shift when you walk on them, you must tread carefully to avoid tripping on a loose stone. Water can penetrate around the loose stone, weakening the overall structure. Repairing the loose stones can help to prevent water damage and prolong the patio's lifespan.
Fortunately, it's easy to make localized repairs on loose stones while leaving intact those that are in good condition. A handyman or stonemason can remove only the stones that have become loose and repair or replace them.
5. You have missing stones or bricks.
If you notice that stones or bricks have gone missing from your path, you need to fill in the gaps to ensure structural integrity, prevent water damage, and maintain your home's curb appeal. This may indicate other structural problems, such as loose mortar or water damage that weakened the bricks or stones enough for them to work themselves loose. Accordingly, it's advisable to have a professional stonemason inspect the area.
As with loose stones, missing stones and bricks can be replaced without disturbing the rest of the path or patio. This can be an inexpensive fix to a safety hazard. However, if the stonemason finds that there are serious structural problems, you may need to finance more expensive repairs.
It's important to have masonry repairs completed before the winter sets in, since many repairs cannot be completed once the ground has frozen ground. If your brick or stonework shows any of these signs, contact a mason today.