Hard, But Meaningful WorkHard But Meaningful Work

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Hard, But Meaningful Work

Over the years, as we have observed contractors working on our home, one thing has become clear: this is not easy work. Whether the contractor is replacing pipes, framing a new room, or installing flooring, they are always working really hard to get the job done. We admire this. Many other professionals could benefit from observing this work ethic. As soon as we realized how hard contractors work, we had to share that fact on the internet. In fact, there are lots of other facts about contractors that we feel are worthy of sharing, which is why we continue to post on this blog.


Why Shouldn't You Ignore Cracks In Your Building's Masonry?

If you run a business, your building's outward appearance is an important part of the appearance you present to prospective customers or clients. Since many commercial structures use brick for its practical and aesthetic qualities, brick repairs on commercial structures are a common expense. However, many owners may not fully understand why their brick is cracking or why it's an issue.

When you notice cracks developing in your masonry, it's important to contact a contractor with experience in brickwork as soon as you can. Even if the damage seems relatively minor, ignoring the problem can lead to more costly issues in the future.

Why Is Your Brick Cracking?

Many people either write off brick cracks as a non-issue or believe that the foundation has a problem. These two extreme viewpoints obscure the many potential causes for brick walls to crack, and these issues can range from relatively minor to fairly severe. Contrary to popular belief, you often can't determine a crack's underlying cause simply by its direction.

Like cracks in concrete or other materials, the first question with cracks in brick is whether the crack is active. An active crack worsens over time, although it may be incredibly hard to spot relatively small changes. Active cracks in older buildings may indicate an underlying structural problem or another severe issue stressing the masonry.

On the other end of the scale, cracks can sometimes occur due to failing mortar. These cracks are often easy to spot since the gaps between bricks will remain relatively constant. Instead of an expanding crack, you might notice small chunks of mortar degrading or falling out without the brickwork moving much, if at all.

Why Can't You Ignore Cracks in Your Masonry?

While cracks don't always indicate an underlying structural issue, any crack in your masonry can affect the integrity of the wall. For decorative masonry, this can mean your wall will look worse over time, requiring more expensive repairs. And, of course, even decorative masonry still uses heavy bricks that can cause damage or injury if the wall fails.

For load-bearing or structural work, the problems can be more severe. Even degraded mortar will affect the overall integrity of the wall. So, while the initial crack may not indicate an underlying problem, the mortar loss can cause the bricks to shift or the wall to lose support. As a result, a relatively minor and non-structural issue can eventually become a dangerous structural flaw.

Unless you're an expert in brickwork or structural engineering, it can be hard to spot the differences between brick cracks or know when they can cause issues with your building. In almost all cases, the safest option is to contact a professional contractor as soon as you notice any substantial cracks in your building's masonry.  

Reach out to a contractor who offers commercial cracked brick repair for more information.