General Contractors: From New Homes to Old Repairs

Common Bricklaying and Masonry Mistakes to Avoid

If you need bricklaying done around your house, you might do well to call a contractor, as this job is typically more difficult and involved than most homeowners realize. However, if you are going to try to tackle this job on your own, note a few common bricklaying and masonry mistakes to avoid and problems you might run into, so you know how to do the job right.

1. Matching the mortar

It's not uncommon for a homeowner who has an older home to neglect to match the older mortar to new brick masonry. This can be a mistake, as older mortar may actually be more of a cement mixture, and this is much less porous than many types of new mortar. The new mortar may then "breathe" by pulling in air and moisture more so than the older mortar; in turn, the new mortar may expand and contract more often and more distinctly than the older mortar. This can cause the sections to pull away from each other. When doing any brickwork along older brick that's already in place, be sure you match the mortar types and mixtures.

2. Efflorescence

Efflorescence refers to the speckling of white flakes that eventually appear on the front of brick. These flakes are usually salt crystals that come from water and moisture trapped in the mortar and brickwork as it's being installed, or that appears after installation. These crystals are more than just unsightly; they can corrode the brick and cause cracking and other damage. To avoid this efflorescence, be sure you have proper water protection behind your brickwork including flashing or some type of moisture barrier. Caulking behind the brick might also be needed and especially in certain climates where moisture is more prevalent in the air.

3. Rust

Rust comes from corroded metal and it can form or show along brickwork or masonry if you use certain forms of unprotected metal as supports for your brickwork. Aluminum does not rust but it may not be strong enough to hold the brickwork in place; rebar might be used instead, but when shopping for rebar that would support brickwork, be sure you opt for coated metals only. Even if the rebar is buried in the brickwork, it can still be exposed to water and oxygen coming through the masonry, and rust can then form. If you choose coated metals for rebar or any type of metal support for your brickwork, this can ensure it won't show any type of rust.

For assistance, talk to some bricklayers.

About Me

General Contractors: From New Homes to Old Repairs

Hi, my name is Toni, and I love everything having to do with home repair and design. Over the years, I have done a ton of my own repairs, helped my friends and hired many general contractors. I have learned a lot about how to choose contractors, how to do easy repairs on your own, and when to stop DIY repairs and call the professionals. I wanted to share that information with others, and I love writing so I created this blog. In it, I am going to explore countless topics about everything related to contractors. I hope you and your home benefit from the information presented in this blog, and most importantly, I hope you enjoy reading.

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