Many commercial exteriors contain brick walls or facades. Brick exteriors can look great. Unfortunately, when brick isn’t maintained over time, it quickly loses its appeal.
Finding the outer surfaces of bricks have been peeling off can be alarming. Spalling is the term for this. It happens when bricks absorb moisture, then freeze before they dry out. Water, like most liquids, contracts as it cools. But when water reaches about 39 degrees Fahrenheit, it expands slightly as it reaches freezing temperature. As it turns to ice, it expands even more — up to 9 percent — because of the structure of its six-sided crystals. This expansion is almost certainly what is causing chunks of the bricks to pop off.
Assuming the bricks were installed correctly, the spalling is probably just a cosmetic issue. If the bricks were installed incorrectly and moisture is getting into the facility an experienced contractor should assess the situation. To keep more pieces from falling out, figure out why moisture is soaking into the bricks, and correct the underlying problem.
Deep cleaning bricks can solve most cosmetic issues and spraying bricks with a waterproofing sealer every few years is recommended. Cleaning brick exteriors can be tricky. Professional exterior cleaning companies know what works on brick on your area – and what does not. Although, sealers can’t seal gaps in mortar joints and should not be the main line of defense in keeping a brick wall dry.
Regular brick maintenance is a simple, and effective way to prevent issues. By staying on top of small issues now, you can avoid expensive measures like replacement in the future. KC Restoration can help you deep clean your brick exteriors safely and effectively. Contact us today for a free consultation.