Is Brick Chipping a Serious Problem?

Chipping can cause serious structural damage requiring costly repair work if left untreated. Learn how to identify damaged areas in your bricks and how to protect them from further deterioration.

Is Brick Chipping a Serious Problem?

Chipping can be a minor aesthetic issue or it can cause serious structural damage that requires costly repairs. Older bricks are prone to peeling due to moisture penetration, which eventually leads to crumbling. Chipping occurs when the brick masonry begins to deteriorate and pieces of brick start to fall from the structure. If left untreated, this condition will worsen and interfere with the overall stability and safety of a building.

The risk of surrounding bricks chipping increases once the problem has started in one area. That's why it's so important to address the issue as soon as it arises. Shelling brick is when the face of a brick starts to crumble and fall off the body of the brick. This can lead to total destruction of the brick if not resolved. To resist these forces, bricks used outdoors tend to be harder and denser (less moisture absorption).

When you see an occasional brick on a wall that fails, it is often a softer brick that was mixed into the load by mistake. However, if there is massive failure, it indicates a serious water intrusion problem. The problem is probably not a bad brick. Exterior walls should be carefully detailed to keep water out, especially when they are part of a retaining wall. The most obvious item missing from your case is a lid or lid on the wall to prevent rain from entering.

Water and mold go hand in hand, and bricks that splinter can cause mold to spread easily to the surroundings. This is a big health risk, and it also looks terrible. Chipping is not only a health and safety hazard, if left alone for too long, your pockets are also in danger. When a brick begins to crumble, as evidenced by a peeling surface, and it begins to literally disintegrate, this is known as chipping. Descaling occurs when moisture from rain, melted snow or even moist soil becomes saturated and penetrates the brick. When the moisture inside the brick freezes, it expands and begins to crack the brick.

With repeated freezing and thawing, the fractures widen until the brick begins to crumble. Before repairing any peeling brick, make sure you have resolved the moisture or mortar problem that is causing your problems or chipping with. Insulation acts as the main barrier to heat, but brick helps further stabilize your home's internal temperatures by obstructing much of the heat from entering your home. Performing regular checks of your bricks to identify damaged areas is crucial to prevent deterioration. Any cracks, areas of insufficient mortar and damage to the brick should be repaired as quickly as possible. After the peeling brick is repaired, be sure to protect the repair and the rest of the brick by avoiding improper mortar, excessive moisture or self-imposed damage by brick sealants. When I see an old brick house with crumbling or flaking of the surface of the brick wall, I recognize a type of damage known as peeling brick.

They do not cover problems such as a clogged chimney or a peeling brick, which is almost always the result of poor chimney maintenance. If the humidity unit is too strong or blocked with “brick sealants”, then moisture can literally push the face of the brick. Clean the dust or loose pieces of the husked brick with a chip brush and vacuum until you have a clean substrate. Contact Turnbull Masonry for a free quote to fix chipped bricks in buildings, chimneys, retaining walls or any other structure. These are all simple solutions to help you keep your historic brick in good condition and avoid chipping bricks.

Since walls of fireplaces are much smaller than walls of houses, each brick has more responsibility to support the structure. You can also prevent flaking by ensuring that you have installed adequate drainage around your house so that water does not get close to its foundation.