Signs That Your Masonry Needs Waterproofing

While brick and stone are very strong materials, they can lead to serious issues if the structure needs to be adequately waterproofed. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent costly damage.

Waterproofing masonry is the best way to prevent problems. Although various products are available in retail stores, they are generally not vapor permeable and must be reapplied regularly.

Sagging or bulging walls

Bulging walls indicate that the internal support structure is weak or needs strengthening. Over time, a building frame can move due to changes in seasonal temperatures and the weight of materials such as cornices and plasterboard attached or held up by it. This movement can cause the joists, beams and partitions to stretch and expand, leading to sagging or bulging.

These structural issues can often be prevented by ensuring that cavity walls have proper wall ties, that internal and external brick walls are adequately supported, and that additional floors or walls are carefully considered before construction. In older buildings, it is also important to ensure that existing movement in the foundations has been taken into account and that a structural survey has been carried out before purchasing any property.

When a masonry chimney is not properly waterproofed, water can penetrate the brick and mortar and erode it over time. A comprehensive masonry waterproofing process involves repairing the damage that has already been done and sealing the masonry to prevent future damage.

Cracked or broken windows and doors

Whether caused by a pebble flung by the lawn mower or a bad football pass, cracked windows and doors are signs of structural issues that must be addressed. In addition to being a nuisance, these cracks can further erode the masonry material and create further problems within your building.

Moisture is the enemy of masonry. Even the strongest bricks will break down and crumble when exposed to moisture over time. The freeze/thaw process causes water to enter tiny pores in brick and mortar, causing them to widen and erode. When it freezes again in warmer weather, the deterioration continues until the masonry breaks down completely.

Waterproofing prevents moisture from entering masonry surfaces and causing damage, preserving stability for years. While some retail products claim to keep water out, they are usually permeable and require reapplication. Masonry waterproofing services like DRYLOK are designed to be impenetrable, bonding with masonry to form an effective barrier that protects you and your belongings.

White staining on your bricks

Efflorescence is the white discoloration that appears on brick walls. It is the result of salts from inside the brick being brought to the surface by water that seeps into masonry structures. As the water evaporates, it leaves behind a white crystallized deposit outside your building.

While this is a common problem, it’s important to know that it can indicate a serious problem with your brickwork. Moisture in brick that’s not being adequately ventilated can lead to a buildup of mold, mildew and other harmful bacteria. These problems can then spread throughout your home, wreaking havoc on your health.

While some people use surface treatments to help control the recurrence of white deposits, it’s best to have the issue checked and treated by a professional. It can be applied to bare brick, mortar or concrete and will not interfere with existing paints.

Water leaks

Water leaks can be a huge problem for homeowners and businesses. If they aren’t repaired immediately, they can cause structural damage and mold growth. Often, this damage can be caused by deteriorating mortar or a settling foundation. Waterproofing can help to prevent future damage and stop existing problems.

Standing water on the floor or walls is the most obvious sign of a leak. But there are also subtle signs, such as a musty smell or white chalky lines on concrete blocks and walls, called efflorescence. Efflorescence results from water migrating through brick, concrete and other masonry materials, dissolving and depositing naturally occurring salts on the surface.

Masonry sealers are available at most hardware stores, but they only provide protection for a short time and need to be reapplied regularly. Waterproofers, like DRYLOK, penetrate pores and pinholes to bond with masonry and create an impenetrable barrier against moisture.