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Fixing Common Masonry Issues With Lennox Masonry

Masonry structures, such as chimneys and stone walls, add character, durability, and charm to our homes. However, over time, they can develop various issues that require attention and repair. From crumbling mortar to cracks and leaks, maintaining masonry structures is crucial for their longevity and structural integrity. In this blog post, Lennox Masonry of Victoria, BC will explore some common masonry issues encountered with chimneys and stone walls and discuss how to effectively address them.

Crumbling mortar between blocks of sandstone at the Duncan City Hall in Duncan BC being repaired by Lennox Masonry

1. Crumbling Mortar:

One of the most prevalent issues with masonry structures is crumbling mortar. Mortar deterioration can occur due to weather exposure, age, or improper installation. When mortar begins to deteriorate, it weakens the overall structure, leading to potential stability issues.

Solution: To address crumbling mortar, a process known as repointing is often employed. Repointing involves removing the deteriorated mortar and replacing it with fresh mortar. This not only restores the structural integrity of the masonry but also enhances its appearance.

For an in-depth guide on how to repoint brick chimneys and stone walls, check out our blog post: How To Repoint Brick and Stone Structures

A crack between sandstones on the staircase of Duncan City Hall in Duncan BC

2. Cracks:

Cracks in chimneys and stone walls can develop for various reasons, including settling, tremors, temperature fluctuations, and water damage. These cracks not only compromise the aesthetics of the structure but can also allow water infiltration, leading to further deterioration over time.

Solution: The appropriate solution for repairing cracks depends on their size and severity. Small cracks can often be filled with mortar. However, larger or more significant cracks may require more extensive repair work, such as patching with new masonry materials or rebuilding the structure from the ground up.

To learn more about repairing or rebuilding chimneys and stone walls, review our following blog posts:

A brick chimney with cracks in it being repaired by Lennox Masonry in Victoria BC

3. Water Damage and Leaks:

Water infiltration is a common problem with masonry structures, particularly chimneys. Water can enter through cracks, gaps in the mortar, or porous masonry materials, leading to moisture damage, mold growth, and structural decay.

Solution: Preventing water damage and leaks involves several steps. First, inspect the masonry for any signs of water penetration, such as damp spots or efflorescence. Seal any cracks or gaps with appropriate mortar or sealants. Additionally, consider installing a chimney cap or applying a waterproofing membrane to protect against moisture intrusion.

You can learn more about that process here:

A stone wall in Victoria BC experiencing efflorescence and in need of repair by Lennox Masonry

4. Efflorescence:

Efflorescence is a white, powdery substance that forms on the surface of masonry structures due to the migration of soluble salts within the masonry. While efflorescence itself is not harmful, it can indicate underlying moisture issues and detract from the appearance of the masonry.

Solution: To remove efflorescence, scrub the affected areas with a solution of water and vinegar or a commercial efflorescence cleaner. Once removed, take steps to address the underlying moisture issues to prevent its recurrence.

Lennox Masonry of Victoria BC surrounding a brick chimney in scaffolding for repairs

5. Structural Instability:

Over time, masonry structures can experience structural instability due to factors such as foundation settlement, inadequate support, seismic activity, improper mortar, roots, or a lack of ample drainage. Signs of structural instability include leaning chimneys, bulging walls, or sagging masonry.

Solution: Addressing structural instability often requires the expertise of a professional structural engineer or mason. Depending on the severity of the issue, solutions may include underpinning the foundation, installing additional support structures, or rebuilding sections of the masonry.

If you're located in the Victoria, BC area and are experiencing issues with your chimney, stone wall, fireplace, or any other masonry structure, then contact us today and discover how passionate we are about restoring our community one brick or stone at a time!

Lennox Masonry logo depicting a stone with cuts in it located in Victoria BC

Lennox Masonry of Victoria, BC has been proudly serving both Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands for over a decade. We are small group of skilled masons with a great deal of passion towards our trade and for improving the communities we live and work in. We extend our gratitude to the lək̓ʷəŋən people for allowing us to share and work on this corner of the garden with them. We are thankful for the residents and businesses of Victoria, BC for supporting us in our endeavors!

If you’re in need of a professional and reliable masonry company for your next project, please contact us today!


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