Whether you are a first time homeowner or buying or selling a home, you are undoubtedly familiar with the need for a home inspection.
Omega Masonry has a special team of field agents who understand your realtor’s need for verification about the soundness of load-bearing brick walls, the strength of a stone or brick retaining wall, chimney integrity, fireplace functionality, and the reliability of a home’s decorative elements. You can count on Omega for quick response times to all masonry home inspection needs.
What do the Cracks in my brick wall mean?
Cracks that occur along any brick or stone wall can be caused by many issues. One example is that your foundation may have settled. The chief concern in this situation is whether the foundation itself has also been damaged. Once that determination has been made; many cracks can be repaired by utilizing a simple point-and-tuck procedure.
But a crack does not always indicate a settling issue. Sometimes the mortar has simply become porous and water flowed behind the bricks to the ground by following the weakest grout lines. A simple home inspection will help put any buyer or seller’s mind at ease.
Inspecting Brick or Stone Deterioration
Why is my Brick Deteriorating?
Like cracking, brick deterioration can be attributed to a number of causes. That is why a reputable realtor will advise you to have a professional inspection prior to buying or selling your home.
Bricks can flake or crumble because excess water has permeated their interior, or because they are old. Bricks also suffer deterioration when they have been mismatched with inappropriate mortars or sealants. Only a certified mason can eliminate unnecessary speculation about the severity of a brick deterioration issue.
Many times, even damaged brick can be saved by repositioning them and resolving whatever issue began the deterioration process.
Inspecting Discolored Bricks
If my brick is discolored do I have water issues?
Well, yes – but the issues may be different than what you think. First of all, especially in the case of chimney inspections, homeowners tend to think the worst. Chimneys are highly exposed and susceptible to water penetration within the mortar. Water causes brick to swell. While swollen, they can leach the limestone used to make them.
Another possibility is that unyielding mortars or inappropriate sealants were used to protect chimney brick during inclement weather. Either of these issues will also cause brick to leach and/or deteriorate.
Masonry inspectors check to see how deep the water penetration has proceeded and can often give a chimney a passing mark in spite of discoloration. Nonetheless, it is always best to resolve any chimney issues when preparing to sell your home so they don’t become major issues for the new homeowner at a later date.
Inspecting for Appropriate Drainage
I am a potential buyer. I loved the last home I saw, but the retaining wall was sagging. If I buy this home, will I have to replace the entire retaining wall?
A masonry professional is the only person who can fully answer that question. What often happens is that the retaining wall has inadequate drainage. The moisture from the topsoil accumulates at the base of the retaining wall and damages the mortar that holds the walls bricks or stones together, causing the retaining wall to sag, droop, or split. Depending upon the severity of the damage, qualified masons can usually repair sections of the retaining wall, and add French Drains at appropriate locations.