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DIY Brick and Mortar Inspection – What to Look for

Brick and mortar have been used as key construction ingredients for centuries. Bricks themselves are manufactured in a process that involves exposure to high temperatures resulting in the clay and other silicates hardening to form a durable construction material.

Despite the durability and sturdiness that brick and mortar construction offers, time and weather conditions as well as chemical weathering result in slow deterioration. This is not too much of a problem as brick and mortar can be restored.

The question is, how do you know that your space requires professional restoration?

When to Call in the Professionals

Before you call in the professionals for a restoration, you need to know the same is needed. That being said, what exactly should you look for? As a commercial restoration contractor company offering brick, stone and old building restoration among other things, we can help.

If you’re performing a DIY brick and mortar inspection before calling in the professionals, here’s what you need to keep an eye out for!

Missing Mortar

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The spaces between each brick are meant to be sealed and closed using mortar. Over time and due to erosion, the mortar between the bricks in your space or building may thin, loosen, come undone and fall out.

Spaces left when the mortar falls out are easily visible. Extensive areas with thinned or missing mortar are one of the things that warrant professional restoration.

Mortar Cracks

You don’t need to wait for your building to reach a point where the mortar is falling right out or missing. You might want to be a little more preemptive. If this is so, don’t just keep an eye out for missing mortar. Look for cracks and blemishes in your mortar too.

If your mortar has not come undone yet, but is in the process, it’s best to have it fixed. In areas like Boston, it doesn’t take long for little cracks to become full blown crevices due to weather changes and frequent freezing and thawing.  

Brick Damage

Your mortar is not the only thing that may sustain damage over time. There are occasions where the bricks used in your construction may also wear and weather. This is often the case if you have performed restoration work like repointing in the past.

If your bricks look strained have begun cracking or are disintegrating at certain points and turning to dust, this could quickly become problematic. Look out for damaged, cracked and loose bricks when performing your inspection and if you find any, call for a professional restoration job.

Flooding and Seepage

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Though this problem might not concern restoration experts directly, we all know that water does a fair bit of damage to bricks. This is because bricks are porous and tend to absorb water around them. When temperatures drop this water freezes, expanding and hence eroding the bricks.

Keep an eye out for puddles, flooding and seepage around your brick construction when inspecting your property.


Finally, once you’ve performed your larger inspection, pay close heed to the conditions of areas around the windows as well as around the doors and other such openings of your property. If you have a chimney, check the sealing points between the same and your roof.

Damaged chimney flashing for instance is something a restoration expert will attend to so make sure this and other such sealing is as it should be.

Winding Down

Make sure you don’t forget the points above when performing that DIY brick and mortar inspection. Also, feel free to give us a shout if you’re looking for a restoration contractor in Boston, MA, and surrounding areas including Concord and Lexington.  

Adriano Nunes