What Is the Life Expectancy of Brick?Brick is a sturdy material that can be expected to last for the lifetime of a house. You probably won't have to do much maintenance for the first few decades. However, you'll need to start examining the condition of your bricks eventually. If you maintain your bricks properly, you can extend their lifetime to several hundred years.
Which Problems Can Affect the Life Expectancy of Brick?Several conditions can affect the lifespan of your bricks. If they aren't cared for properly, they may not stay in good condition beyond your lifetime. Keep an eye on your bricks to make sure they haven't been exposed to any of these conditions. If they have, it's important to take action quickly to resolve the issue.
Freeze DamageBrick is constantly exposed to the elements, and when it is wet and frequently exposed to freezing temperatures, it can crack. Freeze damage is caused when moisture seeps down into the pores of the bricks. This is more common in bricks that were under-fired during the creation process. Moisture seeps into the bricks, and then when temperatures plummet, the moisture freezes and expands up to 10%. As a result, bricks start to crack. This issue is most common in brick fences because they have no protection from the elements. Rain penetrates the bricks on top of the fence and seeps down into the bricks in the bottom. It isn't possible to completely eliminate the risk of freeze damage. Your best bet is just to examine your bricks and replace them if you see signs of freeze damage. If left untreated, the integrity of the brick may not last. It's important to replace any bricks that have freeze damage.
ErosionVarious natural elements can cause your bricks to wear down over time. This most often occurs in bricks that are located in damp spots, such as a basement or crawlspace. Moisture seeps into the bricks and erodes them until their integrity is compromised. Erosion happens regardless of how well you care for your bricks, so it is essential to replace them as soon as you notice the issue. This practice helps you preserve the structure of your home. You can't always prevent erosion, but you can minimize the rest of it by using brick in areas not prone too much moisture. It is also useful to avoid using brick in a climate with salty air. The salt increases the rate of erosion.
Brick Mortar DamageMortar is a substance placed between bricks to hold them together. When mortar starts to fall out or is damaged in any way, the integrity of your brick structure will be compromised. This most often happens due to corrosion on the ladder design used in the brick installation. When corrosion happens, you may start to see a long line of mortar fall out of your brick structure. It is vital to replace the mortar quickly to hold the structure together.
Powdery Substance on BricksIf your bricks start to look discolored after a few decades, it is probably due to the buildup of minerals in the air. These minerals are present in the moisture that collects on bricks, and when the moisture evaporates, it can leave behind a powdery substance. Although it may not look dangerous, this substance can compromise the strength of your bricks. You can typically minimize this issue by rinsing off brick walls with clean water. Make sure that the bricks are dried properly so that the moisture left behind won't affect the integrity of your home's structure.
Find a Brick Expert in Fort Worth, TexasIf you're interested in building your home out of brick, it's important to work with an expert to ensure you are happy with the final project. The Brick Experts are here to help residents of Fort Worth, Texas lay brick the right way so that it will last for many years. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for installation or brick maintenance.
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