Many homeowners in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex have a brick building or façade on their homes. This is for good reason, as brick adds character and style to those buildings. However, since it is meant to face the effects of weather, you may witness the interesting impacts moisture has on brick.Note that brick is not exactly impenetrable to moisture, and it is also not impervious to moisture damage. With routine care and maintenance, you can reduce the impacts of moisture on brick. However, for older buildings, you may find that moisture has different outcomes on brick during summer and winter. Let's take a look.
Effects of Moisture on Brick in Summer
The warming climate experienced from the end of February means summer is ready to unfold. This warm weather brings with it rain, more heavily in April. Rain is an excellent source of moisture on brick, especially on external walls when driven by wind.
Moisture Build-up on Exterior Walls
Typically, brick can absorb a tremendous amount of moisture. Masons are well aware of this fact, and they create weep holes and air vents through which the brick can release the moisture back into the atmosphere, mainly when directly heated up by the sun. When there's excess rainfall, however, it may take several days before the brick dries completely. Water has a way of leaching away at the lime in the mortar. Over time, you find the mortar joints have washed out.Other ways in which too much build-up of moisture on brick causes damage are by cracking, dusting, and spalling.
In Dallas-Fort Worth, the period between May and October tends to be a nightmare for people with high humidity sensitivity. While air conditioning can provide some relief, your bricks may not feel the effects, especially if you have spots with poor ventilation in the building. Also, various activities in your home, such as drying laundry, a hot bath, or a boiling pot can contribute to high humidity levels. Where the levels are greater than 60%, they create an ideal environment for the growth of mold and mildew.
Effects of Moisture on Brick in Winter
As December sets in, the start of the cool weather season presents its own challenges. Previous summer months may have led your brick walls to soak up enough precipitation to last into the winter months. With that, now you are faced with a different set of problems.
Although mold doesn’t survive on the exterior of brick walls, it can thrive in poorly ventilated interiors. This is true for insulation crafted out of wood, paper, or other organic materials. Add to this the abundance of water that has already seeped into the bricks, and you have a recipe for an explosion of mold growth. The most common type of mold you'll come across is white mold. Getting rid of it may require specialty tools, as it proliferates when the conditions are right. You can also expect the mold to deface your bricks as it begins eating away at the surface and the mortar in between.
Expansion During Freezing
A particularly stressful issue with moisture on brick is thermal jacking. Water behaves in a funny way when temperatures begin to fall. You may have come across the topic of anomalous expansion of water in your middle school chemistry or physics class. To refresh your memory, this talks about when water freezes, it expands.When water has infiltrated the walls, cores, and joints, freezing can cause a catastrophic failure of the wall structure. The expansion causes buckling, and eventually, with repeated movement from the expansion of freezing water, the brick wall collapses.
So, What's Your Way Out?
Do not let taking care of bricks be a headache for you. Instead, get in touch with experts who will give you peace of mind. That's where we at Brick Experts DFW come in. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is full of buildings with awesome brick walls, which after many years of braving the elements, cannot hold the integrity expected of them. All they need is some TLC to get them performing optimally. For that, you require the right people to assess and come up with a plan to restore them.That's who we are. We are highly skilled masons with the proper knowledge and experience to restore your brick walls. Are you ready to see your building restored to its former glory? Then get in touch with us now for a quick estimate.