Charm City Masonry is your brick mason in Baltimore
Brick masonry is the most common form of home construction in the US. And since it’s so common, you don’t have to worry a lot when considering adding it to your home property.
You might be wondering, “who can I trust to provide brick masonry repair near me?” You’re in luck because any of our licensed brick masons in Baltimore will have years’ worth of experience.
You still need to be informed, though. Knowing the benefits and risks before making a financial commitment is going to help you when you decide to reach out to a professional.
If you already have brick construction and want to know more about what maintenance and repair problems you can expect in the future, this article is for you. We’ll talk about types of bricks, brickwork designs, and of course the brick repair you need to help your brick constructions last a lifetime.
What Types of Bricks Can I Get for My Walls?
There's a lot to choose from!
Just like any home construction material, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to bricks. These are just some of the types to consider when choosing masonry bricks.
Burnt Clay Bricks Burnt clay bricks are the most common form of brick. You can recognize it by its stereotypical reddish color. These bricks are created by pressing wet clay into molds, then drying and kiln firing them.
These bricks come in four classes:
First-class burnt clay bricks have the best strength and uniformity in shape, edge and smooth texture.
Second-class burnt clay bricks are less durable, less smooth, and their edges are less defined.
Third-class burnt clay bricks are even lower quality than second-class and also do very poorly against rain, humidity and other types of moisture.
Fourth-class burnt clay bricks are made from recycled material and are not fit for safe home construction.
Concrete Bricks Concrete masonry bricks are made from a mixture of cement, sand and gravel and tend to be on the heavy side. The density of concrete comes with benefits; insulation from sound and heat and resiliency from pests and insects damage.
Sand Lime Bricks Sand lime bricks are made from a combination of sand and lime. They’re a lot smoother than concrete bricks but just as dense, strong and tough. Unlike clay bricks, these bricks are resistant to efflorescence ̶ ̶ a process where salt-water evaporates from within the brick leaving behind a powdery-white residue.
Fly Ash Clay Bricks Fly ash bricks are manufactured from industrial wastes like fly ash, cement, sand and stone dust. They’re uniform in size and smooth texture, strong, thermally efficient and since they’re made from byproduct materials, very eco-friendly.
What are the Benefits of Brick?
High Function, Low Maintenance
Despite the many types of brick materials out there, they generally share the same properties. As you would expect, in addition to being strong and durable, bricks are:
Economical (Raw material is easily available)
Great at sound insulation
Long-lasting (100+ years)
What Do I Need to Worry About with Brick?
Bricks are durable, so not a whole lot
Brick masonry does have its drawbacks so it’s important to know what you need to consider. A lot of limitations or deficiencies come from the fact that bricks are porous compared to metal and stone. Here are a few of the challenges you should watch out for:
Brick structures are rigid and so don’t do well in places with extreme weather ̶ ̶ hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.
Because brick structures are porous, they do invite mould and algae growth as well as weeds. If you’re investing in a brick wall, you need to factor in the cost of brick wall repair for vines.
If you choose to have a brick foundation, be aware that flooding can cause a lot of damage leading to excessive repair costs.
Are Bricks Right for Me or Should I be Looking at Stone?
Something to seriously consider
You need to consider two things when picking between brick or stone masonry, visuals and function.
In terms of visual design, it’s completely up to you. Stone masonry provides a timeless, high-class, fieldstone look to your home. Because of the unique aesthetics, stone adds to your property value.
If you’re looking for a uniform look, then brick masonry is what you want. You probably won’t get the same bump in property value, but a clean, uniformly aligned layout easily fits into the neighbourhood design scheme.
Functionally, brick is less durable, weather-resistant, and has a shorter lifespan compared to stone.
It’s not always your bricks that are causing your problems, it may be the mortar in the joints eroding. When this happens, you need to hire a contractor to perform some tuckpointing.
Tuckpointing, sometimes referred to as repointing or brick pointing, is a process used to fill the joints between stones. Repairing joints involves cleaning out the old, eroded mortar, then simply filling the space with new mortar.
Why Are My Bricks Crumbling?
We can help
Brick crumbling is known as “spalling” and most of our work at Charm City Masonry has to do with brick wall repair. Because brick is porous, it expands and contracts through the seasons. This effect combined with water build-up inside the brick means that both the bricks and the mortar naturally erode.
The best way to prevent spalling is to apply a sealant. This, however, can do more damage than good. If sealants aren’t applied properly, it can have the undesired effect of not allowing your bricks to breathe properly. You need to hire professional brick masons to help you formulate a strategy for preventing and treating spalling.
Your Baltimore Brick Repair Services
“Where can I find brick masonry repair near me?” Look no further than Charm City Masonry
You can’t go wrong when deciding to add brick structures to your existing home property. There are so many options to choose from and with proper maintenance, they can easily last upwards of 100 years.
Brick masonry is a large part of what we do and we’ve been doing it for years in Baltimore. We are a licensed and trained team of professionals with experience in spalling, tuckpointing, custom patching, and general brick repair.
If you’re looking for estimates or consultations for new brick installations, we’re always here to help.
If you’ve already taken the plunge and need repair and restoration work done, our team is always ready to go.