Eroding Bricks


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Old 02-15-09, 06:11 AM
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Eroding Bricks

My mom's home is about 30 years old and is all brick. It is in Florida. The bricks are white and I guess they were "used brick" as the corners are rounded or at least not perfectly square. Anyway, in some places they are eroding and all that is left is the mortar between them. It is hard to determine the exact cause, as some are where a sprinkler has hit them repeatedly over the years, others are where mold or mildew might be the culprit, but others are just eroding. We have been told that perhaps they weren't Fired at the optimum temperature when they were made...but not sure.

Anyway, I am attaching pictures of the problem and would love to have suggestions as to how to go about fixing it. I don't think it is a structural problem, as the house is framed behind the brick..but would like it to not be an eye sore, or obvious mess. Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 02:06 PM
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Photos were added below.

My sister made a great post, but as a sibling, I would like to add two quick thoughts: 1) these are the only few bricks on the entire house where this has happened; and 2) No sprinklers hit this wall or these bricks. In fact, where sprinklers have hit the house, there is no brick erosion. So this is puzzling. The bricks are non-load-bearing but areas missing brick do expose the frame to moisture and insects.

One more thing - these photos were taken on a rainy day. Normally there is not all the visible moisture/condensation that appears in these photos.

Does this problem require repair? If so, what is the best approach to fixing? What would be the ballpark cost?

See photos below.

Thanks!
Carol

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Last edited by carol2; 02-15-09 at 02:07 PM. Reason: another thought
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Old 02-15-09, 03:58 PM
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That is moisture erosion on soft fired bricks. This is a DIY site, so if you need info on how to remediate it, no problem. If you want a price for someone else to repair it call a local contractor.


Here is a picture of a similar situation.

 
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Old 02-15-09, 04:42 PM
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One thing is for sure, a picture is worth a thousand words. The reason its only happening there carol is obvious, looking at the pictures.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 04:45 PM
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Fair enough, and we are almost always Do-it-yourselfers - at least first try.

So we would love advice on how to fix.
Thanks!!
Carol
 
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Old 02-15-09, 04:49 PM
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Tscar - aren't the bricks in your photo spalling? From what I've read and the photos I've seen, that is from bricks expanding and contracting from freezing and causes the front of the brick to crumble. We don't have any freezing in Florida so I had ruled out spalling. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Smitty - this must be where experience comes in! I can see the pictures, too, but the solution is not obvious to me.

Please remember that there is no more moisture in this location than anywhere else on the house - the photos were taken on day it was raining. Yet this is the only place this is happening.

Thanks!
Carol
 
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Old 02-15-09, 06:07 PM
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Abbeville Louisiana doesn't get much if any freezing. Those are old bricks eroding from a lack of gutters.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 07:39 PM
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unfortunatly the only fix to to replace the bricks, as Tscarborough said soft fired bricks, usually old bricks from early in the 20th century

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies
 
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Old 02-15-09, 08:38 PM
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Carol,
The rain will help you understand whatís going on back there. Next time you get a heavy rainstorm get an umbrella head out back and youíll see first hand what Tscarborough is talking about. Your gutters are failing or you donít have any, address that problem. Clearly in the photos water is streaming off the roof, the water is bouncing off the roofed-box and being deflected to the brick veneer. Now you have a damaging, steady flood of water constantly eroding this part of the wall, from that roof down, during a rain storm. Under this condition any masonry will erode much more rapidly that the rest of the structure, as youíve discovered. The mortar eroding slower than the brick is just an indication that the mortar is harder than the brick, we realize youíre in Florida.

regards,
Smitty
 
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Old 02-18-09, 09:50 AM
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Smitty and Others,

Thanks for all the good advice. We are most grateful. How urgent do you think this repair? If you were only going to be in the house for another five years or so, would you still deem the repair necessary? (Most homes in this gated community, when sold, are demolished by the new buyer and a new home built in the same place. Homes are purchased for the land only.)

We are trying to determine if we really need to get into this project or not.

Thanks again,
Carol
 
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Old 02-18-09, 10:59 AM
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There is sheathing exposed, so you are getting water behind the veneer. This will lead to mold and all of the problems that that involves.

At the very least, fix the water issue and patch the brick with mortar. That is a poor way of "fixing" it, but it will at least halt the deterioration for a few years.
 
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Old 04-02-09, 12:59 PM
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As advised, we had gutters hung this week. They look fantastic. So now we have removed the splashing problem. Now we have to repair the missing bricks. I have a feeling that will be the greater challenge.

Carol
 
 

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