Despite being renowned for its durability, problems in brickwork can be very serious. They are often caused by subsidence, settlement or bowing, but more commonly are the result of poor or incorrect maintenance. Repointing with the wrong type of mortar, inappropriate cleaning by blasting or chemicals, or the application of water repellent coatings can all cause problems. Cement renders or even the wrong paint system can also cause problems to the interior and façade of the brickwork.
Where cracks have appeared in the façade due to movement, heli bar fixings can be inserted into the bed joints every 4 courses to stabilise and strengthen the masonry.
Take Down and Rebuild
In certain cases there is no option but to take down failed brickwork and rebuild. Great care has to be taken in sourcing the correct bricks and that the correct bond is followed to match surrounding areas.
The two typical types of arches most common in brickwork are the semi circle and segmented arch. Both are formed using timber forms.
Keeping walls pointed is important. There are various types of brick pointing, the most popular are flush, Weather-struck, Penny-struck and tuck pointing.
Re-facing of bricks using a coloured mortar, floated and joints cut in to match existing bond. The advantage of carrying out repairs in this way is the minimum disruption to the structure.