White deposits on brick walls effloresence (C) Daniel Friedman Brick wall damage & repair
Bulged, Cracked, Loose, Spalled Structural Brick Building Wall Diagnosis & Repair

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Brick wall water & frost damage:

This article describes & gives photographic examples of brick wall damage from frost & water, including cracking, spalling, & white or coloured mineral salt deposits: effloresence.

This article series explains types of damage to structural brick walls. We explain how to recognize, diagnose, & evaluate movement and cracks in brick walls and how to recognize brick wall bowing or bulging and cracking failures. Our page top photo shows water and frost damage to a building in Poughkeepsie, NY.

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Brick Wall Damage by Water & Frost Damage to Brick Walls: Cracks, Effloresence, Spalling

Water & Frost Damaged, Broken Bulging Brick Walls

Frost damage to this brick wall (below) occurred due to roof spillage that runs down the building wall of this Poughkeepsie New York building, a college gymnasium presently serving other uses. Water entering the space behind this facing wythe of bricks on this wall has led to continued frost-push and risk of collapse of at least the external portions of the wall.

Brick wall frost damage (C) Daniel Friedman Brick wall frost damage (C) Daniel Friedman

[Click to enlarge any image]

Cracked Bricks in Strutural Building Walls

The brick cracking on the facade of this New York City high rise building appears traceable to leaks on balconies at the abutment of balcony to the building structure.

Brick wall frost damage (C) Daniel Friedman Brick wall frost damage (C) Daniel Friedman


Efflorescence Deposits on Brick Walls, Chimneys, Foundations

White deposits on brick walls effloresence (C) Daniel FriedmanEfflorescence: white, yellow, brown deposits on Brick Walls, Chimneys, Foundations

Our photo (left) shows white mineral deposits on a structural brick wall. It is not a coincidence that nearby we also see lost mortar from joints in the same general area.

Controlling roof runoff to keep water from flowing over building walls is always a challenge, especially on larger, taller buildings where access to maintain the gutter system is more difficult.

But the most common cause of white fluffy mineral deposits on brick walls is water.

Spalling Brick Building Walls

The brick spalling shown on this Beacon NY church (below-left) was caused by roof spillage and rain splash-up against the foundation wall. The structural brick walls on the second building (below right) show frost spalling damage to the brick wall, especially around the building windows.

Brick wall frost damage (C) Daniel Friedman Brick wall frost damage (C) Daniel Friedman

The brick surface loss (surface spalling and loss of the hard glazed finish) that occurs due to weathering, water and salt exposure (this is a retaining wall along the FDR expressway in Manhattan) leads to more severe frost damage that can include cracking and frost "pop out" of sections of individual bricks or entire brick portions of the structure. Our second photo of brick spalling damage (below right) shows that a portion of the wall has been rebuilt.

Brick wall frost damage (C) Daniel Friedman Brick wall frost damage (C) Daniel Friedman

Water & Frost Damaged Brick Foundation Walls, Loose Bricks

Water damaged brick foundation (C) Daniel Friedman

Our photo above shows severe water and frost damage to the corner of a brick building, probably from roof spillage at the end of a gutter that was periodically clogged.

To stabilize these bricks against further movement and possibly more serious foundation damage, a mason would probably repair the corner using a combination of reconstruction of the most-loose (or missing) bricks, and tuck pointing the remaining open mortar joints.




Continue reading at BRICK WALL STEEL LINTEL DAMAGE or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


Or see FOUNDATION CRACK DICTIONARY for evaluating foundation cracks and signs of foundation damage by examining the crack size, shape, pattern, and location.

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