Blog/Masonry/The Effects of Frost on Brick Facades

The Effects of Frost on Brick Facades

Guides
Apr 26, 2021
3 min read

We don’t need to tell you that winters in Canadian are often rough. If you live here, you are well-aware winter frost is a common occurrence in most regions across the country. Houses are resilient, but traces of frost may stick around and potentially cause harm to the exterior of your home. This is particularly the case with brick facades, popular for their rustic appearance but not protected from some of the minor problems related to the cold. To keep your home in the best shape during the colder months, you’ll need to learn about the effects of frost and how to avoid long-term damage. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • brick masonry wall in winter snow

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Tip 1: Hire a professional to review the damage

Cracks, whether active or passive, must be repaired as quickly as possible. The bursting of bricks is created by the infiltration of water, which regularly changes volume by freezing and thawing. This causes strong pressure on the brick, and the brick eventually cracks. In order to diagnose and repair the cracks present on your facades, we advise you to call a professional. An expert alone can tell you the level of severity of the cracks and advise you on the most appropriate repair technique: putty, polyurethane, epoxy, these are words that you may be unaware of, but a building expert can explain it all when they review the damage.

Tip 2: Repair the Mortar

The longer layers of frost are stuck to the brick on your home, the more potential damage it could cause. More specifically, frost left to sit on brick can damage the brick’s surface and weaken the wall over an extended period of time. It’s also not uncommon to deal with cases of crumbling brick due to frost. The symptoms vary, but the most common appearance is flaking, peeling, and the brick’s disintegration.

The best way to improve this situation is to actively repair the mortar when necessary. Several masonry companies specialize in this type of repair and would be happy to help you get your bricks back in shape. In the more extreme cases, you may consider replacing the sot damaged bricks of the bunch.

Tip 3: Apply sealing strip to avoid future damage

Rising capillaries are nothing but water infiltrations going from the base to the top of your walls. This means frost and snow build-up at the bottom of the walls to form large accumulations. When the spring arrives, and the bricks return to their liquid state, the humidity level is such that it is not uncommon for the water to seep into the foundations and the houses’ facades. To solve this problem, you will need to install a sealing strip in the lower part of the wall. If you don’t know how to do this, you should hire a professional or reach out to friends and family who may have tackled this challenge before.

Tip 4: Hire an expert to do the work

The joints are the most fragile part of the wall and most vulnerable to the weather. It is therefore normal that after a period of freezing, they should be given special care. The winter frost will lodge in the hollows of your facade, which causes the joint to lose its tightness and its initial adhesion. Dismantling and replacing damaged seals is no small task, and again, it is better to hire a specialized and licensed company to save time and ensure a good result. Removal is carried out by chisel and hammer, and the laying takes place after moistening and using a repair mortar and a joint iron. This operation is messy and time-consuming, but fortunately, it should not be carried out too frequently.

Asses exterior home damage in the spring and hire help

Frost and thaw periods are an ordeal for brick facades, and the consequences can be dangerous for their solidity. That’s why a spring check is worth it to ensure the good resistance of one’s home. If not, watch out for bad surprises!

Smart Reno can help you find the right contractor for your exterior siding project.

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