Masonry is a strong, durable material used in structures for centuries. However, it’s not immune to the effects of time and weathering. Sooner or later, every building experiences some degree of masonry deterioration. From minor cracks and spalling brick to major structural damage, there are many signs that your building may need masonry repair.

Signs of Masonry Deterioration:

Bowed Brick (Bulging Brick)

Bowed bricks occur when the mortar between the brick and other masonry components hardens and cracks over time, allowing gravity to take its toll. This can cause the brick to bow outward, creating an unsightly bulge in the wall.

Damaged bricks can be caused by years of exposure to extreme temperatures and weather conditions. Cracks in the brick or chunks of missing mortar are common signs.

Expansion Joints

Expansion joints are designed to allow for movement as the building shifts, but when they become cracked or damaged, they can cause significant structural damage. Check for gaps in expansion joints and noticeable differences between walls that indicate instability.

Shelf Angles

Shelf angles act as a support system for brick walls, and when these angles become damaged or corroded, it can cause the wall to collapse. If you notice cracks in shelf angles or bulging mortar joints, this could be an indication of a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

Calcium Carbonate Deposits

Calcium carbonate deposits are often found on masonry walls and can be an indication of soluble salts in the wall. These deposits can cause staining, efflorescence, and other forms of damage that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Mortar Deterioration

Mortar deteriorates over time due to exposure to water and extreme temperatures. Crumbling mortar joints or eroded brick should be addressed immediately to prevent further damage to the wall.

Vertical Corner Cracks or Horizontal Wall Cracks

Vertical corner cracks or horizontal wall cracks can indicate a serious structural problem with your building. These cracks should be examined and possibly repaired by a masonry repair expert as soon as possible.

Causes of Masonry Damage

The causes of masonry damage can vary, but the most common culprits are water penetration, freeze-thaw cycles, and insect infestation.


The best way to prevent masonry damage is through regular maintenance. Regularly inspecting the exterior and interior of your building for signs of damage can help you catch problems early on. If you notice:

  • Any cracks
  • Spalling brick
  • Other signs of deterioration

it’s important to have a masonry repair expert inspect the area as soon as possible is also important to make sure your building is properly waterproofed, which can help prevent water damage and other issues. Regularly cleaning brick or stone surfaces with a pressure washer can also help remove dirt, debris, and build-up that could lead to masonry damage. Finally, it’s essential to inspect the foundation for any signs of settlement or potential problems.

Get Your Masonry Repairs Done By The Experts

Here at Abstract Masonry, we are expert masonry repair contractors, specializing in masonry repairs for commercial and residential buildings. Whether it’s bowed brick, damaged brick, compacted brick, or foundation problems, our team of professionals can help. We use epoxy injection and other techniques to stabilize your structure and restore its strength. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help get your building back into shape!