The best way to avoid repairing brick steps is to prevent damage in the first place. Restoring your steps can be time-consuming and expensive and the worst part is that you might never gain the aesthetics of the original steps again. There are a few things you need to know when it comes to protecting your brick steps from moisture damage. Depending on what the bricks are made of, the material can be porous. Leaks, rain and runoff can cause crumbling and cracks and this can damage the structure under or behind your bricks.
Water damage can happen in numerous ways. Drastic changes in temperature can cause damage to your steps and negatively affect your steps. The bricks can expand and contract when the temperature fluctuates. This can lead to the bricks being displaced. This is referred to as spalling and can lead to structural concerns if not treated on time.
Displacement and settling
Sometimes the foundation of your brick steps experiences the effects of settlement. As a result, your structure is compromised and this can result in cracks and other damages. Structural problems, whether it is a failing anchor or beam can contribute to problems in the masonry.
Your steps can suffer from stains. Your exterior brick steps can be exposed to paint, food, water, cleaning products and so on.
Sometimes imperfections in your masonry materials can lead to premature damage to your property. If your steps or other products were not sealed or made well, they will suffer from bond failure and result in costly repairs to your brick steps due to peeling, bulging or flaking.
Prevention of damage
Prevention is cheaper than repairing your steps. There are a few crucial steps you can take to prevent your steps from damage.
Proper joint materials
You need to invest in the right joint materials when building steps. There are different types of joint materials and different styles of applications and these can reduce or increase its resistance to moisture.
Create the right joint
Applying mortar is not just about slapping the product between brick layers and keeping it smooth. There is an art to finishing off the joint. Different tools will get different visual effects and some of which are related to water resistance.
Expansion joint placement
Joint placement is incorporating segments into your project. If your steps will cover a wide area, you need to incorporate expansion joints to accommodate creep, settlement or expansion.
Control water runoff
Water can damage mortar and brickwork and that is why it is important to ensure your business or home has the right water drainage. Provide proper drainage and give water a place to go to avoid damaging your steps.
Address cracking immediately
Repairing brick steps immediately after you notice cracking is advisable. It will be cheaper and less time-consuming than waiting for the damage to worsen before repairing.