Masonry Repairs: A Short List

Crack repairs. Skilled masons can usually repair cracks so the untrained eye will not know the crack existed in the first place. However, all cracks were caused by something—often a settling foundation or an inadequate footer. If you repair the crack without fixing the problem causing the crack, the crack usually returns.

Expansion joints. Foundation settling is a large issue in the metroplex. Unfortunately, even the most minor foundation settling can stress the walls and lead to cracks at the weakest points, which are often under the corners of windows. The crack usually appears as a step crack directed down and away from the corner of the window. To prevent such cracks, vertical expansion joints are cut through the brick at one or more locations along the wall and then caulked. If the wall has windows, expansion joints are often cut under the corner of one or more windows. The expansion joints divide the walls into smaller portions that can settle independently.

Fireplaces and chimneys. Depending on the quality of the original construction, some chimneys and fireplaces require maintenance after 10 to 20 years. Common repair problems include deteriorating brick or mortar, cracked or caved-in chimney crowns, and failing flashing.

Arches and angle irons. Because of the weight, brickwork and stonework over arches, garage doors, and, to a lesser extent, doors and windows present a problem. Professional masons build steel angle irons into the structure to transfer the weight of the brick or stone above the opening to the side columns or side walls.