Britain is home to an abundance of beautiful and historically significant buildings. In England alone, there are around 500,000 listed buildings according to Historic England. Without the correct maintenance many of these buildings will begin to deteriorate. Historic building restoration and maintenance preserves these high-value buildings for the future. However, restoring historic buildings is expensive,… Read More
Common Problems With Old Stone Or Brick Façades
Historic and listed buildings are charming, beautiful, and often hold decades of history behind their walls. That’s why maintaining the external fabric of a listed or historic building is extremely important. Taking care of these buildings is part and parcel of a contribution to the preservation of their history, as well as maintaining a safe building for people to occupy. As most of these buildings have been around for decades without any maintenance, the building’s materials are often in need of some restoration.
For this reason, we have provided you with a list of common issues to look out for, as a sign that your building need’s some TLC. So, you can tell if your historic or listed building’s stone or brick façade is showing signs of weakness, failure, or requires some repair, restoration, and maintenance.
Inspecting your building for any cracks is an excellent place to start. By doing this, you can detect whether there may be an indication of more serious, underlying problems such as structural damage or leaks.
Keep an eye out for any unusually large cracks, wide cracks, or in some cases, vertical cracks. Vertical cracks, most often caused by thermal expansion, are rather serious. This may require some repointing of your stone or brick façade.
Leaks can cause several potential problems, the biggest of which is water ingress. They can be caused by failing material such as gutters, roofs, and cladding or previous poor maintenance and repairs.
Check for any visible leaks both internally and externally. This includes leaking gutters, or signs of damp, discolouration, and organic matter in areas where water collects often. Detailed leak investigations should always be carried out by a trained professional, especially when it is being carried out at height.
Efflorescence, put simply, is the rise of salts through brick stonework, left behind by water. Over time, this common issue can cause deep stains and further damage through erosion. Problems like this are extremely common in environments with higher levels of rainfall, and in areas that are subject to colder temperatures. So, it’s best to keep an out for this in the autumn and winter months in the UK.
Stains can be caused by many other factors such as carbon, traffic film, leached salts, organic matter, environmental pollution, and paint. If they continue to build-up on and sink into your stone or brick building, they can erode and degrade.
All buildings move and they often do this in response to external temperature changes causing materials to expand and contract. Over a long period, this can cause the materials of your building to become displaced. Displacement can be a very serious issue and can create potential hazards for members of the public.
To correctly identify displacement, you would need to speak to a professional for confirmation, but you may notice cracks or pieces of stone or brickwork that are displaced in relation to the rest of your building’s façade.
Experiencing problems with your stone or brick building? Stone Cleaning Experts can help you get it looking at it’s best again. With our sensitive solutions we restore, preserve, and maintain building façades and exteriors on old, modern, and new buildings. Contact us today for expert façade and roof restoration for stone and brick buildings.
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