An example of spalled brick fascias

Spalling is caused by water being allowed to penetrate behind the front edge of brickwork or masonry. During cold spells the water freezes, causes the front edge to flake or “spall” away.

As is often found in older properties, once the bricks begin to deteriorate due to frost action, it will mar the appearance of the wall until they are either replaced or the wall rendered over.

These spalled sections are debonded from the main structure and recommendation was made for necessary remedial repairs to be undertaken to ensure the building is completely watertight. It must be understood that any wall of solid construction is incapable of fully preventing rainwater penetration. Driving rain in particular will eventually, almost always, penetrate through a solid wall and to the internal wall surface of that wall.

The problem can be made worse be deterioration of soft pointing or spalled brickwork. This can obviously cause deterioration in plaster and decorations and also leads to deterioration in the masonry leaf.

The photo also shows the original reconstituted stone sills and lintels that have been utilised in this property. Considering the age of the property they are in reasonable condition but they are becoming cracked and have weathered to some degree.

The time has now come whereby these should be carefully repaired utilising an epoxy mortar.

This property has also been partially re pointed in recent years, notably on the front elevation, and where the additional structured has been toothed into the existing building.

The work appears to be of poor quality and unsightly. For re pointing to be effective it is necessary for the original mortar to be raked out to a depth of some 18-25mm.

The surveyor was unable to confirm as to whether the work has been adequately carried out in this respect and should this not proof to be the case, early breakdown and deterioration due to frost action could be experienced which will lead to repairs in the future.

Post Author: Frances Traynor