Masonry is all around us – and no matter how many technological advancements are made, it will always play an important part in the homes and structures we build. When it’s done right, it looks beautiful and lasts a long time. When it’s done wrong, all kinds of problems can develop. Whether you’re planning on doing your own masonry work or hiring a professional, here are five common problems you might run up against. Knowing the pitfalls can help you steer clear of them!
1. Frequent trips to the home goods store
Doing your own masonry work is tempting in an age where every kind of tutorial and instructional is available online for free. There are legions of people out there who are basically deciding to tackle everything themselves, and some of them make it look easy. But diving into a masonry project yourself can often amount to “biting off more than you can chew.” Many people end up making repeat trips to the home goods store, and by the time the project is finished, they’ve spent more money than they would have spent to hire a professional – and the result isn’t as good.
2. Excess moisture and temperature extremes
In areas with cold winters and hot summers, the temperature swings can eventually wear down the integrity of the masonry work. This is because the expansion and contraction of molecules eventually wears down the bricks and the material holding them together. That’s not to say that properly installed masonry can’t last many years in harsh environments – just look at all the old houses out there with masonry that’s been around for a century or more. But when the masonry work isn’t completed to a high professional standard, the structure has a much lower chance of standing the test of time.
Eventually, even the best masonry work will start to show times of weakness. This is just the natural course of things – especially since masonry work involves natural materials. They can last a long time when done right, but they’ll still break down eventually. The best way to maximize your masonry’s lifespan is to find a highly professional contractor out there to do the job right.
4. Bad caulking
When the seal that holds the masonry work together is weak, all kind of problems can develop. One of the main ones is moisture. As humidity or precipitation works its way in, the caulk continues to weaken and weaken – and the entire structure becomes compromised as a result.
5. Bad contractors
Another common masonry problem – believe it or not – is a bad contractor. These are people who pretend to have more experience and ability with masonry than they actually have. In some cases, these people do have good training in masonry, but are simply not very ethical in the way they do business. They overbook themselves and rush through projects in order to get to the next one. This often leaves homeowners with lingering problems – hence the importance of doing your homework before you decide on a masonry contractor!