Masonry is a craft—it’s something that must be learned, practiced and fully understood before it’s attempted. Generally, masons perfect their technique over the years and develop their own way of doing things that leads them to produce beautiful results.
But, just because someone says they’re a mason doesn’t mean their work will reflect a mastery of the craft. In fact, quality masons—like the ones found here at MSE Hardscapes LLC—are few and far between! More often than not, people paying for masonry in Kansas City, MO are getting a job that’s decent, but not great. Over time, the signs of lackluster masonry will become harder and harder to ignore.
How do you know if the masonry on your property is done to a superior standard or if it’s destined to fail over time? Keep an eye out for these fives signs of trouble that indicate your masonry isn’t everything it should be:
- Over time, bricks and pavers can become slightly misaligned—however this usually takes decades to show up and even then, it’s usually minimal. If your bricks or pavers are out of alignment just a few years after they’re laid, it’s a sign that your mason didn’t lay them properly. It could also mean a poor mortar composition. Either way, you might want to think about having these problem areas re-paved before they cause weakness or fault.
- One of the biggest signs of poor masonry in Kansas City, MO is evidence of parget. A “parge coat” is thin layer of plaster or treated mortar that will often be applied over bricks that are damaged or degraded after they’re laid. The parge coat will dry to look exactly like brick, but without the durability of true brick. This hides problem areas instead of replacing them, which means problems down the line for your structure.
- Cracking in bricks is a good sign that your mason didn’t use superior quality materials when they set to work on your structure. Good, quality bricks will weather age and the elements superiorly and will not crack or crumble. Cracking or crumbling bricks suggest a composition that’s not up to par with the common standard.
- Do you have dissolving mortar or mortar that appears to be receding year after year? This is probably a sand lime mortar mixture. Unfortunately, this type of mortar has a high failure rate and will tend to dissolve when exposed to water. Your mason should know this and should instead use a treated mortar mixture that protects against erosion and recession over time.
- Can you move any of the brick in your structure? If so, it’s a good sign of poor masonry in Kansas City, MO. A finished masonry project should be incredibly strong and sturdy, with no room for compromise. Loose bricks or pavers mean the layer was not appropriately applied and the mortar not adequately laid.
If you’re noticing any of the issues above with your masonry, don’t fret. Instead, call the professionals at MSE Hardscapes LLC to come and check it out!