If you are buying a commercial building that's masonry construction, you need to know how to spot signs of structural issues within the masonry. After all, once you buy the building, any structural issues will be your financial responsibility. Recognizing the signs of needed repairs will help you to plan your investment and the restoration work if you decide to take it on. Here are some of the things to look for as you inspect the building.
Is There Space Between The Bricks?
The brick construction of the building should be solid and stable. There should be no visible gaps between the bricks, whether they are stacked directly or sealed with layers of mortar. Gaps between the bricks indicate that the brick construction is compromised. Over time, it will continue to deteriorate and shift, leading to structural failure. You'll need to address this right away to avoid any potentially serious structural issues.
Can You See Bowing Or Bulging In The Bricks?
When brick buildings are built without careful consideration of moisture protection, the bricks and the mortar between can absorb moisture from the environment. As that moisture accumulates inside the bricks, it can cause the brick to swell either inward or outward. This causes either bowing inward or bulging outward in the walls. If you see this, it means that your walls must be rebuilt with brick that isn't vulnerable to moisture absorption.
Is There A Visible White Film On The Brick?
In many cases, people dismiss the sight of white residue on brick by assuming that the brick is just old and dirty. The truth is that you should take the presence of a white film on bricks very seriously.
The white film you see is actually salt residue. It's drawn out of the masonry by moisture. Even the small amount of moisture that's normally present in the air can do this. If the brick isn't sealed correctly, that moisture will penetrate it, drawing the salt out and creating the white salty residue you see on the brick surface.
Left unaddressed, this will lead to crumbling bricks and costly repairs. If you notice this type of residue, contact a masonry contractor right away to have the bricks sealed and protected against moisture.
For more help, reach out to a masonry contractor near you today. He or she can even examine the building to assess its condition and structural stability.