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Problem Clinic

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NCMA Techical Notes

Common Problems

Properly designed and constructed, a brick veneer on wood frame home is one of the most durable and forgiving homes you can buy.  In the real world, however, problems can occur.  The following is a  collection of various problems homeowners may be facing with a brick veneer on wood frame home.  These are some of the most common issues i have encountered in my 10 years of service

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The top 10 issues with brick veneer

This is a recent list we compiled of the top 10 major issues that come up when designing a brick veneer system.  This stuff is a bit technical in nature, but if you give it a read, it is mostly common sense

Moisture Issues

 

Water is leaking into my basement

Water leaking into a basement from the top of the foundation is almost always related to the base flashing that should be installed just below the first course of brick.  This article explains this phenomenon and outlines how to diagnose and repair the problem

My drywall is wet above or below a window

Windows can be problematic if the brick veneer was not flashed properly above the window, or if there is a problem with the window sill.  Window sills in wet and cold climates should not be made out of brick - they should be long pieces of concrete or stone - they should be sloped away from the home and they should have flashing underneath.

There are cracks in my brick wall

Cracks are ugly, and are no fun for anyone.  Sometimes they tiny hairline cracks between brick and mortar and are normal, so don't panic if you are looking at your brick with a magnifying glass - it will never be perfect.   Having said that, there are several sticky situations that can cause major cracking in brick veneer - this article will explain.

My brick wall hangs over the foundation

We call this a brick hangover.  Brick can hang over the foundation around a third of it's thickness - any more than that and you need to read this article!

Other Issues

 

what is this white powdery stuff on by brick?

It's called effloresence,  not to be confused with efforvesence.  Brick is made up of various clay materials that come from the earth.  These materials contain small amounts of salts.  When water moves through the masonry, it can pick up those salts and carry them to the exterior of the wall.  When the water evaporates, it leaves the salt behind in a salty powdery form.   This article will explain when this is a problem and when it's just a little powder on your wall.

How do i remove stains from brick?

Some stains can be very easily removed, others can be tricky,  let me explain . . .

Is ivy growing on my brick a problem?

This is a tricky one,  some believe that ivy should not be allowed to grow on brick at all, others are not so sure.  Are these pro-ivy folks just graduates of ivy league schools or do they have a point?

Good grief Jason, what is this flashing stuff you keep talking about?

Good question,  Please visit the following link for more information on what flashing is and why it is so important - {flashing technical info)

 

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