Causes of Brick Facade Deterioration in Buildings

Brick facades are an integral part of many buildings, providing both aesthetic appeal and structural support. However, over time, these facades can deteriorate due to various factors. In this informative blog post, we will delve into the causes of brick facade deterioration in buildings, shedding light on the critical factors that contribute to their degradation.

Factors Related to the Shape and Fitting of Brick Facade

One of the primary factors that can lead to the deterioration and damage of brick facades is the shape and fitting of the bricks themselves. Two critical factors in this regard are:

  1. Grip Material Quantity: The amount of gripping material placed at the back of the brick and the smoothness of brick cutting play a significant role in the longevity of brick facades. The connection between the brick facade and the bearing wall relies on the resistance and deformity of the material used. Testing these properties, especially the elasticity of the gripping material like mortar, is essential to ensure good adherence. Introducing lime to the mortar can enhance its properties, making it more resilient.

Brick Facade Deterioration due to Temperature Gradient

Temperature fluctuations can have a profound impact on brick facades. When temperatures rise and fall, the expansion and contraction of mortar and bricks may differ due to their varying mass. To mitigate damage caused by temperature variations, it is advisable to make the resistance of mortar joints smaller than that of bricks. This ensures that mortar breaks first, making repairs easier compared to fixing damaged bricks.

Deterioration of Brick Facade due to Humidity Variations

Humidity is another significant factor affecting brick facades. Ingress of humidity into the facade and mortar joints can lead to expansion and contraction. While minor movement might not cause immediate damage, persistent humidity can lead to deterioration. Several factors contribute to humidity penetration, including construction practices, structure orientation, brick quality, and the quality of mortar and additives. Cracks in mortar joints are a major entry point for humidity, necessitating the elimination of factors leading to such penetration.

Brick Facade Damages Because of Construction Practices

Construction practices can greatly influence the longevity of brick facades. Errors such as inadequate ventilation provisions in specific areas of the facade can lead to the retention of water, which is detrimental. Additionally, poorly executed mortar joints can encourage water retention, causing expansion and contraction of bricks and mortar joints, ultimately resulting in deterioration. The key solution here is to eliminate construction errors from the outset.

Deterioration of Brick Facade due to Environmental Conditions

Environmental conditions play a pivotal role in how brick facades respond and behave. Factors such as humidity in the air, ambient temperature, and wind velocity affect the moisture content within facade bricks. The rate of evaporation from the brick facade is heavily influenced by these conditions. Generally, brick facades are most susceptible to damage during wetting and drying cycles. Facades exposed to frequent rain and wind are more likely to deteriorate quickly. Hence, the orientation of the structure becomes crucial in preserving brick facades.

In conclusion, the causes of brick facade deterioration in buildings are multifaceted, encompassing factors related to construction practices, temperature gradients, humidity variations, and environmental conditions. Understanding these factors is essential for maintaining the integrity and longevity of brick facades in buildings.

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