What is freeze thaw brick damage? How could it impact your home or business in Michigan? Freeze thaw damage can occur on concrete, bricks, stones, or any other porous building materials. As the name implies, it is the result of water freezing and thawing on the surface of the bricks or concrete. Let’s take a closer look at why this issue occurs and what you can do to fix it as needed.
What Causes Freeze Thaw Damage In Michigan?
Porous materials like bricks have the ability to soak up water just like a sponge. You may not notice this process because of how dense the bricks are, but it happens all the time in Michigan. When the temperatures drop below freezing, the water inside the bricks turns to ice. This hardening process causes the water to change shape and expand. If it does not have room to expand above, it will push out of the bricks, causing them to crack, chip, or break.
The same issue happens in reverse when frozen water thaws. The pressure that was created by the ice goes away, and the bricks may sink or shift because of that. As the process repeats itself, entire chunks of bricks may start to fall off, putting your building’s structural integrity at risk.
What Bricks Are Most At-Risk Of Freeze Thaw Damage?
There are several factors that determine how at-risk bricks are of freeze thaw damage. Bricks that are more exposed to moisture are obviously at a higher risk because they have more water to freeze or thaw. If one side of your home gets hit with wind-driven rain or snow more often than the other sides, it will likely be the one that has the most damage.
Older, brittle bricks are more susceptible to damage because they are not strong enough to withstand the pressure of the ice. Also, bricks that are exposed to frequent changes in sunlight throughout the day are at a high risk of freeze thaw damage. That is because the water in the bricks is constantly changing form. Bricks near an area of water drainage can be at-risk if the water splashes on them regularly.
How To Prevent Freeze-Thaw Brick Damage
There isn’t much you can do to prevent freeze-thaw brick However, if your home or office is constructed with old, worn bricks, it may be time to repair or replace them with stronger masonry. This will ensure that your building is ready to go when big storms hit. Contact Brickworks Property Restoration at (586) 868-3234 to learn more about our brick repair services in Metro Detroit, MI.