Increase Airflow Under Your House | Rising Damp | Soft Brick Repair

Noticing the presence of mold/ fungus on your walls inside your house, dampness on your cornices and floor coverings such as rugs or carpet? Odds are, whether you are living in an older house or not, if the dampness is located down the bottom of your internal walls or on your floor/ coverings, you are experiencing the effects of rising damp. 

No amount of  additional air movement inside your house will prevent and minimise the effects of rising damp.

From the ground up, you will need to repair soft brick which hold additional moisture, replace and reinstate any defective, soft or missing mortar in between the brick and install a permanent barrier to lower the effects of water rising up the wall and into your floorboards and internal plaster wall linings.

Also, increasing airflow under your house will help to prevent excess amounts of moisture and the consequences encountered. Subfloor ventilation in the way of ‘passive’ air vents or ‘active’ motorised fans can help keep the air moving.

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Soft brick being replaced on an Art Deco 1920-30 build located in Reservoir, north of Melbourne

The above photo indicates the process of removing soft brick that is a so commonly experienced from rising damp.

Whilst repointing will help to prevent water ingress into the wall and internal cavity, without replacing soft brick, your wall will still be harbouring moisture. The only way to remove this issue, is to replace the brick. Rendering soft brick can sometimes have a detrimental effect as the mortar used to patch the brick can also harbour moisture if not installed properly.

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All clay bricks will deteriorate. This is inevitable. And as such, maintenance of your brick house cladding will be ongoing into the future. Stay on top of it and contact melbournebrickrepair.com for further information.

 

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Efflorescence, subfloor ventilation and rising damp | melbournebrickrepair.com

With salts permeating through this subfloor structure located in Brighton, VIC, it was apparent that there was something very wrong.

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Efflorescence, aka salt attack is a calcium chloride/ zinc chloride build up caused through moisture in the subfloor or rising damp from subfoundation soil.

When viewed from behind the wall, the salt attack was much worse; formations of hygroscopic gel and rust was evident.

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Through constant hygroscopic moisture (airborne) contained in the subfloor area, and the lack of ventilation, the damage to the bricks is inevitable.

Ideally, repairs should occur at a time prior to the state of deterioration as indicated.

Contact melbournebrickrepair.com for further information on subfloor conditions.

Need Crack Stitching for Brick Repair? MelbourneBrickRepair.com

Is your house cracking up? Made it through winter and now you want to get the house airtight and weatherproof? You may need crack injection and/ or brick stitching.

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Cracking at mitre corners is very common in masonry. Fix it with brick stitching.

First, the mortar material in between the bricks should be removed. This will provide longer serving results for the repair. Next, the joints are lined with the steel reinforcement. These elements are either galvanised or stainless steel.

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The stitches are installed as regularly as required.

With the brick stitches in, next is the final tamp point.

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Replacement mortar is reinstated, making the repair complete.

Brick Restoration on Ballarat Heritage Terrace — Renovation and Repair

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Raised Ribbon Pointing replacing older Brick Tuck Pointing on Ballarat Heritage Facade

When comparing traditional ribbon pointing as opposed to brick tuckpointing there are several differentiating factors.

As you can see from the above photo, the heavy oxide mix used on brick tuckpointing (top courses) can actually cause issues if not installed correctly. Mortar, often used in only one colour, is used to smear over the original bedding mortar which is visable where the red coloured mortar has fallen off. This is due to the smear coat method only being several millimetres thick or possibly too brittle to start with. In the instance above, this is definitely the case.

Another issue is that due to oxides’ cementitious effect on the mortar matrix, the mix can often be quite destructive to the 80-100 year old brick. Mortar, as also evident above, is smeared over the brick arris; partially covering the face. In tension, this can snap corners off and even break bricks clean in half–especially old, soft brick.

The biggest comparison, besides appearance, is that the traditional ribbon technique will protect the brick, whilst at the same time, provide depth and definition to the masonry facade. Standard tuckpoint can last quite a while but as opposed to the deeper ribbon pointing, the facade will age better and can last a lot longer.

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Brick Tuckpointing, before and after lime putty ribbon

Sandstone Fences make great Stone Features – Featured in Freedom Furniture advertisement

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Faraday Avenue, Rose Bay is one of Sydney’s best looking streets. Closely situated to the city, the eastern suburbs has so many beautiful stone features. With a combination of stone from Balmain, Drummoyne and Gosford (Mount White), the stone blends well with it’s neutral tones.

The front fence as featured above took two months to complete. This had occured after six months after the rear fence and pool surrounds, pictured below, were completed.

The owners had such a beautiful house that magazines would regularly utilise their premises. The wall pictured below was used in a Freedom Furniture advert at that time.

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Have excessive wall cracking? You might need to fix the reactive soil under the house slab

Australia is one of the driest places on earth. If your house slab is built on highly reactive clay soil types, the expansion and contraction of the clay may cause differential settlement within the sub base region under your house slab and also contribute to large crack formations in your brick masonry walls.

If this is the case then underpinning may not be the only remedy needed. We also utilise a technique known as slurry diaphragm walling to prevent water loss through lateral hydrodisplacement. In other words, a trench is made, and filled using a suspension mixture of bentonite, clay and possibly cement if required.

The soil bentonite slurry wall inhibits water transfer and protects the sub base area underneath your house. This inhibits differential settlement and subsequent cracking there under.

If you have type 2 clayey soil under your house then the diaphragm slurry wall method maybe your best bet. Give us a call on 0499330772 or send us through an email at melbournebrickrepair@gmail.com for further information.