As with all porous masonry materials that are susceptible to moisture, the use of brick veneers ideally should be limited to above ground applications. However, when a building design calls for below grade applications, brick veneers can be used if handled properly. Whether for brick repair in Boston or anywhere in the northeast, here are some considerations to keep in mind when working with below grade brick veneers.
When below grade brick veneers come into contact with ground materials, the result is often undesirable staining and discoloration caused by the wicking of moisture and impurities in the soil, a condition often referred to as “rising damp”.
Installation of through-wall flashing fitted with a drip edge is one of the best ways to inhibit the damaging effects of “rising damp” to brick veneers. It is important that the flashing be fully supported to prevent sagging, and create the problem it is being used to prevent. If the flashing is not properly supported, it can create an internal gutter, leading to excessive water penetration to the brick. Grouting the space underneath the flashing is effective at providing needed support for the flashing, as well as additional stability to the sub-grade wall itself.
For more information about brick repair in Boston and the surrounding area, contact Abbot Building Restoration at 617-445-0274.