How to check your brickwork restoration home prior to winter

Sydney has certainly experienced some lovely weather this Autumn. You’ve probably been soaking up the unusually warm weather as much as us. However, keep in mind that winter is coming! And it’s the season that tends to sneak up on us. So, have you considered giving your house a little pre-winter health check? If you haven’t already, now is the best time.

As a Sydney-Sider, you’re probably well aware of our temperate climate, but you’ll also know that Sydney can suddenly be hit with significant rainfall and drops in temperature. Therefore it’s crucial that just like you protect your health during winter, you also protect your home.

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to do the hard work for you, and have created your home’s winter-health check list. Go through each point to ensure you’re not left out in the cold. This blog will provide our top three check points for your brickwork. Stay tuned for part 2, which will provide check points aside from brickwork.

First things first…

  1. Have you noticed any settlement cracking?

Cracking in brickwork is quite common, it’s usually the result of a variety of internal and external factors, such as extreme weather, over watering or chemical reactions within brickwork.

If you’ve noticed cracking in your brickwork, don’t panic – it doesn’t always equate to major structural damage. However, it is crucially important that you can recognise cracks and choose to seek professional advice, even if it’s just for peace of mind.

Cracks can be horizontal, vertical or stepped. To protect your home from cracks during winter, prevention is key. Ensure trees are not planted too close to brickwork, prevent excessive wetness by clearing blocked down-pipes and stopping leakages. Remember, this is especially common during winter, so keep an eye out during heavy rainfall.

Cracked brick wall. Deep crack in a brick wall

2. Look out for dampness and algae growth

Dampness is not only unsightly, if left unattended it can cause potential health concerns, which is not what you want this winter. Aside from condensation and rising damp, defective mortar or pointing is actually a leading cause of damp. Deteriorated mortar can allow rain to penetrate brickwork, causing dampness. This can then lead to accumulated algae growth and significantly impact the integrity of your brickwork.

So what should you do? Enlist the help of a mortar replacement expert who can provide you with a range of mortars specially formulated to repeal water and protect your home (and your wallet!) from the harsh winter weather.

3. Check windows/doors – are your arch bars/lintels rusted?

The brickwork that surrounds your windows and doors is supported by arch bars and lintels. As you’ve probably gathered by the theme of this blog, winter causes rain and rain can cause rust, which could jeopardise brickwork surrounding openings.

You’ll want to ensure your arch bars are hot-dipped in galvanised stainless steel and your lintels are concrete. This will help to prevent rusting and potential corrosion.

Effective maintenance and a keen eye will be essential to getting your home through another Sydney winter. By taking care of small issues now, you’ll be able to prevent them from spiralling out of control this winter. So while the weather isn’t too cold, get outside and give your brickwork a quick health check.

If you notice anything you’re worried about regarding your brickwork, arch bars or lintels, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0450 942 080 or request a free quote.