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masonry exposed to rainfall

Jim Baird

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Attached picture shows set of seven risers, recently reassembled (not the neatest job in the world), to replace brick riser units that fell away from both edges of this masonry monolith because joints failed.

Could this result from acid rain?

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I would suspect just rain and freeze/thaw more than "acid" rain... but what do I know? No acid rain here to deal with.

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It's about hard polymer additive mortars, hard vitrified brick, underlying concrete substrates that hold water, the deleterious effects of water in masonry, and expansion/contraction in extreme weather. Maybe some freeze/thaw....you get much freezing there in Comer?

Acid rain might play into it, but I think it's more just plain lousy design. Brick doesn't want to do what it's being told to do in this case.

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I've seen this a lot around here on fifty year old ranches.

Yes those outside bricks are laid edge up and perpendicular to the house. This is hardiness zone 7, where winter's low temps are sometimes in teens, rarely in single digits, so yes, some freezing going on. These steps, then, are kind of like brick parapets with no caps, holding water every time it rains.

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