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Brick chips/flakes I need some help


Scottpat
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I have never seen spalling that looks like this. The spalling that I have seen chips off a large section along the face of the brick. I agree that it is most likely spalling.

As for acid wash, this is a cheap brick that has the finish color on the surface of the brick. I'm not so sure that they can be acid washed without removing the finish color.

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Scott, likely a defective brick. When the finish was fired it was flashed at too high a temp and made it too brittle. Moisture entry then spall.

Technically it is not spalling, per se, rather exactly what you called it - chipping.

4% acid wash should not effect finish, it won't attack finish.

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Originally posted by Scottpat

The brick on this home is chipping or flaking along the edges. It is all around the home. The chip spots are clean with no mortar so it has happened after it was put on the home.

Anyone have any ideas what has caused this?? Need some opinions ASAP.

Thanks!!

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Is there any thru wall flashing and weeps I do not see any at wall botton. Brick looks wet.

Just a thought.

Paul B.

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Originally posted by paul burrell

Originally posted by Scottpat

The brick on this home is chipping or flaking along the edges. It is all around the home. The chip spots are clean with no mortar so it has happened after it was put on the home.

Anyone have any ideas what has caused this?? Need some opinions ASAP.

Thanks!!

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Is there any thru wall flashing and weeps I do not see any at wall botton. Brick looks wet.

Just a thought.

Paul B.

Yes, it has weeps and flashing. It is wet because it had been sleeting and had just started to snow. Those wet areas are in the pattern of the brick, they look like that under the porch out of the weather.

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Spalling, when referring to brick, only occurs with the old style bricks, that were fired with a hard crust and soft core.

The bricks in the pic are fired at a temperature and process that creates a uniform hardness throughout the brick. Clinkers only occurred with the above older method as well.

Those bricks are chipped. The chipping occurred prior to installation. Look at how the mortar filled into the voids created by the chipping:

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That's the answer. The closeup tells the story. Those bricks shouldn't have been installed in the first place.

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This is spalling.

Old soft Chicago commons w/hard new mortar pointed in the joints. The hard mortar splits off the tempered outer face, exposing the soft core. It's not the best photo I have of the phenomenon, but it shows the old original mortar w/the new (problem) mortar most clearly.

Note how the original mortar is still in excellent condition; if they'd never put that convex glop on in the first place, everything would still be fine.

The whole bastardization of the term "tuckpointing" was started in Chicago back in the 19th century. Michael Shellenbarger has an excellent paper on the subject called "Tuck Pointing History and Confusion". Nearly all the pointing & "tuckpointing" I see damages brick. It's all wrong.

If you can find it, it's a great read. I've got a reprint from volume XXIII (issue #3, 1991) of the APT Bulletin, The Journal of the Assocation for Preservation Technology.

The next 2 shots are of my house. Note the split off face w/the hard type n @ the left side.

The 2nd photo shows the same thing; the whole upper edge of the brick has split off; I chipped off the hard mortar that caused the problem in the first place, exposing completely fine lime mortar. I chip away when I get inspired, but for the most part, it's taken care of itself by flaking off the new stuff. There's some brick damage, but nothing critical as it's not widespread and mostly localized to a few spots. If no one had ever "tuckpointed" the house, it would all look like new.

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I can go with the idea of the bricks being damaged before they were installed, but not over the entire home. You can even see the chips on the ground in some areas. Anyway, we shall see what happens as all of this hits the fan, so to speak.

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