Signs your historic brick building requires attention

If you own a historic brick building, you know you have a heritage to safeguard. The following are some key signs that your brick building might need attention.

Visible structural cracks

By identifying the size and type of crack, you can often understand the cause. Small cracks are less than 1/16″ wide. They are mostly cosmetic and can be repaired easily before widening. Medium cracks are between 1/8 – 1/4″ and can spread cracks to other bricks. Large cracks are greater than 1/4″. These should be fixed as soon as possible.

Shapes of brick cracks

  • Brick veneer cracks – caused by brick-and-mortar joints expanding or contracting
  • Horizontal cracks – resulting from soil movement or material deterioration
  • Vertical cracks – sometimes caused by expansion and contraction of the bricks because of weather. Cracks wider at the top may indicate foundational problems. 
  • Stair-step cracks – yielding from foundational sinking or settling

Mortar deterioration

Missing or deteriorated mortar is common among historic brick buildings. This is primarily due to moisture penetration of the mortar. Things like wind erosion or bricks coated with substances that don’t let moisture escape can cause this. Damaged mortar leads to cracking, crumbling, and weakening structural integrity.

Interior water damage indicators

  • Mold or mildew – patches of black or brown dots from long-term water damage
  • Wall discoloration – a stain on your wall or ceiling with a washed-out appearance
  • Wall texture changes – warping or bubbling in a downward direction

If left untreated, brick wall water leaks can cause:

  • Decomposition – deterioration from materials breaking down on a microscopic level
  • Erosion – of the mortar, which weakens the structure
  • Spalling – flaking and crumbling of the brick


Do you recognize signs your historic brick building needs attention? We have the technology, knowledge, and expertise to examine and restore your brick building properly. Contact JK Industries today for the quality repairs you need to preserve your building’s heritage.