Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

Masonry is important not only for maintaining the structural integrity and aesthetic appeal of buildings but also for honoring our architectural history. Masonry structures, built from materials like stone, brick, and concrete, serve as examples of the craftsmanship and culture of past eras. However, these structures are vulnerable to various forms of damage over time, which can compromise their stability and reduce their visual appeal. In this article, we’ll discuss the common causes of masonry damage and outline effective strategies to prevent such deterioration, so that these structures can remain safe and beautiful for future generations.

Understanding Masonry Materials

Causes of Damage to Masonry in Weber, Davis, Salt Lake & Utah Counties

Masonry comprises various materials, each chosen for its unique properties and aesthetic qualities. Here’s a closer look at the most common types:

  • Stone – Stone is often used for its natural beauty and immense durability. However, it‘s porous and can absorb water, leading to erosion and frost damage over time.
  • Brick – Brick is popular for its thermal properties and traditional appeal. Older bricks, however, are more vulnerable to moisture and can deteriorate quickly if not properly maintained.
  • Concrete – While concrete is known for its strength and versatility, it is prone to cracking under tension and corrosion from environmental factors.

Each of these materials requires special care and maintenance strategies to address their particular vulnerabilities.

Common Causes of Damage to Masonry

Masonry damage can occur from several different sources, which often compound over time:

  • Weather-Related Damage – Rain and snow introduce moisture that freezes and expands, causing cracking and spalling. Sunlight can also degrade masonry finishes and lead to material breakdown.
  • Structural Issues – Improper foundation settling or inadequate structural support can create stresses that show up as cracks or bulges in masonry walls.
  • Environmental Factors – Air pollution and biological growth, such as moss and lichen, can accelerate the decay of masonry surfaces by introducing harmful chemicals or by retaining moisture.

Understanding these risks is the first step in developing effective prevention strategies.

Measures to Prevent Damage

  • Regular Maintenance – Routine cleaning to remove dirt, debris, and biological growth helps maintain masonry’s integrity. Repointing, the process of renewing deteriorating mortar, is also helpful in preventing water ingress and structural weakness.
  • Timely Inspections and Repairs – Regular inspections can catch issues early, significantly reducing the potential for severe damage. Addressing minor repairs promptly can avoid more costly and extensive repairs later.
  • Preventive Measures – Water-repellent treatments and proper sealing can greatly improve the resistance of masonry to moisture and environmental damage.
    Implementing these strategies helps to prolong the life of masonry structures and reduces the likelihood of extensive repairs.

Protective Coatings and Treatments

To further safeguard masonry, several protective treatments can be applied. Sealants and coatings are designed to penetrate the masonry and form a barrier against moisture and pollutants. Besides prolonging the structure’s lifespan, these treatments also preserve the appearance of the masonry, preventing the dulling effects of weathering and environmental exposure. The right treatments not only add years to the life of a masonry structure but also keep it looking great.

Landscape and Drainage Considerations

Effective water management is important for masonry preservation. Good drainage and strategic landscaping work together to protect masonry from water infiltration:

  • Proper Drainage – Systems designed to direct water away from the building’s foundation can help to prevent water-related damage.
  • Landscaping – Thoughtful landscaping can help manage soil moisture levels and mitigate the impact of water runoff, which is particularly important in areas prone to heavy rains.

Preservation Techniques For Historical Masonry

When dealing with historical structures, preservation requires a delicate balance:

  • Conservation Techniques – These include using gentle, non-invasive cleaning methods, accurately replicating historical materials, and making reversible modifications wherever possible.
  • Balancing Modern Needs – Integrating modern conveniences and safety measures into historical structures must be done thoughtfully to avoid undermining their historical authenticity.

Preserving historical masonry while accommodating contemporary requirements demands careful planning and sensitivity to the original design.


Preserving masonry involves a commitment to ongoing care and proactive management. By understanding the specific needs of different masonry materials, addressing the causes of damage early through regular inspections, and applying protective treatments, we can ensure that these structural and cultural landmarks endure. Embracing a comprehensive approach to masonry preservation allows these buildings to continue serving as functional, safe, and beautiful spaces, bridging the gap between past and present and leaving a lasting legacy for future generations. This commitment to preservation not only maintains the physical structure but also respects our shared heritage.

Rock’n It Masonry excels in delivering unmatched brick, rock, and stone craftsmanship across Weber, Davis, Salt Lake, and Utah counties. Our approach to each project as a distinctive art piece sets us apart, with a strong commitment to excellence, customer satisfaction, and competitive pricing. Specializing in a broad spectrum of masonry work from minor repairs to major installations, our skilled team ensures precision in fireplaces, outdoor spaces, and even custom mailbox designs. We offer a holistic masonry service portfolio, enhancing both residential and commercial properties with our meticulous and tailored workmanship. We prioritize thorough cleanup and maintenance post-completion, guaranteeing the durability of our work. For inspiration, explore our portfolio of completed projects.