Cracked, Spalled, and Displaced Brick Facades: Restore or Replace?
Restoring brick facades plays an essential role in reusing existing building stock. Every project should answer this question: can the facade be saved or has the brick’s deterioration critically compromised the wall’s stability? Existing brick masonry is often treated as a maintenance item and not much thought is given to whole system performance. Brick and mortar defects can be treated as symptoms, but the overall stability of the assembly is often overlooked.
Conversely, some designers may call for the full replacement of an assembly, when salvaging and restoration is possible. This article examines damage caused by unrelieved differential movement in brick masonry walls and evaluates criteria for replacing versus restoring existing brick masonry.