Understanding and Addressing Fretting Bricks and Mortar in South Australia

stonemasons adelaide removing fretting mortar

If you’ve just observed that mortar is missing between your bricks, or maybe your bricks are fretting and breaking off, you might be wondering:

  • What exactly is causing this?
  • Is this a sign of a more significant underlying issue like salt damp?
  • How urgent is it to get this repaired?
  • What are the risks if I leave it as is?
  • Who should I contact for a reliable assessment and repair?

Hopefully, our article will provide answers to some of the questions you currently have.

In South Australia, many homes grapple with a phenomenon known as salt damp. This condition can significantly affect the structural integrity, value and aesthetic appeal of your home. One of the visible and concerning symptoms of this issue is “fretting bricks and mortar.”

What is Salt Damp?:

Salt damp, also known as rising damp, occurs when ground moisture rises through the walls of a building due to the lack of a working damp-proof barrier. This moisture carries salts, which are then absorbed into the bricks and mortar. As the moisture evaporates, these salts are left behind, causing damage over time.

What Causes Fretting Bricks and Mortar?:

Fretting happens when these salts, known as efflorescence, accumulate and crystallise beneath the surface of bricks and mortar. This crystallisation process causes the surface to break away, leading to the mortar disappearing and bricks chipping off. Not only does this look unsightly, but it can also evolve into a severe structural concern if left untreated.  Apart from the obvious structural risks, fretting mortar can also lead to:

  • Increased vulnerability to weather damage.
  • Higher susceptibility to further salt damp damage.
  • Loss of thermal efficiency in homes.
  • Potential for water ingress, leading to internal damage.
  • Aesthetic degradation, affecting property value.

Our Approach to Repair and Restoration:

Firstly, we treat the problem by installing a new barrier to stop the rise of moisture and salts. But most importantly, we need to repair the damage.  At Tech-Dry SA, we employ a team of qualified stonemasons with extensive local experience. They understand SA’s unique conditions, bricks and stone. Our approach to repairing mortar, bricks, and stone affected by salt damp is meticulous and tailored to each property. We focus on restoring not just the structural integrity but also the original charm of your home. And the quicker we can address the issue for you, the more the damage will be minimised.  

Case Studies and Success Stories:

We’ve had numerous success stories where our team has effectively addressed fretting bricks and mortar.  “From the outset, the whole process was just terrific. The stonemasons listened to what we wanted….. They were friendly,responsive and meticulous in their work and clearly take great care and pride in what they do. They have given the cottage a new lease on life and it is so pleasing to have had such skilled and committed people working to provide such a great result. Absolutely recommend Tech-Dry SA for salt damp treatment but also for the quality of the stonemasons they have working for them”. – Nic from Glenelg South 

Dealing with salt damp and its symptoms, like fretting bricks and mortar, requires professional expertise. If you notice signs of fretting in your home, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free inspection and quote. We’re here to ensure that your home remains safe, sound, and beautiful.  

Quick Summary 

  1. Salt damp is a common issue in South Australia, causing moisture and salts to rise up through walls.
  2. Fretting bricks and mortar occur when these salts crystallise, leading to structural and aesthetic damage.
  3. Beyond the visible damage, fretting mortar can lead to weather vulnerability, further damp issues, and loss of property value.
  4. Homeowners noticing missing mortar should seek a professional assessment quickly to minimize the damage by reporting the issue. 
  5. Tech-Dry SA offers expert assessment and repair services for homes affected by salt damp and fretting mortar. Organise yours today by clicking on the button below.   

Click here to organise your free inspection and quote

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