Signs of Masonry Problems

Warning signs of masonry issues

What Is Masonry and Masonry Restoration?

Masonry work dates back more than 6,000 years. Because of its longevity and beauty, masonry was used for the Egyptian Pyramids, the Roman Colosseum, and other historic international works from India to China. Today, masonry has made quite the evolution, most often used for commercial buildings and small businesses, better known as brick and mortar companies. Masonry can be a simple brick wall or intricate exterior that adds character and strength to any building.

Masonry restoration covers many building exterior services, including repair to brick, concrete, clay, stone, and precast. Masonry restoration requires skill and precision from experienced contractors. When brick damage and other signs of masonry problems have become evident, it’s best to call professionals that can perform a thorough inspection and address the building envelope needs immediately.

What Causes Masonry Damage?

The two leading causes of masonry damage are moisture penetration and extreme temperature changes (freeze and thaw cycles). When water invades masonry walls, they’re susceptible to damage that ruins their structural integrity. Although masonry is resistant to harmful elements and natural disasters, such as fire and earthquakes, the bricks easily absorb moisture.

During hot or rainy seasons, water leaks into cracks in the brick mortar. During the winter, the building freezes the water in place, leading to more cracks and damaging expansion. As a result, water penetration causes issues for other building assemblages, such as wood, metal, doors, and windows. These kinds of disruptions to the brick and mortar cause severe problems over time. Schedule commercial masonry repair as soon as possible before issues get worse.

Does Your Building Need Masonry Restoration?

It’s vital to look out for signs of masonry problems to address foundational damage immediately. Some indicators you need masonry restoration are more obvious than others. There may be problems that go unnoticed to the untrained eye. However, these are a few of the most apparent indicators of masonry damage:

Deterioration or Missing Mortar

Mortar is the mixture of sand, a binder, like cement or lime, and water. It’s essentially the adhesive substance that holds the brick in place. Mortar is subject to deterioration without appropriate maintenance. A rule of thumb is to schedule masonry wall repointing every 15 to 20 years. Otherwise, you’ll notice gaps or mortar falling out of bricks. Until the issue is addressed, the bricks rub against each other and begin to warp.

Damaged Bricks

Your bricks’ appearance speaks volumes of their condition. When bricks are compacted, cracked, or bulging out of place, water damage is beginning to take a toll, and the foundation is overwhelmed. Another telltale sign of masonry problems is large cracks, especially at a 30-degree angle or greater. In this case, your bricks are on the verge of collapsing, which is expensive to repair and dangerous to people in or near the building.

Interior Damage

Some interior signs of masonry problems include deformed window seals and splitting plaster. When your bricks display external damage, usually the inside is visibly affected as well. Bricks leaking water, cracking, or bulging is bad news for the foundation, and it starts to show as window frames shift and become misshapen.


Simpson Unlimited is here for you 24/7/365. Give us a call any day and any time to address your commercial building concerns. Our Emergency Response

Simpson Unlimited Is One Contractor Supplying All Your Building’s Needs

Don’t worry about hiring several contractors for your commercial building’s exterior needs—Simpson Unlimited is your one-stop shop. We perform specialized architectural and engineering services. In addition to masonry and concrete repair, we also provide thru-wall flashing and above and below-grade waterproofing. Additionally, we pride ourselves on being the “swiss army knife” of commercial roofing services. No matter what your facility needs, we perform repairs and restoration services with the utmost professionalism.

Our service range extends throughout Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. to better meet our clients’ needs. You deserve a responsible, devoted team that eliminates your worries and puts your mind at ease. You deserve the Simpson Unlimited advantage.

When to Repair or Replace a Roof?

Repair or Replace Your Roof?


Minor roof damage can be fixed with repairs. However, if the surface and underlayment have severe wear and tear, it’s time for a full roof replacement. What condition is your structure in? Learn when to repair or replace a roof.

What’s the Right Way to Address Roofing Worries?

Your commercial roof is an essential aspect of your building which must remain in high-functioning condition. If you notice signs of damage to your structure, you’re faced with the decision of roof repair or roof replacement. Either way, it’s best to contact professional contractors immediately after discovering issues so they can develop a plan of action as soon as possible.

Allowing roofing worries to linger makes matters worse. On the same token, it’s wise to take time to weigh your options and make a confident decision. When roofing problems arise, contractors advise property owners on the following options:

Roof Repair

Commercial roofing structures are built to last. They’re made with industrial synthetics and natural materials that are usually energy-efficient, UV resistant, and waterproof. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t experience natural degradation—the process of daily wear and tear due to the impact of inclement weather, aging, and fallen objects. While you can’t control the outdoor elements, it’s wise to get annual roof inspections. By doing so, roofers find issues early on and nip them in the bud.

Things like lifting or missing materials, cracks, and slight imperfections in the surface require simple roof repair. Professionals use specialized tools and roofing products to patch the affected areas, which serves as a long-term resolution. If your roof is still within its first five to ten years of service life and was professionally installed, minor roof repairs are inevitable, and will likely suffice for your structure.

Roof Replacement

Although commercial roofing systems are some of the most durable structures, they need routine care and maintenance to perform to the best of their ability. Otherwise, roofing problems may fester over the years, leaving you with no choice but to start fresh. Roofing materials can weaken and deteriorate from excessive rain. Water damage can manifest differently depending on the type of roof and how long the issues have gone unaddressed. Roof leaks, stains on the walls or ceilings, and mold are signs you need a full roof replacement.

Roof repairs won’t suffice when the underlayment is saturated with water and has irreversible storm damage. In this case, it’s best to invest in a roof replacement for your occupants’ safety and to uphold your professionalism.

Understand the Importance of Knowing Your Roof’s Age

Commercial roofs typically last between 15 to 40 years. Annual maintenance and addressing issues as soon as they arise contribute to long service life. Keep in mind that knowing the structure’s age is key to knowing when to replace a roof. If you’re unaware of how to find out when your roof was last replaced or when the original system was installed, there are a few things you can do to figure it out:

  • Ask the previous owners if they know or can locate the receipt from the roof replacement
  • Locate the building permit which tells the roof installation date
  • Get an estimate of the roof’s age from a licensed home inspector


Whether you need us to restore, repair, or replace a roof, we lead you to the best decision and transform your structure. Browse Our Services

Is Your Commercial Roof Eligible for Restoration?

When your roof is damaged, in addition to roof repair or roof replacement, your structure may qualify for restoration. Roof coatings create a seamless, waterproof layer of protection over your current system. Roofers apply the restoration coating directly to the roof’s surface, and it fills all the cracks, openings, and imperfections. This can solve your roofing worries for the foreseeable future since restoration helps your system last an additional 20 years.

If you’re interested in commercial roof restoration, your existing structure must pass inspection first. If at least 75% of the substrate is dry and there’s no severe damage, you can get a roof restoration, which is only a fraction of what it costs to replace a roof.

Contact Simpson Unlimited for the Perfect Commercial Roofing Solution

Simpson Unlimited is your expert commercial contractor. Our building envelope solutions cover everything your facility needs, including roofing services, concrete repair and waterproofing, and masonry restoration. There’s nothing our crew can’t do. If you need advice from our experienced team, call us today for a free consultation.

We look forward to working with you and enhancing your commercial building.

When To Get a Commercial Roof Inspection

Commercial roofing contractors can tell if your structure is reliable or if it’s time for repairs or replacement. Find out when it’s best to inspect and how to spot potential damage before it gets out of hand.

Drastic Temperature Changes Wreak Havoc on Your Commercial Roof 

Your commercial roofing system goes through a lot. Since your roof is constantly exposed to the elements, it experiences natural degradation. This is an aging process in which climates and weather conditions weaken roofing materials over time. As the weather fluctuates, the roof also experiences thermal shock, which is the expansion and contraction of materials as the temperature goes from freezing cold to blazing hot. 

Your roof endures that shock during the transition from winter to spring. Going from 20 degrees and cloudy skies to 70 degrees and constant sunshine quickly take a toll on your roof system, so it’s best to prioritize ongoing maintenance and routine inspections. 

How Often Should You Get Your Roof Inspected?

A commercial flat roof inspection is essential to your system’s durability and longevity. Roof maintenance and annual inspections save building owners time and money in the long run; since you’re always aware of your roof’s condition, you’re less likely to need unexpected repairs or an untimely replacement if issues are extensive. Other ideal times for commercial roof inspections are: 

After Installation 

A roof inspection after installation may seem unnecessary to some building owners, but it’s an important best practice. No matter what roofing company you hire, they must be held responsible for their workmanship. A roof installation isn’t cheap, so make sure your hard-earned money was well-spent by assessing the quality of your new roof. Your roofing company can be held accountable for any installation flaws discovered early on.   

After Inclement Weather 

Between winter snow and spring hail storms, harsh weather extremes are bad news for your roof. Strong winds, ice, and hail pellets can make roofing materials crack and split, or they can tear these materials completely from the surface. As soon as the storm subsides, call your roofing company to come and perform an inspection right away.  

Before Your Roof Has Exceeded Its Service Life

The average service life of a commercial roof can vary. Depending on the kind of roofing system you have, realistically, you can expect anywhere from 20 to 40 years of protection


Don’t stand by and watch your building depreciate. Simpson’s experienced technicians can revitalize your structure from top to bottom. Contact Us Today

Telltale Signs of Commercial Flat Roof Damage

Even if you believe your system is in good shape, it’s still wise to get a commercial roof inspection. Not all red flags are obvious to the untrained eye. Some problems can’t be spotted unless you climb on top of the roof, which is best left to professional roof inspectors. 

However, there are some more obvious signs of damage, such as:

  • Water stains on the walls and ceilings
  • Mold and mildew
  • Leaks
  • Lifting or bubbling materials

These issues may seem minor, but you need to call roofing contractors to address them right away to keep problems from getting worse. 

Schedule Your Commercial Roof Inspection With Simpson

Simpson Unlimited is your commercial roofing expert. When you’re unsure of your roof’s condition, we’re the ones to call for a thorough inspection. After assessing the surface, we provide a detailed report of our findings. We hold ourselves to a high standard of excellence from inspection to installation.