The steps adjoining the front door of your vacation home once looked beautiful. Today, the bricks present visible cracks, and the mortar displays the unfortunate effects of crumbling. The steps not only lost their visual appeal, but the crumbling stairs now present dangers and hazards. As the tourist season approaches, contacting a masonry repair professional such as those with A-1 Rooftop Chimney Sweep should become a priority. Otherwise, the risks associated with the crumbling brick may get worse.
Slowly the Condition Worsens
While the look of the brick and mortar steps may be unappealing, safety issues might not be so obvious. Safety risks, however, do exist. These risks only get worse as the integrity of the brick and mortar further degrades due to age and weather. Tourist season brings with it even more worries. More people will be walking, running, and biking near the crumbling brick. They then face an injury risk. Injuries often lead to litigation.
Crumbling Means Slip-and-Fall Hazards
Crumbling mortar and broken pieces of brick must go somewhere. They won't fall into a nice, neat little pile. Debris ends up all over the sidewalk thanks to the wind and other elements. Pieces of brick and mortar then create slip-and-fall hazards. Someone riding a bike over these pieces could go on a severe tumble. Not clearing the sidewalk creates the potential for such an accident. Sweeping the sidewalk clean every day may not be enough though. Every time debris gets removed, additional crumbling debris eventually replaces what was cleaned up.
Beware the Railing
The railing connected to the steps relies on the integrity of the bricks for stability. As blocks crack and weaken, a railing may lose its all-important stability. A person could suffer a fall if the banister comes loose. Fixing or replacing bricks and mortar may address issues with the railing. Of course, the railing must be in good condition as well. If it suffers from age and weather-related problems, replacing it might be necessary as well. Rails do need to be drilled into place, a process relying on solid bricks for structural integrity.
Avoid Covering Up the Problem
Covering the damaged steps with a new layer of concrete might not be recommended. Cement won't stick to bricks for long. Eventually, the concrete chips and breaks away. Also, the crumbling bricks under the concrete layer will continue to degrade. "Patch jobs" such as these might deliver a short-term beautification fix, but they come with risks. Hiring a mason repair pro to perform the right fix could be the better plan.Share