Masonry has evolved from simple hand-made sun dried brick to modern machine cut and hard fired modular units. When investigating historic masonry problems, the general era of brick manufacture is important. Each era will exhibit common problems.

This wall was constructed about 1908. The rose colored brick are very common as the redish clays occur throughout East Texas. When these brick were fired in the early kilns some brick did not reach the optimum temperature. Some have soft inner cores encased in a harder shell. As the brick have absorbed moisture over the years, their cores swelled resulting in spalling (face popping off).

This is a bonded wall system. Brick are held together with a soft, lime based mortar and are interlocked. Notice the brick ends (or bond course) every seventh course? This method of constructing masonry bearing walls faded away about WWII; giving way to steel framed buildings, cement based mortars and brick veneer walls.

This wall is in need of restoration by pointing (re-doing) mortar joints, replacing damaged brick, and keeping water from entering the top of the wall.